Jul 10, 2015

An update on writing Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship (Edinburgh Fringe 2015)

As you may well know, or not, I'm presenting my first ever show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship runs from August 6th to 19th at the Cellar Monkey, and there's a Manchester preview on July 26th. All free as part of Laughing Horse's brilliant free fringe.

Writing an Edinburgh show is different if you're under the category of "spoken word". It's not as if I'm a gigging comedian polishing the same 20 minutes week in, week out. In fact, us spoken word acts have it easy.

At least, I thought it would be easy. As it happens it's kind of hard. This is how the show looks so far. I've kept it vague so there are no spoilers.

> Me doing an introduction to tell you everything that's going to happen over the next hour;

> Me imparting some of my amazing wisdom about electronic music. I expect lots of "aahs" and "oohs" at this point;

> Me attempting something approaching poetry although I've looked it up in a dictionary and I thought a "poetry" was a kind of fancy spoon;

> A few things that have gone down well recently because the audience laughed and didn't throw tomatoes or rocks or saucepans;

> A bit where it all gets a bit down. I call this the "dip". Feel free to scroll your phone at this point.

> A chunk of audience interaction, assuming I have an audience by this point and the room is just me and some chairs and a startled mouse transporting a piece of cheese from one side of the room to the other.

And I have little linky bits that should glue the whole lot together, done in the same style as the introduction. What I'm missing at the moment is an end. And I'm missing a specific element of uncertainty (other than the audience interaction or response) that will keep all 14 shows fresh for me, and add a bit of an extra challenge for my performance. Fear not. I have ideas.

This whole experience of piecing together a show has had some serious ebbs and flows. I think I have something, then it drifts away. Ideas wash into my head like the tide, tickling my brain with their bubbles, then all I have left is seaweed. One day I can look at my show and see 50 minutes of brilliant material: the next day, I think I have 10.

One thing I do have is confidence that the show will be entirely Me, capital M. What state Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship will be in after 14 dates in Edinburgh, I have no idea. Will I lose myself? Will all of my audience just be mice? How on earth do gigging comedians cope?

Click here for details of my Manchester preview.