Article / Directing Diary / Directing/Producing / / When All the Crowds Have Gone [2010] / Writing: Journalism

A Candid Insight into my Brighton Fringe Production: #1: First Thoughts


Most Brighton Fringe shows actually start being planned around October/November of the year before. A collection of random ideas and thoughts, normally shared with friends and/or colleagues over a pint or a coffee or something similar, develop into a full idea, and suddenly the next 6-7 months are completely lost!

Of course, it’s not quite as poetic as that most of the time: sometimes desperate performers decide to do something, anything to be involved in the arts bonanza that is the Fringe, other times you just get hired. My current project is a nice mixture of most of the above: I’d just returned from the Edinburgh Festival 2009, where my show A Fistful of Snow did very well indeed, and was just embarking on the very beginnings of my writing career. One of the writers I had met “oop Narth”, Lucy Nordberg, was working on various theatre projects, so I started doing a bit of work for her, and the thought of doing a Brighton Fringe show came up.

We agreed that, if we did a show at the Fringe, it would be a cheap way to get her a bit more notoriety: she’s been writing for years, but hasn’t put on much of her own material, meaning that much of it languishes in drawers rather than being seen and read by discerning audiences. Being a very talented author, I wanted to help Lucy ‘get her name out there’, as well as use the opportunity to direct some really clever and wordy pieces of theatre: exactly my sort of thing.

Well, I say ‘exactly’… My directing has been rather schizophrenic over the years: it’s either been surreal comedy or full length epic drama. I suppose there are worse things to be known for, and it also means my full-length directing projects often have a quirky sense of humour, while my short comedy shows are often rather overly epic; neither bad things, I reckon.

So, Lucy and I decided to tackle one of her scripts, and When All the Crowds Have Gone immediately stood out: a hugely epic piece about very human issues, interesting characters, great situations… I was hooked, and after a couple of edits, we registered, and our Fringe project for 2010 was underway.

Tomorrow, the trials and tribulations of finding everything and everyone you need, from venues to actors!



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