As I write this I am now sat at home, in front of my much loved (and missed laptop!). Next time... I will not be leaving it at home because I can't carry it. I'll leave somethingelse at home instead! Though what that might be is open to conjecture.
So much to write and not really sure where to start. In this round up of my first ever festival.
Last night I was holding out for a massive audience. The sort of audience that comes out of the woodwork.... the ones that knew they were coming all along just hadn't booked in advance! And so perhaps unsurprisingly for the 6th night running I watched another packed audience (for Abigails Party) leave the space & I went another shade of green... and it so isn't my colour. This group have worked SO hard during the course of the week, they deserve all the success they get. But I still couldn't help but feel a little sad. How did they sell so many tickets that I couldn't. We spoke after the show and Evie has said we can talk about what they did. But its not all bad...... 2 people did stay behind to see my show, after Abigails..... woooohoooo all of 2 people. AMAZING!!
Once again the audience loved the performance (mine that is!), but they were a tough group to crack! The night started with a ticketing problem which Jo handeled beautifully but the old bag sat in the front row and promptly stared at the floor for the whole night! What was that about........ I normally get a giggle right at the beginning when I say the bit about Jerry using card board cut outs to make the place look busy and then folded them down when the table was taken properly..... I look around the audience, pull a quizzical face and say.... "hmmm note to self!"..... not a titter... absolute silence... which was pretty much it (outside of the expected applause) until about "Where in the World is My Prince?" which is only 2 from the end. The good news is that "Chin Up Ladies" was pretty much right! Yeah! And Leigh will never work with me again (if he has any sense :-))
And that was it ... the end of Festival. After packing up costumes and taking the bar stool out we popped into the Rose and Crown for a final drink with Michael. He was with some South African Friends who were lovely. Once again it was all a little uncomfortable! And I had messages today about being missed and how he'd had the best few days! Oh hum.
Frank and I had a lovely evening and even had something to eat from the Kebab Shop (Leigh... read it and weep! ;-)) It wasn't the Festival Party and I missed having more of a converstation with the photographer (also a Taffy) but I don't like those sorts of situations. Better to be in a warm Aga filled kitchen having a cuppa.
Yesterday it came to light that there had been some ticketing issues. No shit! Closer discussion with a number of different audience members and other performers who had also had the same issues (at least 3 shows) appear to have suffered from "full messaging box" on the box office numbers. My Mum had even experienced a less than satisfactory response from the box office, when seeking assistance (having finally got through!) I have to say its soul destroying to get this feedback when your a late show (9pm) and the locals of Henley are not the sort to take a punt on there being tickets available on the door. When your flyers say "sold out west end shows"... it would be a natural assumption that they should not waste their time... I can't even construct the email to the Fringe yet I am so disappointed. I know what the response will be... we have teething problems.. its only our second year, it'll be better next year. Great! What about all the unsold tickets for this year! Buggar! No answer to that other than - sorry? Hummm chances of that happening. Bets on a Postcard please?
So for now, the bags are unpacked, the washing drying and the prospect of the day job looming after sleep tonight is one that I don't really relish. Have I been put off the Fringe? No I don't think so. Would I go back to Henley? Yes but I'd like to do somethings differently. Will I do more fringes?.... never say never is my motto... watch this space. For now I have an open air gig on Thursday to prepare for. That's assuming its happening & the council hasn't thrown its dummy out of the pram ........?
If you've enjoyed reading I might carry on.... if your really unlucky!