Road Ready


“By the time we get to Edinburgh,” said ‘Wretch Like Me’ director Sheri Lee Miller, in an email following a rehearsal a few weeks back, “you will know this show well enough to say every line while drunk, with a wedgie, and a pit bull on your leg.”
Later, she amended her statement.
“Biting. Not humping. The pit bull. Though both would be distracting.”
Her point was well made, and she was (of course) absolutely correct.
By the time I step out onto the stage of the Surgeon’s Hall, on Friday August 1, with a live audience (I hope!) occupying some or all of those fifty-one seats, I will have plenty of other elements to be retching with.
1. Jet lag.
2. An international audience who may or may not struggle with some of what I’m talking about in the show.
3. Unknown and unpredictable conditions in the theater (which is normally a conference room, not a theater at all).
4. A ridiculously small (15 feet wide by 6 feet deep) stage.
5. And a no-doubt considerable overflow of excitement, nerves, and other forms of intense emotion (after all, I have been working for over five years to make this happen and, including the direct contributions of the current Team Wretch and all previous participants in TW, arriving on stage in Edinburgh will mark one of the biggest milestones of my life), which could make things interesting.
So, as I step out tonight into the 6X15 rectangle Robin and Andy have taped onto the wooden stage floor of Cinnabar Theater, and as I begin what will be the final local performance for quite a while, I know that ‘Wretch’ is now as ‘road ready’ and ‘drunken/wedgie/pit bull proof’ as it is going to be.
Based on last night’s performance, I would say that, if the reaction of my audience is any indication, then yes . . . I am ready.
And I feel it, too.
After all these years, and the last several months of hard work on many people’s part, I am finally ready (and this weird little, deeply personal show is ready) for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
And now the question is . . . is Edinburgh ready for us?


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