Over the last four years at the Fringe I’ve sold myself as a performer with a wardrobe Liberace would be proud of, and I performed at a plethora of variety shows the festival offers. For this, my fifth Fringe, I’ve ripped off the eyelashes and made a difficult but strategic decision to step out of the limelight.
I’m making my Fringe directorial debut at the age of 26 - even I admire my audacity- with Unhappy Birthday, a party / show about Amy Lamé’s obsession with The Smiths front man Morrissey.
With my new directors hat on I was worried I might miss showing off at the festival. Performers may not like to admit this but we have what my Mum might call ‘ideas above our station’. I thought taking a less public role would damage my easily bruised ego. On the contrary I’ve found it a liberating experience and left me wondering if it may be time to hang up my size 9 stilettos.
Being a director means you throw all self adoration out of the window – please refer to previously mentioned ego. Although I may not be the one receiving the applause each night there is something wonderfully gratifying about getting ideas out of my head, into a show, and watch it being played out just the way I like it. As a performer this is a luxury you are rarely awarded.
I’m really enjoying experiencing the Fringe through different eyes this year. It has reinvented my relationship with a festival that, in previous years as a performer, left me deflated, depressed and in debt.
Will I ever perform at the Fringe again? I don’t know, I’ve stepped out of the limelight and so far, so good but I'm not ready to part with my stilettos just yet.