If you don’t know what you are doing in August 2014, then you have to go to Edinburgh. Whiskey? Yes! Beer? Yes! A show to match? You bet! Putting on thousands (!) of shows every August, this city is the place to go to if you like comedy, theatre, music or performance art. If you don’t like any of those things, please stop reading and check if you have a pulse.
I have just spent my August in Edinburgh and my Fringe experience has been absolutely amazing. I have seen some fantastic acts, met inspiring performers and artists, doing my own show for a full month. The crowds are fantastic. I have been performing for some years in Denmark and Sweden, but I have never had an audience that were so ready so curious and really looking to experience something new.
Every day I would hand out flyers in front of my venue. People would stop and ask who I was and what the show was about. Interested to hear what I had to offer, I would tell them: ”I am a Danish comedian. The show is 53 minutes about 52 sheep.” (It is not all about sheep, which actually seemed to discourage the Welsh …) Many of them would then choose to come inside and listen to my material for a full hour. They were ready to take a chance. Spend 60 minutes with a random bearded Danish comedian and I was so grateful to all of them (except the American family who sat in the back of the room and fell asleep).
I had several days when all the seats were full and people stood in the back for an hour. That is a truly humbling experience, and there really is a great synergy to that. When audiences are so willing, I can’t help but be excited and do my very best to try and give them a good show.
This is not the way most Danes treat comedy. So this is my plea: English-speakers of Copenhagen. Please help me teach the Danes at the Zulu Comedy Festival, but for some reason, seems to have gone unnoticed by most of Copenhagen. I know it is unfair to compare a young Danish festival to the largest festival in the world, but I think we can learn from what is being done over there and learn from the way people from outside of Denmark enjoy comedy.
You can change this. Go and see some of the shows. Take your Danish friends and colleagues. Start by coming to my show on Saturday August 31. It’s at 9pm at Bispebjerg Comedy Corner and if you say the code “I brought a Dane”, you get in 2 for 1.
I hope you enjoy your festival.