I got two reviews. One was one star. One was four stars. That pretty much sums up the audience responses. Average star rating was therefore 2.5, half a star down on last year, but I got 2 more stars in total. Yippee! I only need a two star review and a five star one and I’ve got the whole set (I suspect the two might come easier than the five). Also, not a single person this year threatened to beat me up shouting “it’s not fucking funny, like your fucking act”. Not a single one! I am progressing. No-one said “I find this deeply offensive”, and no-one said “How long have you been doing this?”. There is a part of me that thinks that means I’m actually regressing in some sense. “When you’re a misanthrope, the praise of others is effectively scorn” – Raph Shirley, in his critically ignored 2011 Edinburgh show.
What I did have, was a lot of walkouts. I had about five shows go seriously southward, frequently involving mass walkouts. I don’t mind a single mass walkout, but little dribs and drabs throughout the act is depressing. But listen yeah, when you are a great artist like me, people will sometimes be confused. They know not what they do. “Let me tell you about another so-called ‘wicked’ guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas and he didn’t always do what other people thought was right. And that man’s name was… I forgot… but the point is… I forgot… Marge, you know who I’m talking about. He used to drive that blue car.” – Homer Simpson.
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Figure 1. Self portrait at end of festival (a copy of a Matthew McConville painting).
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A sample of quotes:
“Raph Shirley is not funny… [He is] an unpleasant, smug, petty-minded, delusional geek who thinks he can make it as a stand-up.” – Tristram Fane Saunders, absurdly named reviewer for the absurdly titled BroadwayBaby.com.
“Tristram Fane Saunders is a mad, pathetic, evil, and wormlike weasel, who may well hit kittens in their adorable little faces, and doesn’t understand proper use of conjunctions in lists… Petty!? Would a petty man write a rigorous refutation of an accusation of pettiness?! Huh?!?! Would they Tristram, you dreadful man?” – Raph Shirley, cool dude.
‘ “Raph Shirley is… funny” – Tristram Fane Saunders, BroadwayBaby.com.’ – Future press release for Raph Shirley.
No, but seriously, I wish him well.
“This has the potential to be fantastic alternative character comedy… a lot of promise, and it’s certainly original.” – Liam McKenna, FringeGuru.com.
“Liam McKenna is the finest reviewer the world has ever known.” – Raph Shirley.
“[laughs] That isn’t even minimum wage! That’s less than a tramp gets.” – Shop worker on hearing how much money I took that day.
“Hi, we saw you last year and came back. You were the best thing we saw on the Free Fringe.” – nice person after show.
When thinking about reviews and reviewers never forget the following fact: the film Love Actually was generally positively reviewed.
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I had one catastrophe of a show (last year, I had about five), when I asked two people to leave because they were “annoying me”. No, but seriously, they were really annoying me though. The atmosphere in the room instantly fell to the floor and I never got them back. I’ve made a graph:
Figure 2. Vibe verses time during final show when I asked some people to leave.
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Love to all my fellow humans (-1),
Non-cynical non-ironic PS:
Thank you to Peter Buckley Hill and everyone else at PBH’s Free Fringe 2012. Thanks also to the extremely friendly and helpful staff at The Globe Bar.