Finally got the leaflets done. It’s always an extraordinary amount of hassle, and I’m sure I would never ever produce a show again if I had anything approximating to a good memory. But every time I forget!
I had this book when I was about four, called ‘Oh Essie!’ about a girl in Africa, who always forgot things. She forgot everything so everybody would say ‘Oh Essie!’ At school she forgot to bring her stuff and everyone said ‘Oh Essie!’ But one day she was selling oranges for her mum in the market, and she finished selling them, put the baby on her back in its sling, and went home. ‘Oh Essie!’ said her mum. ‘That is not our baby! We have our baby here. You have taken someone else’s baby.’ So poor Essie had to trawl about with the stolen baby looking for its mum. Eventually, she put the baby down and he toddled off. Essie followed him to his home. His mum was so pleased that she brought a beautiful new cloth to Essie’s school for her and told everyone at school how wonderful Essie was.
This book gave me rather a positive message about being forgetful. However, it might be better not to forget next time, but to remember that putting on a show is stressful so we remember not to do one next time. Is it good stress? Probably. Gives us something to do. But we are already spending many hours cleaning out the parrots, being on committees, chopping down the burgeoning brambles in the outdoor cage, taking cats to the vet, slug-leaping through rain-sodden wheat fields with the dogs. Not to mention Hampers and Champers dahling, a screen-writing weekend at Regent’s College, friends coming to stay on their way to Glastonbury, the Hockerill Garden Party which went with a bang and teaching, teaching, teaching. Also am writing another book about a girl called Sally-Anne who becomes a surrogate to…ooh, I’d not better give away my plot. I’ll try and get some chapters out here for you soon. I think it’s my best yet but you never know. Might be crap. It’s another black comedy, surprise surprise. There is a very funny murder in it. At least I’ve found my genre. Makes me laugh a lot. Fred helps me with the funny bits in the middle of the night. That sounds rude but so isn’t.
So, apart from all that shizz, what have I been up to? Leaflets. First things first for leaflets, you need photos! I asked Tabby if she could send through some photos of her and Kieran being Mr and Mrs Blood. ‘Mum,’ she said. ‘Mr and Mrs Blood are not the main characters. Jem, Ned and Billy are the main characters.’
‘Ooh, yes, you’re right,’ I said. Mr and Mrs Blood are seductive but they are of course the antagonists, not the heroes.
So, photos. Fred does have a good camera but he always loses it around the house. Our house is terrible for that. Once he lost a whole cupboard full of sound equipment, adaptors, microphones and guitar leads. He lost it for nearly nine months. When he found it he said ‘Aha! There it is.’ I thought that was insanely mild. I would have done a little dance and sung Edelweiss at the top of my lungs for the rest of the day.
When Fred does occasionally come across his camera, he remembers that it has a temperamental auto-focus and thus is not worth finding. Luckily, our friend Alexandra Cameron has always said ‘Please ask if you ever need photos’ as she has been known to drape scantily-clad models around our house for the afternoon. So I did ask. She said ‘yes!’ so I texted the ‘boys.’ I say ‘boys’ as one of them is a girl! They came round, dressed up in grungy gear and smeared themselves with ash from the fireplace. They had a look at this old pic from 2007:
New Jem, Ned and Billy put themselves in front of a black sheet and got into their roles.
The next day, Alexandra sent me this:
Yes, Jem is wearing the same jacket seven years later and is holding the same lantern. Being terrible hoarders, we don’t often throw anything away, and particularly hate throwing dressing-up stuff away.
We were delighted with the pic and and sent it off to ‘Fringeprint‘ who were recommended by our venue. (When it’s not the Fringe they are known as Zed Print.) They were extremely kind to me, techno/pixel-phobe as I am. However kind they are though, there are certain things they need to create the leaflet, that I just don’t understand, pixels being one of them.
Fortunately however, I teach French to a journalist called Brian, who kindly offered to sort out the jolly old pixels and millimetres etc of my image before sending it off. The creation of the leaflet then involved long, convoluted emails on our part and patient, fast replies from Fringe Print. Then several middle-of-the-night emails pinged back and forth from Chloe in Boston. We moved through several drafts, changing most of the text, the atmosphere, the colours. Originally the image had a red glow in addition to the green, which made it too colourful: we wanted more to suggest the mouldiness and gloom of the Victorian sewers.
What we ended up with was this:
This image is going to be on small post-card-size A6 card. These are not as flimsy as the A5 paper leaflets, so won’t disintegrate so quickly in the rain. (See we are not Fringe virgins. We know about the rain.) They are also double-sided. If you are interested to see both sides, click on this: flyermaster.
We went for the Colour Printing Fringepack 1 (recommended for a show lasting one week) which means, for just £95 (special deal for SPACE people) you get 5,000 A6 full colour double-sided flyers printed on 250gsm gloss card and 50 A3 posters printed on 135gsm glossy poster paper. I copied and pasted that last bit. Could you tell? God, I know… even that amount of info makes my eyes glaze over.