Steve N Allen – Debrief Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Steve N Allen

Comedian, presenter and writer Steve N Allen gives his thoughts on the 2011 Fringe festival. Steve performed in two shows Some News and Agonise. Both part of the Free Festival.

What are you overall feelings about the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

Now that the dust has settled and the blisters have gone, I think it was a good year.  I didn’t realise till I started gigging back on the circuit, but I can really tell I have learned a lot.

Talk us through some of your favourite moments?

On the first day I gave a flyer to a man who stopped and asked me, “Is it in Slovak?”  I wished him luck getting a yes to that question.

Also, when doing a collection at the end of the show someone put a jar of vanilla flavoured coffee in the hat.  I tweet a lot about my love of coffee and my fondness for vanilla flavoured things, so that was a most thoughtful donation.*

How well do you think your show went?

It had highs and lows but if I’m honest, it went better than I thought it would.  It was a bit of a gamble as most of that material had never seen a stage before.

What did you think you learnt from the experience?

I worked it out and during Edinburgh 2011 I was on stage for 56 hours and 10 minutes, so I now feel much more comfortable being on stage.

What would you differently next time?

All those things I thought I’d be able to do during the run, the emails, the podcasts, the press releases, I’d do beforehand because as soon as the Fringe starts it’s a mad rush till the end.

What was your biggest challenge this year?

It was actually writing new material during the run.  It was a little ambitious to do that but it’s a worthy goal.

What mistakes do you think you made?

I think some of the marketing mis-sold the show, as I had people turn up thinking my comedy show would help them with their politics degree.

What will you do differently next time?

Now I know more about the costs and likely earnings I’d spend more on getting the show in booklets and brochures.

How do you think the fringe could be improved?

Less rain.

Anything else that you think you might want to say?

No. After that long on Scottish food I should probably head off to the gym.

What were your thoughts on cockgate?

I thought it was a cheeky way to show the different attitudes that people bring to the Fringe.

Did you have any experiences that made you think “only at the fringe?”

I did a gig and then met some people for a coffee and I realised while having the coffee I was playing to the same size audience I had at the gig.

What were your favourite places to drink, eat or hang around?

As sad as this will sound, the Costa in the St James shopping centre because it felt like it was a hundred miles away from the Fringe.  For a few moments you could really get away from it all.

Did you keep any souvenirs or mementos of your two weeks?

Not really but I now have a wardrobe filled with waterproof items.

You can read Steve’s Topical Comedy Blog here and you can also follow him on twitter.

*Editor’s Note. I like Vanilla flavoured coffee stuff as well.

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