The Edinburgh Fringe was challenging, intense, irritating, rewarding, exhausting - and completely energising. It's the need to be completely on it and energised which I find so positive. If you don't go that way, then the whole experience can be sapping and frustrating. Keep looking and learning, so that next year can be even more rewarding. I'll go back in 2020.
The show had been reviewed before of course, but I got a couple of four star reviews. [Please see the Reviews page.] I also had some very warm audience feedback, either after the performance or on the Edfringe page for the show - like this for example: `Absolutely wonderful, poignant, funny - for all ages, but especially for those in the title group! Nigel Osner was mesmerising in playing both a man or a woman. Strongly recommended by us and our friends. P.S. I have zero financial or other connections with Osner or the show.' [Every bit of that was appreciated!]
What's next for the show? Well I am investigating a couple of directions, but I'll tell you more if anything happens.
JULY 2019 UPDATE
So I had better give you the booking details for `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show will be on at Sweet Novotel (80 Lauriston Place, Novotel Edinburgh Centre Hotel, EH3 9DE from August 2nd to 18th (except 12th) at 17.45. So please note I am not performing in the last week of the Fringe. Here is the web link for booking : https://sw.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=18:2302
JUNE 2019 UPDATE
There are less than two months before the Edinburgh Fringe begins. At least the show is pretty much in its final fringe form (though I have plans to make it longer for non-fringe performances.) There will be a lot of work to do on publicity and making helpful contacts. But may be there's no need to panic. I see that an 89 year old has just won Britain's Got Talent. There is obviously still plenty of time to develop my career!
In a useful break from the show, this month I will be taking part in a music video and also playing a Jewish Polish junk shop owner in a short film. I say `Polish', but this is a tricky accent. It will be as near as I can get it.
MAY 2019 UPDATE
Already back from the Brighton Fringe, but very pleased to have taken part. The Sweet Venues team are friendly and supportive. (I'll be with them again in the Edinburgh Fringe.) Going so early meant I could take part in Sweet's opening taster event, which I enjoyed. Despite only three shows this year (there would have been none if I hadn't broken four bones in my foot last year in mid run) two reviewers came in. They both liked what they saw. Fringe Review said: `Nigel Osner is a beautiful and gentle performer that took hold of the tragedy of navigating love and connection in later years of life and played the strings of comedy. ---- This is a beautiful piece of solo work of an excellent quality.' Broadway Baby said: `Witty, bitchy, achingly sad and, finally, strangely uplifting'. Fuller extracts are on the reviews page.
I went to an interesting seminar on rural touring. While there are some potential problems, overall the message was extremely positive, both as to audience numbers and local reception. An interesting point made was that audiences are looking for a longer evening than a Fringe hour. They also welcome an interval. This would fit in with my wish to extend the show. I would then do the male characters in the first half and the female characters in the second after a helpful break to put on some extra make-up!
April 2019 UPDATE
So much for the new agent! They seem to be having some sort of crisis. Well their crisis can't be my crisis, so I have left and am working with Dympna Holland.
My spot at the Renaissance Alternative Music festival seemed to go down well. (Congratulations to Ays Kura who organised a 12 hour festival with some 20 bands, other performers and artists.) It allowed me to sing some songs from `Angel to vampire!' I've missed them. I do enjoy the current show but in `Angel to vampire!' not every character is ageing!
Next is the Punk4Mental Health event on Friday 22nd March at the Dublin Castle, Camden, London NW1 7AN. I'll do a couple of songs from each show. It's an eclectic occasion and well worth supporting
FEBRUARY 2019 UPDATE
At 6pm on a cold evening in February I had a really good turnout for the show. I really think the title helps bring people in. I do appreciate the support. The new song worked very well and I was especially pleased about that. At the moment I have no plans to perform the whole show again until the Brighton Fringe in May. However, I've been invited to sing some songs at the Renaissance Alternative Music Festival on Saturday 2nd March at Electrowerkz in Islington. Cabaret in the middle of a day of rock!
JANUARY 2019 UPDATE
Happy new year! I am starting 2019 with a new agent for an initial period of three months, so let's see what comes from that!
In the mean time, I'm still working on the show. I'm planning to take it to a couple of Fringes this year but want to perform it in as many places as possible. More immediately, as previously indicated, I want to see how the new song works. The song is partly about how older and disabled people can be ignored. It ends well though! I have hummed a melody to the wonderful Tom Carradine - http://www.tomcarradine.com/ - who is turning it into proper music. The song will be ready when I next perform the show on Sunday 3rd February in the Etcetera theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU. Box Office: 020 7482 4857 or book on line: https://www.ticketea.co.uk/tickets-theatre-too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-go-out-etcetera-theatre/
DECEMBER 2018 UPDATE
Good to report that the audience at the King's Head thought the show was a great success. I feel I am really getting into the heart of it now. It is interesting how things move on and you have to reevaluate all the time. I have been performing one song for years and thought it was all set. When I saw the whole video of the show in August, it was clear I needed to think hard about presenting this particular character, as the performance no longer worked. What used to seem strong was now weak. I'm not saying which character! However, I am much happier now.
