My memories from last year’s Edinburgh are dominated by me flyering under the bridge on Cowgate like the troll from The Three Billy Goats Gruff and performing in a dark, wet cave with a fake smile fixed on my face. If only I’d known in advance, I would have devised an immersive theatre piece ripping off Lord of the Rings’ Gollum or an environmental show based on a day in the life of a depressed slug. I can only look forward to a chance to perform in the Stand for the first time this year, where I’m told they actually have walls.
As a comic that tends to use an over-average number of props, there’s always something in need of repair and most days in Edinburgh involve an early morning rise to walk to an out of town hardware store of some kind. As Edinburgh veterans will know, and this fool learnt the hard way – Google maps is absolutely not to be trusted under any circumstances in this fair and architecturally unconventional city. I left my flat at 8.30am on a Sunday to walk to a suburban B & Q fifty five minutes away, only to discover upon arrival from a street cleaner that it had burned down three years ago. I got through 13 rolls of gaffa tape last year, 82 AA batteries, 25 loaves of bread and 7 pots of baking soda. Meanwhile cloth props need to be laundered a couple of times a week. This level of prop maintenance (my show last year had over 300 props) made it very hard to party, which was probably a blessing in disguise. I did however do mime training this Autumn in a desperate attempt to avoid my prop pain of the Edinburgh just gone. I am very excited about not having any props in my show this year (OK, I do have a couple, and frankly equally painfully I have managed to get a cast of people instead, which presents its own difficulties because I don’t have [m]any friends. Frankly little plastic arms never looked so appealing).
Food is a huge part of my Edinburgh experience. Last year, I optimistically bought proper food from the supermarket in advance, things like lentils and ham. Of course, I didn’t eat any of it and mainly ate KFC and Macaroni cheese pies. Well, they say that Edinburgh is a marathon – that’s a good excuse to carb load if ever I heard one.
Every year my long-suffering parents come to Edinburgh for a whole week and I put them to work flyering for me. My mum looks exactly like me – except much older (no no mum, we look like sisters, honestly) and we are an amazing flyering tag team. She fliers people like a doddery old woman speaking in slow motion excuuuuse meee, caaan I interessst you in my daughteeerr’s brilliaaaant show? Every person knows such a charming older woman in real life and dares not shun her for fear that one day, it could be their own mum being elbowed out of the way on the Royal Mile. About 10 feet down the road when said person then spots me they cry out, bloody hell, I’ve just been flyered by your mum! It really works a treat.
Title: Louise Reay - Hard Mode
Venue: The Stand Comedy Club, Stand 4
Venue website: http://www.thestand.co.uk
Tel: 0131 558 9005
Direct ticket/ show link:
Dates: August 3 - 27 (not 14)
Duration: 1 Hour
Entry: £8, £7 concessions (August 3 preview £7, £6 concessions)
House of Idiot, Brixton, London - 26th July - 8pm
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Mama Biashara, Shepherds Bush, London - 28th July - 7.30pm
W12 Shopping Centre, Westfield London Shopping Centre, W12 8PP