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Notes from The Fringe

Sophie Joans reports back from Edinburgh, and finds that it is a lot like the Alexander Bar.

“Fringe is the future, live performance is the last line of defence against AI.”

Sophie’s one-woman show, Île, has been nominated for the Filipa Bragança Award for Best Solo Female, Female-Identifying or Non-Binary Artist Performer.

“Thank you to the judges, and thank you to all the strangers who took a gamble on a show they’d never seen, and a performer they’d never heard of.”

We remember how terrified Sophie was just a few giddy weeks ago when she arrived at the festival. With just two 3-star reviews under her belt, she says she suddenly thought sh*t what “if the UK audience don’t get my lava lamps pranks and crazy family stories”. Ed’s note: Who doesn’t love a lava lamp?

Now Sophie, who is also the winner of the Writer’s Bite Award (Best Script) at BiteSize Festival at Riverside Studios in London, has ended “with a ton of heartfelt and lovely audience comments, and a nomination”.

She says she is honoured to have been nominated for the Filipa Bragança Award, “which commemorates the brilliant actress who passed away at just 25 in 2016, just as her career was taking off”.

Some of Sophie’s other notes from the Fringe …

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a phenomenal thing. I have seen so much brilliant theatre I don’t think my mind can be blown one more time without permanent damage.

Our old home from home: The Alex

I remember chatting to Nicholas Spagnoletti, who told me that his and Edward van Kuik’s vision behind the Alexander Bar was to have a year-round Fringe Festival venue.

And you felt it – the buzz, the new shows every week, the brilliant little shows, and the silly ones … Just people playing, making offerings on that stage, trying to figure things out through theatre.

Back to Edinburgh …

I’ve also seen plays that might not be brilliant, that might be small and in a tent, or a bus, or a little black box, but that were trying something new. Exploring something undiscovered. Trying to figure out forms and ways of saying something.

People who didn’t perfectly know what they were doing, but tried to do it anyway (I include myself in this list).

She adds “a shout-out to everyone trying to kickstart small and experimental theatre spaces post-pandemic”.

To everyone else: “Please go watch what they’re showing!” @TheatreArts in Obs, @Toneelheuis and @OutloreBase in town.

But right now, boy oh boy, do I miss that special spot at 76 Strand Street #AlexanderBar.

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26th August 2023 1:36 pm

So miss Nicholas’s Alexander Bar (going to dent the weak Rand too heavily to go to the volcano at Edinburgh Fringe 😂)

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