I have written a new song which will be incorporated into the show. I'll be performing the show again at the Etcetera theatre in Camden at 6pm on Sunday 3rd February, mainly to see how this song works. More information about that and future plans in the January update. Happy Christmas!
OCTOBER 2018 UPDATE
If you would like to see `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' in October, here is what you need to know. I'll be at the King's Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street Islington, London N1 1QN on Sunday 21st October at 4pm. Tickets are £15 (£12 concessions). Box office: 0207 226 0561.
To whet your appetite, here is a link to a show reel with glimpses of the show. It was recorded at the Etcetera Theatre in August. https://youtu.be/vOMriKXkenM
The photo below is me singing during a short performance my birthday party - a change of decade!
Did you miss the show or perhaps you'd like to see it again? I'm performing it next on 21st October at the King's Head Islington at 4pm. So now you know how to have a perfect autumn Sunday afternoon! Details will be in next month's post.
The show was videoed and next time I'll give you a link to the showreel. For the moment, below is photo of me singing `Another show'.
photo by punkrocksaL
AUGUST 2018 UPDATE
I am pleased to report the broken foot is doing well. It's no longer in plaster and I'm walking around. Looking good for the show this month. As to that, the necessary information is in the July update.
I've now recorded the title song of the show, with the music arranged and played by Ays Kura.
JULY 2018 UPDATE
I am hoping all will be good with my foot by the time I do the August shows, but I'll be doing them even it's still not quite right. Later this month I'll discover how well the foot is healing.
Until an unfortunate event - see below! - the Brighton Fringe was going rather well. On a very warm Friday evening the first show was successful. On an even more humid Saturday evening the second show was sold out. I changed an accent and attitude for one character and this produced a much stronger piece. The Musical Theatre Review was very enthusiastic in its 4 star review: `Osner's characterisations are well drawn and excellently performed. The writing is clever with plenty of wit and humour even in the darker elements of his stories.' There might even have been other reviews except ----
---- overnight I managed to break 4 metatarsals in my right foot. When I went to A & E I thought it might be a bruise or a broken toe and would have limped on. But this brought things to a resounding halt. However, this show obviously worked. There will be more performances this year and I want to take it back to Brighton in 2019.
Below is photo taken during the performance by Peter Williams
MAY 2018 UPDATE
I've now made some tweaks to the show, adding a few more personal touches to the script, as that is what people asked for.
The trial run of `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' on 11th April went pretty well on the whole. At any rate, although I was aware of some bumps, and will have to control a wayward necklace, I got very enthusiastic feedback. Several members of the audience told me they will be coming to see the show again, which is lovely. I'll be making a few tweaks to the show, but no major changes. That's a relief!
I will next be performing it in the Brighton Fringe at the end of May. It will be on from 25th to 28th May at 5.30pm at Sweet Werks (Venue 18), Werks Central, 15 - 17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL. Tickets are £8.50 (£7.50 concessions). Box Office 07948 905541.
MARCH 2018 UPDATE
I've now started working with Janine Wood, who directed `Angel to vampire!' and who is now casting her eye over the new show. Very helpful. I'll be giving it a trial run on Wednesday 11th April. No stage lights, a simple sound system, but a chance to see how it works before a few people I've invited along. If you want to come along too, you'll be most welcome. It's upstairs at the Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JB London at 8PM. there's a modest charge of £3 to cover expenses. See https://www.facebook.com/events/2110903842467048/
I still need a couple more bits of costume so I'll be in search of those over the next week or so.
FEBRUARY 2018 UPDATE
Still working on the new show. I have spent some enjoyable and creative time with Ays Kura. He has put together a swing arrangement for the first song and has come up with a terrific and amusing accompaniment for my song about the perils of the gym.
I went to the Monarch bar in Chalk Farm with talented photographer David McConaghy, who shot publicity photos for the show. The image I'll use on posters and flyers is below.
Photo by David McConaghy
JANUARY 2018 UPDATE
Happy new year!
Continuing to develop the new show and this includes learning it. One piece is a very long monologue indeed and I'm not looking forward to that one. However, I do of course know the twists and turns of the story. Furthermore, it doesn't rhyme, which helps should I undoubtedly forget the odd word.
