Karen Koren: When one show closes another one opens . . .

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The Festival is creeping up fast and we are really pleased to say that tickets are selling tremendously well.

Those panto boys Andy Gray and Grant Stott’s show Kiss Me Honey, Honey is selling brilliantly. Our sales are already up on this time last year, so it is looking good.

There was a disappointing start to the week, however, as three shows out of 110, have pulled out of the Festival. It is one of the most disappointing parts of the job that shows pull out at short notice and the work that has already been done on advertising and putting entries in the Fringe Brochure and our own Brochure, is all for nothing.

Two of the shows are from Australia, Mel Buttle and Tommy Little - such a shame, as they are great performers. They were offered some television work in Australia, which they found impossible to turn down. The television industry in Australia is very small, opportunities being few and far between

The other show that pulled out was a lunchtime show called Good Enough Mum’s Club! Unfortunately it is going to be too difficult to fill all of these slots, though I am going to give it a try.

I am pleased to say that Bec Hill has stepped up to the plate and will fill Mel Buttle’s shoes and perform a show for the full three weeks. Bec is from Australia too, though lives in London. She is performing in a children’s show called Bec & Tom’s Awesome Laundry.

Bec is equally comfortable performing to adults as well as children. This will be the fourth year she has performed at the Gilded Balloon. Her style is very chatty and personable with paper-puppetry, music and skits. She has become a worldwide Youtube sensation.

This week will be spent looking for replacement shows. Even if they don’t happen, we still have an incredibly strong programme. Look forward to Caroline Rhea coming back, who is doing a children’s show in the morning, as well as her own show in the evening. I notice that I have programmed lots of strong women - just how I like it!