I did my first bit of flyering yesterday. It is a necessary evil at the Fringe. But people were genuinely lovely about it. This won’t continue on into the third week. By that point the city will be so saturated with flyers the Castle will threaten to float away on a sea of them. We’ll be sick to the point of endless chundering of pictures of male comedians scratching the back of their head and looking a bit puzzled. We’ll even be talking to charity muggers for some interaction with a stranger that isn’t wearing white face paint. By the way, why does every single play on the Fringe seem to involve white face paint? Everywhere you go you see troupes of teenagers in white face paint, doing a version of Woyzeck or Marat/Sade. I can only imagine it’s because they’re young. Maybe they think that that’s what stage makeup looks like, and under the lights it’ll be fine. They’ll get a nasty surprise when they watch the video.
There was an interesting exchange I overheard on the Royal Mile:
PERFORMER/FLYERER: Hey, come see my show? (or something to that effect)
PASSERBY: No thanks, save a tree.
PERFORMER: (Calling after him) They’re recycled!
PASSERBY: What percent?
That foxed him. The passerby walked away unmolested, didn’t take a flyer, and another tree was safe for another day. This is good advice. If you don’t want to take a flyer, use the ecological argument. And if they protest, make the argument more complicated. Like so:
PERFORMER: Hey, come see my show?
YOU: No thanks, BP Oil Spill.
PERFORMER: Obama’s fixing it, and BP’s gonna pay for it.
YOU: The oil spill should be dealt with through collective struggle, as it’s a question of the commons that affects us all. Corporate-political intervention isn’t enough, we need to from this point collectively question our own dependence on oil.
PERFORMER: It’s got 2 stars from the Scotsman.
YOU: No thanks.
Broderick Chow: Easy, Tiger! is on every day except Sundays at 17:10 throughout August, at Surgeon’s Hall, Nicolson St, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW. Box Office 0845 508 8515
Tickets £5 — presented as part of the Five Pound Fringe