Surviving the Festival

The truck, all locked and loaded. Photo: Amy Jephta

Survival. Supposedly it’s for the fittest. In that case I really didn’t expect to still be standing after the festival, but though I’m out of breath I am still breathing. I went up this year with London Road and the ladies conquered St Andrew’s Hall and the fest generally (I’m not sure of the final figures, but London Road looks to have taken the title of highest grossing production this year). But the real sweat had come before the festival began with the preproduction for the Cape Town Edge.

For a little back story: Tanya from FTH:K had approached Tara and me to run the Edge in 2011 at the end of last year; we accepted and set about planning, with Tara bringing fellow Pink Coucher Mat Lewis in.  We divided the project up as best we could; my portfolio was the budget and marketing materials. As Tara’s schedule began to fill up with amazing opportunities we brought in Fiona Gordon to be our Tara surrogate. But enough about them… back to me.

Marketing materials boils down to all the print and web media and making sure it could be accessed by the groups and by interested press people. So we started small with a revamp of the CTE logo and built up through posters, press kits, badges, flyers, facebook pages, a blog and then to the hardest part: the Booklet. I went a little mad. What I’m most proud of if kicking the ass of skeptics who believe that Photoshop is a bad choice to do a booklet in. Using my full knowledge of the program (and learning a couple of new tricks) I worked out a damn efficient method. I now know that anyone who tells you it can’t be done is just someone who can’t do it (put that on an inspirational poster).

During the fest itself I stepped back from the Edge and let Mat and Fiona handle things. Mat is an exceptional and imaginative techie, which is a shame considering how gifted he is as an actor, and got everything running smoothly inside while Fiona and Dani Le Chat made the outside fun and funky.

But all the hard work would have meant very little if it wasn’t for Mark from Fushin. He is a legend and saved the day, bringing in amazing tents, delicious hot food straight from a mobile kitchen and, best of all, a liquor license.

It wasn’t all fun and games though. On the drive up the Nic Danger team were in a car accident and had to cancel the show. There was a lot of confusion that first day and the feeling was that the slot was a loss. But as it became clearer what everyone’s injuries were a spirit of togetherness kicked in. Trent was the worst injured and he was flown back to Cape Town. The remaining ninjas banded together and decided to use all their contacts to put together a comedy variety show. Lots of comics and performers came to the party, giving their time to look silly on stage to help raise funds to pay for Trent’s hospital bills. It was really a moment of feeling that the theatre is a community, not an industry. Other artists and producers made donations direct to the hospital. So, a big thank you to all everyone and especially to the audiences. Thank you a thousand times.

So we survived. Now to start planning for next year…

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