The Edinburgh Fringe is a tempestuous mistress. My first Fringe in the 90s involved a lot of standing around in the rain, hangovers, head colds, and a neck injury from an ill-advised joke pratfall down a double decker bus stairwell. Come to think of it, there was a good bit of misery… But that’s not what stands out in my memory. The Fringe that stays with me is the joy of getting laughs from a foreign audience. The thrill of a 5 star review. The inspiration from seeing so many wonderful shows. And the buzz, the indescribable festival buzz.
So far this year, I got caught up in the Cowgatehead scandal. I booked a slot, I paid for a slot, and then the slot wasn’t there. But I know already: that’s not what I’ll remember. Yes, I’m a ‘Displaced Comedian.’ Yes, I’m on the losing side of a Free Fringe battle. Yes, I’ve had fellow comedians tell me I’m a fool for sticking with Freestival. (Though, if i’m being honest, Freestival has the only logo design I find acceptable.) But now there’s news.
By placing my faith in laziness, I’m now on at the newest hotspot in Edinburgh: the New Waverley Arches. It’s just off the Royal Mile, the terrace is open til 3am, and there’s a wood-fired pizza oven. Even if I wasn’t on at the venue, I have to admit I’d want to check it out.
Here it was last August. No public access to these guys since the Victorian era.
Will there be rough edges to bump my head on? Of course. Will I get more head colds from flyering in unexpected downpours? Probably. Did my accommodation fall through? Yes! Just today. Is this what I’ll remember from the Fringe? No way.
PS – I already got my housing sorted. …Stay tuned for the inevitable third thing to go wrong!