Two sold out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.
How did we get here?!
I distinctly remember the first show Rhymes With Orange did three years ago. Our friends and us packed into the too small, upstairs events room of a pub. The original Oranges all sweating bullets, more from nerves than the sweltering heat – most of us had never written and read stand-up poems before.
Now: Fast-forward to the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Big Belly space at Underbelly Cowgate is buzzing.
Kim slinks up to the stage wearing a beret and an expression of mock angst. She launches into a melodramatic, clichéd confession of PAIN (oh the pain!)
At first the audience quiets, not sure what to make of it. Then: Thomas leaps up, kicks her off the stage, and tells the audience how it’s actually going to be: shake those rattles! The audience whoops and hollers and we’re off!
It’s another night of raucous, high-energy stand-up poetry that our regular audiences have come to know. The show is especially polished and tight. Each of us performs one poem and introduces the next poet, one after another, ultimately returning to stage multiple time to reprise some of the audiences’ (and our!) favourite pieces from the past few years.
Personally, I was blown away. Having had to bow out after the first year of RWO to study in America, it was a mind blowing to see how much people had grown in the subsequent two years. No more sweaty amateurs playing to their friends. These were supremely confident performers and poets – dare I say professionals? – rocking a fringe audience in a professional venue. Our reviewers agreed, claiming, “[these] writers and poets perform with verve, energy and real commitment.” And that was our first show (THEY SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE SECOND.)
This wasn’t an accident. Lots of work went into the show as the crew honed their favourite material, trialed it at the preview show and rehearsed it repeatedly the days leading up to our first show. The founding members – Kim, Stevie, Rachel, Thomas, and I – along with more recent but seasoned Rhymers, Becky, Ellie, Sam, and Dan, wanted to make sure the audience had a good time and that we showed Underbelly we could bring in a crowd.
In the end, we were happy. The Underbelly was happy. The audience was happy.
And now, we get to start over.
This Thursday, it’s an ALL NEW SHOW.
New pieces for your stand-up poetry pleasure!
Stevie Tyler on the mic as compere.
And who knows? Maybe the seeds of our next sold out show at Fringe!
Hope to see you there!