Post Edinburgh Debrief … number 1.

We’ve been debriefing …

Debriefing 1

… following our truly successful and incredibly tiring trip to the Edinburgh Festival we, the intrepid band of Nogs, have been debriefing to discover what we did, what we failed to do, whether we achieved what we wanted to achieve and, most importantly, where we go next!

For all those of you who helped us financially on our Kickstarter campaign, all those who came to see the show, those who sent messages of support, those who helped in various other ways, we have decided … we have enough possible/probable and improbable venues who want to book the show, that we’re touring next year! Huzzah! So thank you all!

Dragon in Van

Groliffe, the charming and slightly scary Ice Dragon will once again have to be coaxed into the van, as will the aged (well, three aged and one still young enough to be moist from the womb) performers, who, with aching limbs, loose skin and morals to match will moan and grumble about the price of service station coffee, the price of diesel, the price of … well, just about everything but … into the van they will get.

There is, of course, a huge amount of work to do before then. Putting together a tour is not an easy thing; for a start, everyone seems to want the same dates, and those who don’t, want dates next to another venue that is the other end of the country. We have to try and avoid the alphabetical tour: Monday Aberdeen, Tuesday Brighton, Wednesday Carlisle, Thursday Devizes … you get the picture. And then there are some venues that really, really, really want us but because they have a small seating capacity, they can’t afford us. We also have to make sure that the prime times, which with a family show, seem to be half term and weekends … that we are in the bigger venues where more people can get to see it; apart from anything else it makes financial sense for us.

Lighthouse Stage 1

Places like the Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, for instance has hundreds of seats, and when we were there last year, we filled quite a lot of them; this meant a good income for the theatre and for us too. It is so ridiculously expensive to tour these days. I don’t want to bore you but … five people on the road equals five wages, five sets of per deums, five hotel rooms … and then there’s the aforementioned diesel, the print runs of posters, flyers, programmes, and the insurance, the photographer, the venue booker, the PR, the … the … the … it goes on and on. So, in order to put together a tour, we have to be clever (not normally our strong suit), we have to be able to drive a hard bargain (again, we’re too nice), we have to be able to turn bookings down (really, really not easy when you’ve spent your whole life trying to get the ruddy things), we have to be grown-up and businesslike …

ThorNogson and Noggin

ThorNogson and Noggin

… do they appear to be grown-up businesslike to you?

Well, actually we are … though we do have a tendency to fall back to our default setting which is … “you can’t afford it? Never mind … we’ll see what we can do …” which usually ends up that we take a bit of a financial hit but the show is so important to us, that we want everyone who wants to see it, see it! And money is only money!

Money

For those of you who are artists; this is what money looks like.

So, watch this space over the coming months and we’ll keep you up to date with how the preliminary work (sounds exciting, doesn’t it) is coming along and as soon as we have definite dates and venues all booked in we’ll put that up too!

 

 

 

 

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Edinburgh Diary … number 5

★★★★★ Three Weeks

★★★★ The Independent

★★★★ The Stage

★★★★ The List

★★★★ Broadway Baby

Nogbad Spies

Nogbad the Bad searches for more 5★ reviews.

Below are links to various reviews:

http://www.threeweeks.co.uk/article/ed2014-childrens-show-review-the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog-third-party-productions/

http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/63205-the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog/

http://www.thestage.co.uk/edinburgh-reviews/72826/the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog/

http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog/701276

Can’t find a link to the independent review … so here’s a photo of it …

Independent Review

Alright, trumpet blowing complete.

What have we been up to since last we met?

Well, we have all, of course, been battling against the Edinburgh summer … and at times losing. I got trench foot from wearing damp socks, and snuffles and sniffles have been appearing due to the ridiculous summer clothing we brought into the arctic bluster of Edinburgh in August. Despite all that we have had a lovely time. We have seen theatre good and appalling, comedy funny and otherwise, dance of beauty and downright poor and we have all so far got a favourite. I’m not telling yet, it isn’t really fair!

I’ve had a few disappointments … waiting at Summerhall twenty five minutes for a ticket only to be told that that particular show is sold out … surely not difficult to write on a blackboard which shows are sold out so as not to force people to wait twenty-five minutes for a show that is sold out! I’ve listened to some great music; much of it free in the streets and there is, of course, a fabulous atmosphere in the city. I have seen unicyclists, jugglers, nurses, mimes, clowns, zombies, tarts and vicars, aliens and voca people … and that is whilst just popping for a coffee. I’ve walked a few hundred yards and been given a few hundred flyers … I’m always nice, I always take a flyer and usually have a chat with the flyerers … it is a fairly dispiriting task when no-one takes a flyer and so many people are just downright rude. The funniest ones though are the ones that pretend you are not there … they walk up to you, they can’t not have seen you and then just ignore you totally when you try to engage with them … they make I laugh!