On Saturday 13th I'll be performing at the `For punk sake' festival, having been invited there following my slot at the punk 4 Mental Health evening in December. This is on both 13th and 14th January at the Gunners, 204 Blackstock Road, London N5 1EN.
DECEMBER 2017 UPDATE
I have got the new show into some sort of shape. The written material is all done. It awaits the completion of a couple of melodies. I have come up with one, and might manage the other too. As I can't write music, I have to record myself singing them and get someone to turn them into something playable and singable.
The show is now called `Too young to stay in (too old to go out!)'. That is also the title of the first song and is a clue to the theme of the show. It's about the challenges and opportunities we face as we get older. Portrayed in an entertaining way I hope! I still intend to do `Angel to vampire!' from time to time, but I want to get this show launched and will certainly be doing four performances towards the end of May at next year's Brighton Fringe.
I have a tiny bit of filming later this month and will do a couple of items at a Punk 4 mental Health evening. I've had to turn down a short film role because filming will take place outside while I'm still losing my battle with some evil lurgy!
NOVEMBER 2017 UPDATE
I have recorded `Don't label me', the first song in `Angel to vampire!' The piano is played by Tom Wakeley who wrote the melody as Mole. I think it's sounding pretty good.. You can listen to it by going to the stage page and following the link. The recording was at the studio of the amazing Ays Kura.
I'm now working on a new show. It will incorporate some material I have already performed, but it will mostly be material I have never performed before or have written specially. The working, and may be permanent, title is `The seven ages of Nigel - part 2'! I'll say more when it's a bit further on. However, I am rather excited, as until recently I wasn't sure what the next show was going to be. Now it has a theme and it's almost complete.
OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE
I took part in Pubk4MentalHealth on the last weekend in September. It took place in the Old Mortuary, Bermondsey, which seems an appropriate place somehow. Of course, when in alternative mode, I am more goth than punk, but it really didn't matter! My main memory of the event was of a warm and supportive group of people. Joel Vos, known as the Punk Professor (he is both), introduced many of the acts. He spoke passionately about acceptance and self understanding. This is me waiting dreamily to perform. Well that's what I was intending to convey!
Photo by Patrick Griffin
BB Cooper and I have decided to simplify the title of `Goblins don't scare us' to `Magic'. As this is the first word in the title of my original story, this does seem to make sense.
SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE
The two shows at Upstairs at the Gatehouse went well. It was a much bigger stage than I usually get for this show, so I needed to add to the simple set and reposition some of the characters, but that was fairly straightforward. The Gatehouse lighting was particularly good and it was a pleasure performing there. However, I was annoyed by the failure of two reviewers to turn up. One had not put the evening in his diary, the other got the time wrong. Amazing! The rewards from Fringe shows are rarely financial, but can include increased recognition. Reviews are part of this. In fairness, the person who had tried to send the forgetful reviewer was very upset. He has promised me an interview the next time I run `Angel to vampire!' in London, so I had better do it again at some point. There are plans ----
Below is a photo of me as the last character in the show. It was taken by Angie Lawrence, my production assistant. I don't usually look that glamorous!
Photo by Angie Williams
On 31st August I was invited to read two poems at a memorial service for Princess Diana at the Mildmay Hospital in London. It specialises in HIV and related health issues. There were fond memories of Princess Diana's visits and Wayne Sleep reminisced about dancing with her in Covent Garden. Most moving in a way was the choir formed of patients who sang two songs. It was a huge achievement for them and acknowledged as such.
AUGUST 2017 UPDATE
Just two performances of `Angel to vampire!' at the Buxton Fringe in July. I was in a very well designed performance space in the Old Clubhouse. However, a 10PM start made mine the last show of the day on the whole Fringe programme. 10PM on a Monday and a Wednesday in Buxton was a trifle optimistic! Nevertheless an audience did arrive and they really enjoyed the show. The Buxton Fringe reviewer was very positive and ended by saying: `his sweet and funny characters will stay with you afterwards like old friends.' Especially pleasing was my nomination by the Buxton Fringe as a recognition of excellence for new writing.
As well as the main performances, I sang a couple of songs on several days in or by the bandstand in the Jubilee Gardens. This was a promotional event organised by Keith Savage, the terrific Chairman of the Fringe. It was a good spot to perform and people actually came to listen!
