The tickets are on sale for another year of fun, frollicks, frustrations, flyering, guest spots into the early hours and eating a lot of chips in a concentrated period. My show, Kitty Cointreau’s BraHaHa, a UK sell-out vaudeville show, is back at the fringe for the second year. With some great reviews in the bag garnered from two years of sheer hard work and excellent attendance figures last year, you’d think it’d be easy, or at least easier. However, there is a unique pressure that comes with the fringe, but the fringe is where it counts for me.
I have been a fringe fan since my teens and was always mesmerized by the shows that I saw, even the bad ones, because they all weave to form part of the fabulous energy that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Last year was a mixed bag of emotions in terms of the performance space not being quite right for my kind of show and me juggling far too much for one person, especially with me not being Supergirl or Wonder Woman. One minute I’d be running up the Pleasance in nothing but my tights, pasties and rollers chasing after an act that was lost, and the next I’d be on stage under the hot lights pouring glitter over myself. This is the glamour of burlesque at the fringe.
After months of swearing (a LOT) that I wouldn’t be back at the fringe this year, the passion for the wonderful beast was just too much to resist. I’m now producing, or co-producing, THREE shows (BraHaHa, but also Piff the Magic Dragon: Last of the Magic Dragons, and Kitty & Jonny’s Speakteasy alongside my great friend and collaborator, Duncan Oakley). After eight years of producing live shows, I did at first think I’d taken leave of what little sense I had left, but the mixture of excitement, the desire for new challenges and the great sense of achievement once it’s all done and dusted can be overpowering for an ambitious workaholic like me. It’s hard to return from the intensity of the fringe and not be a better performer, producer or person. It’s also hard to return from the fringe with a fiver in your pocket and your health in tact.
While the public’s curiosity about the wonderful old art form of burlesque continues to grow, the tired, rehashed old arguments about burlesque and stripping are wearier than my dear old aunt’s smalls. The realization of having a hard copy of this year’s fringe brochure in my fingers last Thursday is where it all began for me. I still take pleasure in closely examining the listings of all the shows I just won’t get a chance to see. It was suddenly all very real, especially as sales started rolling in just after 10am last Friday!
Kitty Cointreau’s BraHaHa Just the Big Room @ Just the Tonic at the Caves
4th-28th August (not 17th) 22.45-23.45 Venue number: 88, 253 Cowgate
Ticket prices range from £5-£10 across the fringe. Check website for more details.
or call 0131 556 5375