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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adam Riches gives Edinburgh Fringe advice

CHARACTER comic Adam Riches is performing at London's Soho Theatre next month. In February, he's doing a five-week run of Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches, a highly acclaimed award-winning show spotted in Edinburgh by the theatre last year.

Before he does that, however, he's rather generously giving an impromptu talk on 27 January about getting a show together for the Edinburgh Fringe. It's a subject he knows well, having taken seven shows, including a self-confessed "one-star flop" and his most recent Fosters Comedy Award-winner.

He'll be recounting his experiences of putting on a show under his own steam and answering your questions about trying to do the same thing. More details about it here.

Sounds like a great opportunity. I didn't speak to Riches for The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, but I did interview Mark Godfrey, executive producer of Soho Theatre. In the book, Godfrey talks about the importance of the Edinburgh Fringe to his programming, the pull of the bigger venues and the best approach to take if you want to get a producer to see your show.

He also talked about the competition a newer comedian faces from the bigger-name stand-ups and the fine art of choosing the right time slot. It didn't make the final cut of the book, so it's a blog exclusive (yes, dear reader, that's how generous I am): "If you're going at 8pm and 9pm, which people seem to think are great time slots, then you're going up against the established comedians. If you’re slightly newer, I would think about trying to get a 5pm slot when you've got less competition. If you do well, people will want to see comedy at that time. When you're looking for shows to see, it's always nice to find something that's at a time you can do, whereas the other ones you have to trade off against each other."

In terms of the kind of work he's looking for, Godfrey said this: "You're looking for a spark of talent or something different, something that feels original or that you haven't seen before, something that feels fresh to you. People should do what they want to do and then they should look around and decide where they want to take it and I'm sure they will find the right match for whatever they want to do."

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About Me

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Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.