The next (and probably final) performances of `Angel to vampire!' in 2017 will be on 26th and 27th August at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate. They will be part of the Camden Fringe. The Gatehouse is in Highgate Village, N6 4BD. Box office 020 8340 3488 or on line at http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com/angeltovampire
JUNE 2017 UPDATE
I enjoyed my time in Brighton. Audiences there really got 'Angel to vampire!', so it was a real pleasure performing to them and answering questions afterwards. I caught up with old friends and made new friends. Following one contact, it really looks like I'll be performing the show in New York next year and then I'll take it to New Orleans. And I made a good decision renting a little mews cottage for my nine days there. I'll definitely be back in Brighton, either in or out of the Fringe.
Below are two live performance shots by Peter Williams.
photos by Peter Williams
There are more performances ahead, but I'll just mention the Buxton Fringe for the moment. I'll be performing `Angel to vampire!' there on 10th and 12th July. I'll be at Underground at the Old Clubhouse on 10th and 12th July at 10pm, with tickets priced at £8 (£7 concessions). Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070.
MAY 2017 UPDATE
So my week at the Brighton Fringe Festival is almost here. I'll let you have the information again and this time I'll get it right! Keen readers can check to see where I went wrong before. I'll be at Sweet Waterfront (Venue 18), Jury's Inn Hotel BN1 2GS from 8th to 15th May at 8.30pm. The tickets are priced at £8.50 and £7.50 concessions. Box Office 01273 763235.
I enjoyed performing at the Renaissance Alternative Rock Festival. It was an interesting experience doing cabaret in two short sets between the rock bands, but there were those who really liked it and the atmosphere at the whole event was friendly and supportive. Well done to Ays Kura for setting up the Festival. This was the seventh and there will be an eighth next year. Below is a photo of me performing.
photo by Veronique RoseNoir Stage Photography
APRIL 2017 UPDATE
Last month I played a small part as a porter (at the gateway to a furnace!) in a short film. The director, Zoran Trajkovic, produces amazing looking work, so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. I can show you how I turned out in the film as I was given sideburns and a moustache. Looks amazing but I never want to look like this for real!
This month I'll be performing at two events, including the all day Renaissance festival at Kolis nightclub in Archway on Sunday 23rd. It's mainly rock groups so I'm not sure how I'll go down, but it will be interesting!
And of course, it is nearly time for the Brighton Fringe, where I'll be performing `Angel to vampire!' for a week. Here's the information you've been waiting for - haven't you? I'll be at Sweet Waterfront (Venue 18), Jury's Inn Hotel BN1 2GS from 8th to 15th May at 8.30pm. The tickets are priced at £8.50 and £7.50 concessions. Box Office 01273 763235
MARCH 2017 UPDATE
Unexpectedly, I got involved in a very special event, a rehearsed play reading in the National Portrait Gallery. The play is `Colour in the darkness' by Giles Smith, who also directed it. The play is set in 1808 and is about portraits, artists, patrons and society - telling a fascinating story. It was produced jointly by the So and So Arts Club and the National Portrait Gallery. The cast included Ann Mitchell and Ian Reddlestone. We rehearsed in a lecture theatre at the NPG, which looked after us wonderfully. As you can see from the photo, the reading took place in a gallery full of eighteenth century portraits and busts. I was really delighted to be part of this.
From time to time I'll be posting a link to some individual videos of songs from `Angel to vampire!' This is `Don't label me', the first song in the show. It was recorded at Jamboree in Limehouse. My lyrics with a melody composed by Mole. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNRvLcINiE0&t=7s
FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATE
I enjoyed performing at the Distraction Club. Both the organisers and the audience are warm and supportive. One member of the audience wrote afterwards that my `performance was studied, entertaining and clearly from the heart.' This was kind of him. it was a very successful bill overall, headed by Paul `Silky' White. I always enjoy watching and learning from entertainers who know exactly what they are doing. Below are two photos from the evening.
photos by @taylorandy
Next month I have a cameo in what could be a very funny short film. In April I'll be taking part in an all day event called the Renaissance Alternative Music Festival, but more about that later.
JANUARY 2017 UPDATE
Another new year. I wish all of us a good one.
Here is the link to some glimpses of `Angel to vampire!' The show was filmed by Dominic Hicks and his crew at Jamboree in Limehouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5QHRj6cE7c&feature=em-upload_owner I'll be performing `Angel to vampire!' at various places this year, including the Brighton Fringe, but more of this in later months. I'll also add links to videos of individual pieces.
And a reminder, I'm performing next at the Distraction Club on 10th January.
'Pat Garrett's Just One More Night delivers a well crafted
performance from Nigel Osner as an aging entertainer, reflecting on a life less
than glamorous, but one convincing enough to appear that way to his public.
Osner also subtly scripted this performer's life, so it's doubly hard to
separate art from life. Which imitates the other? Hard to tell, in this very
enigmatic film performance. But that's the point isn't it?'