edinburgh fringe

George Blackman And The Joy Of The Tatti Dog

I’m taking Between Us to Edinburgh Fringe for the first time this year, so I wanted to hear from other seasoned improvisers about their Edinburgh experiences. I caught up with George Blackman who, along with Andy Blackwell, is directing York University’s The Shambles

Rachel: The Shambles have been doing Edinburgh for 12 years. Tell us about this year’s show.

George: Hilarious scenes, songs and games. With over 100 games at our disposal, we’ll turn whatever you shout at us into a high-energy performance of concentrated silliness right on the spot.

Rachel: Have you got any tips for newbies?

George: Prepare for a slow build. We’re lucky to have become a troupe that Fringe improv nerds have heard of, and so we always have a few keen beans showing up to shows early in the run. Don’t stress about a few quiet shows. If you know your show is good, chill out, keep plugging away, flyer well, and word will get out.

Rachel: What do you enjoy about performing at Edinburgh? 

George: Piemaker. Before and after every show.

Rachel: What do you find difficult about performing at Edinburgh? 

George: Last year Piemaker ran out of Tatti Dogs and I was inconsolable. Edinburgh is exhausting. We’re up at 10am, rehearse until 12pm, variously flyer from 1pm-5pm, try to see shows until 9pm, flyer again until 10pm, perform until 11pm, home by midnight, up again at 10am. Rinse, repeat, crash.

Rachel: Do you have any promotion tips?, 

George: Something instantly recognisable helps. If you see a massive red balloon being flown on a flag, that’s us. Also tweet, people! We have some really great relationships with other troupes and audience members which began with a humble 240 characters. And don’t be rude about other shows just to try and make yours seem better. 

Rachel: What about money tips? 

George: Pick up a flyering job on the Flyerer Network Facebook page. Good eggs all round on there. £10 for an hour of flyering is four Tatti Dogs paid for like that.

Rachel: As well as sampling local cuisine, do you have any other plans this year?

George: We always have a brilliant jam night with Edinburgh’s own Improverts, and have organised another for 2019, We’d love to jam with a couple more troupes as well this year. It’s great fun, it pushes your skills, and it results in scenes you’d otherwise never arrive at. 

Rachel: And where can we see your show?

George: The Shambles is at theSpace On The Mile every day except Sundays at 22:05. .

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