Fringe with Benefits
I apologise if you read this blog. As ever I had best intentions but life gets in the way. I actually have no idea whether anyone actually reads it! So feel free to leave a comment as it would be nice to know that this isn’t just therapy.
I’m going to talk about the first week of The Fringe Festival. As you may know, we have brought our brand-spanking new and shiny one-man show ‘The Devil Without’ to Edinburgh. The ‘we’ comprises of myself, Frank (foh, money, production), Mark (stage crew) and Matt (tech operator). It is only a little over a week ago that I hoofed it down to Brighton to tech-head supreme Jake Purches of Vivid Audio to test and pick up the Helmholtz Resonator. A mighty infrasonic speaker that we have nicknamed ‘Hellboy’. Jake has created a monster of marvel and I really couldn’t be happier with Hellboy.
So, Frank, Mark and I made the pilgrimage up the A1 breaking our journey at the wonderful Holy Island before over-nighting in Alnwick.
Alnwick (pronounced ‘Annick’) is a friendly place and despite incredulous quizzes as to why we weren’t staying in Newcastle we managed to have a great evening, including meeting a local who described me as a confidence trickster before I gave him a reading which sent him running away shouting ‘He’s Reel Man! He’s the REEL Deal!’
The next morning we rolled into Edinburgh to the mighty Leith to overnight. We were staying with a group of comedians but the house wasn’t available till the next day, so we hired an apartment for a night and planned the forthcoming tech rehearsal. We also got to meet our Edinburgh techy Matt.
The tech was a classic all-nighter we were scheduled to start at 3am. Most of it was spent ok’ing props and technical elements with the venue staff and getting Matt used to Hellboy. The first time we tried Hellboy in the space was electrifying. On a descending range from 40hz to 8hz the sound hit the different resonate frequencies of the room. The whole theatre literally shook. It was immense. Different materials vibrated as we passed through their frequency giving the impression of something travelling around the room. For me, this was a particularly profound moment as it was the culmination of a idea that started a long way back. The Martin Atomic strobe we were using too had an amazing flash and although we couldn’t achieve blackout in the space due to health and safety reasons (and hence, no phosphenes), it was adding greatly to what we expected to be a great atmosphere. We rolled out at 7am. I parked the car outside of the city (Central Edinburgh is the caviar of parking!) and made my way back to our flat totally blasted.