Fran Day Stands Up for science at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Monday 5th September 2016
A few weeks ago I took my one-woman stand-up show Physics Fan Fiction to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Physics Fan Fiction takes an irreverent and occasionally surreal look at what theoretical physicists do all day, taking in feminism, Brexit and the apocalypse along the way. It was an incredible experience, made more so by the support I received from Science Oxford (who sponsored me), PBH’s Free Fringe and many comedy-loving individuals. As I am still too tired to write in complete prose, this blog post will be in the form of a trendy bullet point list. With that in mind, here is what I learnt at the Fringe:
· There is a wonderful, abundant appetite for science comedy at the Fringe. I am told that the average audience for a Fringe show is 3. My average audience was about 30 epic individuals eager for some jokes about theoretical physics. There were often a few professional scientists in the crowd, but there were many more non-experts from a diverse range of backgrounds.
· You haven’t lived until you’ve walked down The Royal Mile on the opening weekend of the Fringe while carrying a mini-hoover.
· Any show can be made 10 times better with the addition of a colourful explosion. It was a crucial science demonstration, of course.
· If you are a performer of any kind, make friends with an artist immediately. They will design your flyers, film your show and generally make the whole thing not a disaster.
· My most consistent laughs were slightly embellished true stories. Children are incredibly witty, and it’s all downhill from there.
· Doing a preview show was invaluable. Science Oxford organised a phenomenal preview for me, which gave me the chance to try out new material and fine tune my show.
· And finally, the whole thing is incredibly tiring. For your amusement, I took before and after selfies on the trains to and from Edinburgh:
I’m not pulling a face, that’s just what I looked like.
The Fringe was an unparalleled opportunity for me as a performer. I honed my show, made new contacts and took part in my first panel show. I am looking forward to going onwards and upwards over the next year.