Great news amongst the Bad – Andy Hunter Bursary

11 outings for Dagba on his bike, and the whole of Maria’s Minnie Lindsay run at the Edinburgh Festival are casualties along with so much else in the world of ‘arts and entertainments’ and we are confined to our houses and exiled into the internet for the duration.

But its not all bad. We are learning to dip our toes into technology.

And it is with HUGE delight that I can report that we have been awarded a bursary from the Andy Hunter Bursary fund to develop ideas using the kamishibai to hold performance space in an outdoor ritual or exploration which has allowed Maria and I to devote our Friday afternoons to regular teleconferencing and our weeks to various iterations of self-imposed ‘homework’

I am exquisitely grateful to the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Anne Hunter for giving us this amazing opportunity to impose structure on our time in isolation as well as the simple joy in development for its own sake.

Two weeks told, one to go!

Scottish tales from a Japanese box

Audience every day, a really good pub function room venue, fabulous festival energy from our fellow free fringers, and experience any budding storyteller would pay money out for doing the same show every day for 6 days – its a real baptism of fire for structuring the show depending on the audience in front of you, thinking on the hoof and, frankly, performing under pressure! All hugely enjoyable. If anyone is thinking of doing it next year I would pass on the tip that COMFORTABLE SHOES are essential: The fliering is relentless!

The result is a profit-making show, at last, however: We covered our costs on Thursday – we have six days to make the price of a slap up meal for the team in the dark days of September once the air is sucked out of Edinburgh and the Festival is over!

My best moment so far was fliering the same family again by mistake as they ate al-fresco macaroni cheese in George Square, and having the daughter ask her mum if she could go again because she’d enjoyed it so much the first time!

Prepare prepare prepare

Our draft leaflet is nearly ready to go to press and behind the scenes frenzied artistic talent being mined to get pictures for all our stories. It is an interesting balance between cartoon illustration of every point and more fluid images which allow the story hearer’s imagination full play. We are highlighting images for the songs because we hope that helps our audience to sing along. It is also interesting deciding which scene from each story would benefit from an image and working with emphasis and even misdirection as we draw the slides over. It will be a great test of the format if we can gather enough audience into the function room at Bar Revolution! I’m looking out for nice comfortable shoes to go flyering in!!

The Fringe Approacheth…

Just seven weeks to go till our Edinburgh Free Fringe Debut (11.10 to 12 at Revolution Function Room in Chambers Street – a 22 day run with a 50 minute childrens Kamishibai show) and we’ve still to finalise the programme let alone draw pictures!  A huge amount of  behind-the-scenes ‘business’ has gone on with paint, saws, fireproofing spray and unusual trolleys to accomplish the set – I may even have found a solution to allow us to use the bicycle as the stage at last – but none of it is putting stories into our mouths yet!

We do have a vague outline, however.  With Maria busy on the Minnie Lindsay project for the October Storytelling Festival (of which more anon) I only have her for the final week when we will reprise Dagba.  Week one will be shared with Ines Alvarez and we will make a show about animals using the elephant in the forest ‘silent movie’ motif I originally designed the Kamishibai for nearly 18 months ago now.  Week 2 will feature Beverley Casebow and I making a nice flow with Scottish Myths – I am delving into Glasgow playground songs and ditties to find our ‘poem’ though I am also contemplating Coulter’s Candy or Three Craws on a Wa’….  Decisions decisions!

I can’t wait to call myself an Edinburgh Fringe Performer!

Feedback

Some of the lovely things people said about us:

Brilliant music and songs, love the pictures and instruments

I liked the show, I liked the genie the best. Some sounds made me scared, it was fun!

Beautiful production delivered with passion, wonderful pictures and very imaginatively presented. Great storytelling, loved the interaction from the audience and musical accompaniment

He really liked the show, he liked the crackle crack, he liked the quiet moments, it was great, thank you, well done,

Very absorbing, felt like I was actually in the forest

I liked helping

I really enjoyed it, it was really fun and I loved participating, I think everyone will love it!

Our Journeys Continue

A great day ‘instagramming’ our way around our various transport links between the two Edinburgh Libraries – Oxgangs to Moredun where we told to VERY different audiences. I feel I’ve still a long way to go in captivating a free range audience, but the shows in dedicated rooms went excellently which is encouraging for the development of our little peice in the future!