Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Writing an Edinburgh Show (Part 1)

I’ve been noticeably unproductive over the past 7 months, I think since I finished working on Gaffer and the uncertainty about my directing career and what to do next, so at Christmas I realised that I needed to jump back on the metaphorical horse. There’s a few play’s I’d love to direct but finances and finding the right company to work with don’t allow at the moment so I’ve started looking at my comedy again. Or have I?

I ask that question because I feel I’m moving away from comedy and more into a storytelling/comedy/theatre mash up sort of place where I can do the more arty stories. So at Christmas I decided I’d do an Edinburgh hour, not stand-up or theatre, my mash up. I was worried about this for a bit but then started listening to Stuart Goldsmith’s (amazing) Comedian’s Comedian podcast and four episodes really struck me:

  • Ross Noble – talks about being free to do your own thing and how it makes you happy.
  • Phil Nichol – on how rewarding doing the more arty work is (while it being okay to have a club set)
  • Max & Ivan – talking about doing their first shows and taking that risk

I found them really inspiring but the brutal one was Gary Delaney, he spoke about the need to work hard to achieve anything and really commit. So obvious yet hard to see for me sometimes. So I’ve decided to do it, create the best show I can. At the moment I’ve applied to a venue, so this show may be for Edinburgh or it may be for a one-off show or maybe Liverpool Comedy Fest or maybe something more theatre-based. I’ve a title, “Stories About Love (and other fictional concepts)” and a rough idea that it’ll be based off a story I wrote about a man at a station. I bought a loop pedal so there will be a looped backing track..

storiesI started writing it properly today (with fierce intensity) – when I’m writing a story it generally takes me an hour for 1 minute of material so I think it’ll take about 45 hours to get the story in place then more to get the stand up together and then more for the music and then, oh shit, what have I done… Overall I think maybe 60 – 70 hours before I can show a full thing. Maybe less because it’s based on other bit’s I’ve written but not necessarily said.

The last story I wrote (The Station – Listen here, it’ll give a flavour of what I do) was originally written for Keifer’s gig in Liverpool. I wrote it over three weeks and then, on the day of the gig read it to Al Clark. The first draft was about 35 mins. Then cut brutally so it was 25 mins, then it was 15 mins and it’s now around 14 mins. So with that as a basis, I need to write approx 90 mins of story, and then brutally assassinate it so it becomes shorter and sharper and, well, y’know, good.

Anyway, I’ve started and I’m going to try and blog about it regularly, because inevitably when I write about writing I get ideas about what I’m writing and hopefully titillate you into wanting to see the final show…

If you want to keep up with what I’m doing please join my mailing list by clicking here (currently 2 people have joined)! Last but not least I’ve a gig next week at the Lantern Theatre (Link here), everyone else on is better than me so, it’ll be good right? Oh and I’ll be doing The Station story…  Drop us a comment below if you have a sec. Night x