Insider's insight: Canada’s cabaret comedy diva Sharron Matthews
The high – and low – notes of life on the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe
This article is from 2011.
You know my fave place to take a nap in Edinburgh? The hill right beside the Half Price Hut on Princes Street: it is soft, it is shaded by trees and if you place yourself properly, no one can see you sobbing into your phone on a million dollar phone call to Canada … on a cell phone … from Princes Street Gardens … in EDINBURGH!
When you are a new, international performer at the Fringe, like I was just last year, and no one knows you, you have got to fill those seats. Being the performer, producer and promoter, this gal (me) had to come up with a plan.
After battling my jet lag (I know, boo hoo for me, right?), I tried my wares in the Fringe ticket line-up for three hours on my first day. It was not going well. Not well at all – like super bad. I stuffed my sweaty-handed flyers in my bag and took off in a funk. I walked and walked (Edinburgh is freakin’ hilly) and ended up on the aforementioned hill, questioning my existence, my reasons for coming to the Fringe, the clothes that I packed (sundresses and open-toed shoes) … and then I pulled out my recently purchased cell phone and called my husband in Canada, and just cried and complained … and cried … and whined.
All the tourists were staring at me.
So what, people? Have you never seen a grown woman in a sundress (with sport socks, trainers and a hoodie) have a good cry in public?
And then I turned my head … there it was … the Half Price Hut. Like a beacon. Like a mirage. Like a place for me to figure out how to sell my freakin’ show.
The people in this line-up, they wanted to be won over, they wanted the show before the show, they wanted to pretend not to look at you, they wanted you to make them love you and they wanted it all for half price. Those minxes: they’re like a slutty boyfriend who you know will put out eventually, but just needs to be convinced that it’s worth the bother to take off their clothes.
Let it be said that I sold many a ticket there. I sang all of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for one dude.
This year, I want to sell all my tickets for full price. Greedy, I know. But I’ll maybe go and have a skanky cheat with the Half Price Hut a couple of times for old time’s sake.
Sharron Matthews Superstar: Jesus Thinks I’m Funny, Space Cabaret @ 54, 0845 557 6309, until 27 Aug (not 21), 8.05pm, £12.50 (£10.50).