I went to the circus last night … the NoFitState circus … unbelievable … incredible … do go and see it, it is a masterpiece of energy, skill, inventiveness and sheer brilliance in its design and conception … well worth a few of your coins of the realm! It is mesmerising!

Snogging the Snog: Noggin and Nooka of the Nooks.

Snogging the Snog: Noggin and Nooka of the Nooks.

The Sagas of Noggin the Nog is going from strength to strength … we have a great routine in setting up … we can do it in about twelve minutes … set/costumes/projectors/puppets, the lot. Not bad really and the getting out is even quicker!

For those people who have seen the show and are looking to book it into their venue or for their event … the play here in Edinburgh is slightly truncated … we had to fit it into an hour slot. The full length show is about 70 to 75 minutes and we play it with an interval of 15 to 20 minutes, so it is a full length play for families. 90 minutes in all.

I have read a lot of tosh about how Edinburgh is ruining touring theatre … of course it isn’t sillies! Every professional theatre company that tours regularly understands how theatre works … we know what venues want and we know what audiences want. To suggest that theatre companies aren’t clever enough to make a piece of theatre that plays at the Edinburgh Fringe and can then play to arts centres, theatres and other venues around the country, is very demeaning to those professional companies that have made their livings from touring … we know how it works … that is what we do, so please don’t be so condescending and superior to professional touring theatre. The very idea that Edinburgh is forcing companies to create shows that can only be performed at Edinburgh is quite, quite pathetic and could only have been suggested by someone who (excuse me for this) has their head up their own arses!

Anyway, mild rant over … we have a few more days left here in “sunny” Edinburgh, so don’t wait too long to book your ticket. See you in George Square Gardens at 12.50 every day!

Edinburgh Diary Number … 4

Nogs in the Rain 1

There is a bit of a theme here as you can see … the theme is moisture … quite cold moisture coming from the sky! And quite a lot of it!

Yesterday (Sunday 10th August) there was a huge amount of it; it seeped down necks, into shoes and up careless sleeves. Just as we were about to do our get-in for todays show, which we have to do in about fifteen minutes, the heavens opened, the sky cracked and the thunder thundered. Loudly! We splashed through water with barrels and boxes, puppets and props. We paddled across the stage and slipped and skidded like swans on an ice covered lake as we tried to lift the main part of our set. There was a waterfall coming through the centre of the roof … just where we put one of our two projectors. A message was sent and received and within two minutes two of the Assembly team turned up with a ladder (we had the same problem a few days ago which I think I’ mentioned in the Edinburgh Diary a while ago). One of the team shinned up a ridiculously tall ladder and armed with bits of material and gaffer tape, staunched the flow. The space was mopped, the projectors set and turned on and in came the audience.

It is a funny thing when there is a bit of a panic: a Dunkirk spirit seems to enter all involved. The first two minutes of the performance were quite difficult because of the unbelievable noise coming from the roof of the tent. The tent has wooden sides, a wooden floor and a canvas roof with a little dome on the top which acts as a vent to let hot air escape … it also, apparently, lets in wind blown water. The canvas roof performs a little like a drum … with us and the audience sitting inside it. So the first few minutes of the play sounded as though three hundred Ginger Bakers were belting away at a snare-drum. We talked very loudly and added a few little jokes in about the noise, water, etc. The audience, which was a remarkably large audience for such a miserable day, hunkered down in their seats and decided to go with us and enjoy whatever happened next.

Nogbad Spies

Nogbad the Bad looks for where the next wave of rain will come from!

Monday … we had a day off. The first for a few weeks. I had intended to do all sorts of things … I did nothing but read a book, watch a black and white film or two, doze and eat. I was a tired bunny and the weather wasn’t that conducive to going out and having fun. It was the first time in weeks that I’ve managed to have a really lazy day. I did, after a couple of small glasses of beer at The Caley Sample Room, start to think about theatre, other projects, re-inventing one’s self, searching for new audiences, finding new ways of doing things, and on and on … this is, I think, one of the exciting things about coming to the Edinburgh Fringe. There are so many people up here doing great things that it makes you want to create new work, and little conversations here and odd visual stimuli there begin to get your creative juices flowing and, more importantly, make you question your own methods and ways of working. All kinds of new thoughts came rushing in … these are still going round and round my head today.

Tuesday 12th August … funnily it rained again today … and the wind blew but still we had a lovely and quite big audience, which for a wet Tuesday was very pleasing. Tony and I then went to a discussion about touring theatre for young people internationally at the Summerhall venue. It was interesting though I’m not sure I learned a great deal that was new … but it was great to meet other practitioners and talk about each others work over a glass or two. So thank you to all at Imaginate and the others on the discussion panel.

Tomorrow is another day … and another wet day I suspect, though it has been promised that the rain will be warmer tomorrow!