Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Post-Festival Blues

The first Glasgow Cabaret Festival is done and dusted, closing with Dr Sketchy Glasgow and a bit of a post-sketching soiree at The Arches.

It's a funny thing working on a project of that nature and scale; a years worth of pre-production flies by and then a week can feel like year and then it's over...all done, in a blink!

With 26 shows (that we know of) across 13 venues in the city of Glasgow, 5 sell-outs within our core programme and an amazing finale show at the ABC on Saturday night I spent most of the whole week waiting for the other big sparkly shoe to drop.

Launching a festival for the first time, particularly one that involves a new concept for the discerning arts audience is risky business, especially when you are completely unfunded. Normally such ventures start incredibly small, building over a number years from their infancy to something of the size that Glasgow Cabaret Festival ended up being in its inaugural year and that, quite frankly is overwhelming, I'm reeling a little bit.

And as such my body now doesn't know what to do - a week of going to shows every night, early starts and even later nights, very little normal behaviour such as eating and sleeping taking place and imbibing alcohol every night with some of the most talented people I've had the pleasure of working with to date...wow, that sounds like a Festival doesn't it? How did that happen?

At RwP HQ I am still collating statistics; full head counts throughout the week for all the venues, tickets sold, revenue (hah!) generated, press garnered, performers participating etc. I smell an epic debrief....ew!

My partner and cohort Rufus is roaming the room like caged animal, having pulled off the biggest project of our careers to date with relatively few hiccups has left us feeling somewhat restless. And another amazing result of all this is...the Fringe...which would normally be filling us with throat drying fear around about this time of year feels like, dare I say it, that it might be a walk in the park (famous last words!)

GCF 09 highlights for me include having the pleasure of enjoying not one, not two but THREE nights of the amazing Frisky & Mannish. It felt a little like they were saying, "Oh hey Lucille, here's the bar, come join us up here!"

Late night nonsense spent with Beatrix von Bourbon.

The Redettes, my lovely new singing trio, making their debut at the altogether too spectacular Missy & Leyla Show.

Gushing aside; mostly I'm humbled, the level of support and belief that Rufus and I received from the Cabaret scene at large in the UK, not just in Scotland, was not only hugely positive it was massively touching. People got behind this concept and united to make it happen, Rufus and I have always known what a great support network we have and for that we are stupidly grateful but the past week showed us something we didn't know existed - it went beyond professional amicability, it was bordering on camaraderie.

I am unsure yet how next year will pan out, all I know is that there is absolutely the desire to make it happen. And I have some ideas; creatively and commerically. With a successful example to present I know I can do this festival and everyone involved in it this year and prospective participants of 2010 real justice.

Roll on the Fringe, if it's half as successful I can retire...

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