EVERY Fringe audience is different, but over the last few years performing stand-up comedy I’ve begun to identify how you can predict the kind of crowd you’ll get based on the day of the week.
Saturday night crowds tend to be sold out, and therefore full of organised people who have booked ahead. They’ve also paid full price and have high expectations. They might be slow to warm up but usually end up really good fun. Sunday crowds are a lot more chilledout, laid-back and relaxed, although if you’re not careful this can slide into a lack of energy.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday crowds tend to be a mixture of committed Fringe goers with a smattering of people who picked up a flyer that day and decided to take a chance. Numbers vary but they are often the most enjoyable gigs to play. Thursday crowds tend to be good fun. After all, the week is nearly over, people are in a good mood but no one is too drunk.
And then we come to Friday crowds. Last year I had a brilliant time in Edinburgh, but I had a few weird audiences. And they all came on Fridays. On Fridays you get the sense that some people started drinking at lunchtime and have carried on relentlessly until stumbling barely conscious into your show. And that’s if you’re on in the afternoon. If you’re on later it’s even worse. The likelihood of heckling, shouting and puking is massively increased on a Friday. And if it’s also a full moon then you know you’re really in trouble.
Last year I had various bizarre incidents on Fridays. One man got up to go for a wee during my show, then decided that an excellent place to do it would be behind the curtain at the back of the stage. Another man was so drunk that he started throwing things at me, including a football. I caught it, opened the door to the venue and told him to “fetch!” Sadly he didn’t.
And then on the final Friday of the Fringe my parents came to my show for the first time, and ended up seeing me having to deal with the fact that half of the audience was in fancy dress and everyone was rat-arsed. They were very proud. And scared.
So if you ever go to a comedy show on a Friday be aware that you’re likely to be part of the strangest audience the comedian has had all week. You’ll probably have a great time but you might not remember it in the morning. And don’t bring a football.
● Matt Green in Bleeding Funny is at the Pleasance Courtyard, 8:15pm, until tomorrow.
SARAH-LOUISE YOUNG NOT for the first time today I have been mistaken for a porn star: it’s largely down to sharing a name with Britain’s most successful adult export, Sarah Louise Young (drop the hyphen and Google and you enter an explosion of online content featuring such seminal works as Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend).
It is also due to the title of my new show, Cabaret Whore
Encore! which I am performing at the Fringe after last year’s success with Cabaret Whore, This show won an award, toured Australia and ended up at the Soho Theatre, London.
Anyway, it is proving a bit tricky as a lot of journalists with overzealous spam filters are mistaking my press releases for offers of penis enlargements. This is my eighth year on the Fringe and I am used to producing my own work but next year I may need to pick a more innocent title.
Featuring character comedy and ten original songs the show isn’t exactly X-rated, but I wouldn’t advise that children attend. There’s a drug-fuelled Broadway diva, an EU-funded performance artiste, a Godbothering Australian and a knife-wielding Frenchwoman all fighting it out on stage.
So if you are searching the web, don’t forget the hyphen – and if you stumble across some dodgy erotic writing, or “Cliterature” from a few years back, please forgive me: I was a poverty-stricken student and I thought nobody would notice…
Sarah-Louise Young (not Sarah Louise Young) performs her show Cabaret Whore Encore! at Laughing Horse @ the Three Sisters, 6:15pm, until 29 August. She is also appearing in Vive Le
Cabaret at Pleasance at Ghillie Duhu, tonight until Monday, 9:30pm, and Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at Gilded Balloon Teviot, 10:50pm, until 30 August.
Sarah-Louise Young may share her name with a porn star but her Cabaret Whore is not x-rated