Shortly after Prague Emily hit the road alone to perform at the newly found and totally brilliant Plymouth Fringe Festival at the lovely Theatre Royal Plymouth. I was gutted to miss it but luckily she took her camera with her. Not that it helped with the whole being stranded roadside. But it makes for amusing footage.
She also did two performances at the Exmouth Festival at the Blackmore Theatre, where all the staff treated her really kindly. This was all caught on camera too. So I can pretend I was there. Kind of. And so can you.
I must say as a director it is SUPER weird knowing your show is going on somewhere and you can't see it, you haven't seen the space and you can't see the people behind the scrillion emails each festival is bound to exchange with its participants. Good thing Emily's so darn good, there's no need to worry, but it still feels quite strange. Is this what it's like to send your kids to school? You know they'll do great but you just wish you could be there to see it.
Still can't believe we won those awards at Prague Fringe. Eeeek! And congratulations to those shortlisted for the Plymouth Toast of the Festival awards!
We are back from Prague and still we cannot quite believe our success there. Just today I stumbled upon a review from FringeReview that qualifies the show as 'Outstanding' - its highest rating! It's still not sinking in.
We were so nervous on the first night. Having done a quick run through in the space (our tech rehearsal, but seeing as there is no tech, we just used it as rehearsal, which was handy) we knew that the material was all there, we could do it on this tiny tiny stage, a chair had magically shown up (Giles found one) and it was all looking good. Oh and the gun?
But how it would go with an audience was still to be seen. Would anyone come? We had a little chat with John (Who Waits at the Top of the Stairs) and Dennis (Who Made Me?) who were about to embark on their techs, respectively. We gathered that it was a nice festival but were no closer to knowing what audience numbers to expect. There was no choice but to go sight seeing.
We stumbled upon the John Lennon Wall and the stairs, taking us over the Charles bridge. The city was buzzing, we were getting attention for our paper crowns (worn to keep them from being bent), there were buskers everywhere and gasped with joy when seeing the beauty of the city.
When the time came to perform one would have thought Emily Carding had done it a million times before. Though only half full she managed to deliver all the details of the story smooth as anything and entice people to perform and go on this journey with her. It was one smiley audience that left and one relieved theatre company. No f%$k ups, no major triumphs, just glad to be here and share our work.
The next day Emily woke me with the news. We had received the perfect review. We danced all over our apartment in Prague 9, not knowing what to do with ourselves but laugh. Our Buckingham from the night previous had absolutely loved it, our fears of it not making sense or the audience not responding to it like we wanted them to had been for nothing. After a full day of sight seeing we went back to the venue. Oh my god, there were so many people there! A full house! And all of them expecting 'a masterpiece' - the pressure was on! But lo and behold, the show had gone swimmingly and the audience demanded an encore! Wow! Was this really happening? What a lovely audience! What a great city! Be sure, some celebratory drinks (and a bit of the time warp) were had after seeing Dennis´ play - a lovely piece of storytelling, honest, funny, thought provoking. The journey home was interesting, but we made it eventually!
On the Sunday it was time for the Fringe Sunday showcase, which meant that we went down to Besida after Frunch (Fringe Lunch, the best thing in the world) to see all the companies perform 1 minute of their shows. One minute is tricky but quite fun and you could easily gage what your cup of tea was going to be. It was lovely to get to see a glimpse of Metamorphosis by our new friends in Alliance for New Music-Theater - gutted to miss it (and of course so many other shows, what a lovely line-up)! The evening show was packed, this time with a very eager audience who was more than willing to kill princes and give Richard scorn. Thrilled we ran to see Boris and Sergey's Vaudevillian Adventure by Flabbergast Theatre and absolutely rolled with laughter. What a brilliant show! If you manage to catch it, please do!
On our last day we had an outing at Vysehrad cemetary which was lovely and peaceful. Then we hopped trams across town to trek up to the Palace, which was gorgeous, even as it chucked it down with a shower. Our last meal was an italian chicken vs pizza. We found that people had to be turned away at our last performance it was so packed and that some people in the audience were there for a second time! A lovely evening, we celebrated the end of our stay with our American friends before taking the scenic route to catch the very last metro of the day. Totally in awe of our experience in Prague, of the festival, the city and the lovely people we met. Hope to come back soon!