A Fringe run can be exhausting, time-consuming and bloody expensive for a comedian, more so when the deal on the table from the venue is a full three-week run, or nothing. London comedian Marc Lucero tells us why he is just not bothering this year…
I’ve done the Fringe before, albeit as part of the then fledgling Free Fringe. Since then the Free Fringe has grown and the doors have opened for every open spot, try-out and wannabe to chance their hand at what is arguably the world’s largest performance festival. And why not? It’s a beautiful city, you’ll know everyone, the sense of camaraderie is wonderful and if you’re bursting with confidence and have a good line in banter then you don’t necessarily need a show to be part of it. Edinburgh is a great holiday destination. For those performers who treat it year after year as a holiday, that’s great. You can get back to London and inform people at dinner parties that, ‘I’ve just come back from the Fringe’ and be welcomed, much the way middle-class American kids got back from Vietnam in the 60s and said ‘I’m just back from ‘Nam’ at a hog roast.
I have what I consider to be a very good original show; it gained more than favourable reviews at last year’s Leicester Comedy Festival and subsequently sold out Leicester Square Theatre in the West End as a result. However I have commitments to family and cannot undertake the full three week run in Edinburgh. With this in mind, I applied to a Free Fringe promoter with whom I have enjoyed a long and harmonious relationship. I went to last year’s Fringe to scout potential venues and on my return met said promoter.
The deal I put to him was:
I want this venue at this time for one week only.
Of course, my request was refused. Nowadays, any promoter would bite the hand off any act who would commit to the full Festival run at a venue, regardless of the quality of the show.
I made my mind up that I would stick to my guns on this issue and that I would only do Edinburgh on my terms.
Consequently, when the Fringe comes round this August, I will be holidaying in Barcelona.