Karen Koren: Festival’s over, but next year

CELIA PACQUOLA: LET ME KNOW HOW IT ALL WORKS OUT. Pic: Comp
CELIA PACQUOLA: LET ME KNOW HOW IT ALL WORKS OUT. Pic: Comp
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It’s over for another year and there will be a lot of tired and weary performers travelling home today after successes or failures.

There is nothing like the feeling of nearly four weeks of flyering, trying to get audiences and the highs and the lows that come with the territory.

On reflection its been a good year, not necessarily a bumper year, lots of highs and lows. The highs were lots of award-winning shows - Celia Pacquola (pictured) won the Amused Moose Laughter Award, The Collector won a Fringe First, Bec and Tom’s Awesome Laundry won the Three Weeks Editors Pick, Arabian won Primary Times Children’s Choice Award, Aidan Strangeman won Fosters So You Think You’re Funny? and Hennessy and Friends won Best New Sketch Act.

Not that success need be measured by Awards. There were plenty of shows that sold out, just because they were really good, likeThe Rubber Bandits, Late’n’Live, while Black is the Color of my Voice had a standing ovation the day I was there. I have made a new friend in Tom Rhodes and doing his podcast was fun. Also, Eric and Little Ern, which will be touring this autumn.

I am particularly proud of the girls who were on at the Gilded Balloon. Zoe Lyons, Cal Wilson, Bec Hill, Celia Pacquola, Tiff Stevenson, Wendy Wason, Katie Mulgrew, Abolgaliah Schaumann, Lucie Pohl, Titty Bar Ha Ha girls, Croft and Pearce, Demi Lardner, Juliette Burton and Ria Lina, all did well.

What were the lows? The rain was constant, and 6 degrees at night in what is meant to be summer.

The McEwan Hall walkway closure meant access to the Gilded Balloon was from only one side. The Free Gaza protest, which was aimed at the venue next door, was in the front of our building, which disturbed a lot of our shows. Also we had a number of personality photographs stolen from the wall on the way into the bar.

I found out that Dara O’Briain had taken the photo of Tommy Tiernan, a prank I understand, and the framed photo is being returned!

Roll on next year!