There’s five days to go until Ten Storey Love Song opens at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and as all theatre makers will attest - it’s squeaky bum time; will we be able to cram our 8-strong team into the tiny flat we’ve booked? Will our tech time dissolve into inevitable chaos? Most worryingly, will anyone actually turn up to watch the damn thing? In the midst of press releases, facebook ads, flyer printing and industry invites, I find myself trying to convince the world over and over of what we are, what Ten Storey is and why we do what we do.
And that’s fine – we want people to understand the show, and to have a reason to come (Pleasance Dome, 5.20pm, 3rd – 29th August by the way. Sorry, had to). But all too often, I have ended up in auditoriums thinking, this is not what I signed up for. It’s not what was sold. By appealing to the highest common denominator, we’re inevitably going to piss some people off along the way. So I’m going to give myself a few lines of copy off from the blatant sell, and tell it to you straight:
This is not what Ten Storey Love Song is:
It’s not quiet. In fact it’s quite loud. You can be loud too, please do, but don’t expect a tranquil hour and-a-bit of entertainment.
It’s not tidy. If something happens we’re not expecting, we’ll probably mention it.
It’s not polite, i.e. you’re going to hear quite a lot of swearing. Especially the C word. Sorry.
It doesn’t tie up in a nice little bow in the end. It’s pretty sad to be honest. No rainbows and butterflies here.
It’s not educational. We’re not trying to teach you anything, to impart our ‘wisdom’. It’s to be enjoyed/experienced/shouted at, and talked about over a pint afterwards – if you fancy.
It's not sanitised: the play is an exploration of real people and of how real people speak and act. At times you might not like what they say or do, but everything that happens in the show comes from a place of truth.
It’s not something everyone’s going to enjoy. One review called it “anti-intellectual”. Another said “fucking brilliant from start to finish”. A third concluded “Ten Storey Love Song won’t be to everyone’s taste, but neither was The Sound Of Music. Love it or hate it, you won’t forget it in a hurry.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Whilst I’m at it…
This is not who Middle Child are:
We’re not schmoozers. It’s not that we don’t try, we’re just pretty rubbish at it. If you want to have a chat, we’d love to – we’ll be in the corner.
We’re not very good at selling stuff (FYI you can buy the playscript, we’ll just probably forgot to try).
We don’t live and breathe theatre. We like other stuff too. If you fancy a chat about Pep vs Jose, Corbyn vs Smith, we’re there.
We’re not the finished article – obviously. We’re still figuring this whole thing out. But then, the moment we stop learning, that’s when I’m packing up anyway.
So I reckon, if you’ve got through the above and haven’t been put off, you might actually quite enjoy this mad little thing we’ve made. Come along. We’ll be there all Fringe, and we’ll be giving it our all. Give it a go, and at least now you know what not to expect.