Friday, 15 August 2008

Special Agent Lucille reporting from Week 2 of the Edinburgh Fringe & beyond...

Right...well...I've not long crawled out from underneath my duvet where I have been hiding since the 12th.

I've managed a good solid 2 days of sleep catch-up (deprived doesn't even begin to describe my sleep reserves by Tuesday, we need to invent a new word). At present I am quaffing some cheap shite red wine before setting off for the Smirnoff Underbelly to appear at Sideshow, I feel that this helps the blogging process.

According to my last report I was about to embark on week 2 of my Fringe based shenanigans by appearing at the Ministry of Burlesque's 3-night run of Edinburgh High Tease at The Voodoo Rooms. I am delighted to say that this was a roaring success and tonnes of fun! Each night was packed out, with standing room only and then some on both the Friday and Saturday night.
The bill featured some of the burlesque and cabaret elite from across the world; award-winning songstress Dolores Delight, the queen of British burlesque, Kittie Klaw, the epitome of glamour and hollywood chic, Missy Malone, punk-burlesque icon Kitten on the Keys, compere and ukele extraordinaire Des O Conner (yes, alright, not the Des O Conner but rather part of a crack team of Des O Conner's whose mission it is to bring blisteringly good entertainment to the masses). Who else? The hysterical, can-can dancing experts Gypsy Charms & Viva Misadventure, London's vaudeville celebrities Pustra & Vile-een and of course the glamorous, bent on world domination, Molly Crabapple. It was such an honour to be performing amongst such talent, all of whom were some of the nicest people I have ever met.

During this run we had the Battle of Burlesque where some of freakiest and chicest new burlesquers of the UK fought it out for a covetted performance spot at this years biggest party, hosted by Bizarre Magazine, The Bizarre Ball. Bizarre were in attendance so expect announcements of the winners soon.

In between all of this, somewhere, Rufus and I taught a roving BBC Radio reporter how to fire-eat and juggle for the Fred MacAulay Show, being broadcast live every morning of the Fringe at the Spiegel Garden. This was a peculiar gig as it involved being in full clown make-up, on the street at 9am, doing something for the Radio that is entirely visual....hmmm. However, it was jolly good fun and great publicity. I can report that the reporter did succeed at least once with fire-eating and luckily was already a competent juggler!

So that was that; After the last MoB show on the 9th, I of course not knowing my limits spent far too much time with my drink tickets in the bar afterwards (I really can't be held responsible, the chat was very good!) which meant I went into one of the biggest events of my career on a measly couple hours sleep. Not to worry, fuelled by double espressos and cigarettes I powered on through.

On Sunday, The Dr Sketchy 1st Birthday Bash, at The Arches. I can't really begin to describe this event, I'm still in awe of its success. At double our usual capacity I am delighted to say that we filled the place for both the party and the art session beforehand. Kitten on the Keys was a joy and Glasgow loved her, as was predicted, her unique brand of punk cabaret and smutty songs was hilarious. Molly Crabapple received the royal welcome she deserved, it is after all, down to her that Glasgow has such a wonderfully entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon every month. She signed books, sold merchandise, had her picture taken - she got the celebrity treatment she deserved.

The show was incredible, everyone was well received and it filled me with pride to produce an event with such a stellar line-up of hugely experienced, talented and consummate professionals.
Although I was exhausted I had the time of my life, and the champagne backstage keep me going (my lushness knows no limits!)
On a rather exciting side note - Alisdair Gray was in attendance sketching at the session!!!!!! If you don't know who that is go look him up, you'll understand why I was humbled and excited by the fact he was there.

There are some hilarious and beautifully candid backstage shots courtesy of our amazing Stage Manager, Miss Carrie, up on the Sketchy MySpace, do have a look if you are remotely interested -

Blissful and exhausted it was homeward bound, with a few guests, for tea and chat then bed by 4am (Again! Argh!)

The following day was a relative write-off until the evening when Molly Crabapple, myself and Rufus went to Edinburgh for her appearance in And The Devil Will Drag You Under - an eccentric and excellently produced cabaret show from Des O Conner and Pustra/Vile-een's Vaudeville.

This is where it gets messy; from there we joined Des for his appearance in Sideshow at the Underbelly after which we met with Missy Malone and the Sideshow team for 1 or 2 (perhaps 5) wee drinks. Time of course got away from us and it was about 4am before we realised we were still drinking, in Edinburgh and Molly had a plane to London to catch (in Glasgow!!!) at 7am!
Sleep, as I'm sure you have worked out, was not on the cards. But this doesn't matter, I can sleep when I'm dead, it was entirely worth it. If not only for the banter with such lovely people but to have Molly sit and sketch everyone beautifully as we all sat around enjoying ourselves.
I think that's everything, it's all been such a whirlwind. It will need to be all for now as I have yet another show to do this evening and must be off - see you in September!

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