Eight Steps Q&A

Eight Steps Q&A: Alex Gwyther

Published on Thursday 22 August 2019

Writer and actor Alex Gwyther offers some tips on how to get the most from the Edinburgh Festival, in eight steps…

1: Beyond posters and reviews, how do you suggest people pick shows to see at this year’s Fringe?
Understand that reviews are subjective, so if it’s a topic you’re interested in – or if it grabs your attention – don’t be put off by reviews. Go and see it. Also, word of mouth. Listen to people’s recommendations and definitely give recommendations. It helps a lot!

2: What tips have you got for people trying to see as many shows as possible in one day – how can you power through?
Take a break. Have time to process one show before moving on to the next. Eat bananas. Drink water.

3: When people are reaching peak Fringe, what tips do you have for chilling out during the Festival?
Know when enough is enough. Limit your time on the Mile and flyering. Work hard, but listen to your body and your mind. Meditate. Have a routine. Definitely have a routine.

4: What things do you think should be on every Fringe-goers Edinburgh Festival bucket list?
Make connections with people that last after the Fringe.

5: Beyond the flyer, what tips have you got for performers trying to get people into their shows?
Be sociable and speak to other performers, as they will also come and see your show. Social media is really important. Build a network of other shows online, maybe by using hashtags.

6: The Fringe can be great for finding a new audience. What tips would you have for staying connected with that new audience beyond Edinburgh?
Set up a mailing list, give out a performance programme – just a sheet of A4 – after each show with contact details.

7: Performing at the Fringe is partly about building a network. What tips have you got for people looking to make connections in the industry?
Be open, listen, be kind, be sociable, be enthusiastic. And leave your ego at home!

8: How would you recommend performers stay healthy during all the Fringe madness?
Try not drinking? Difficult, but remember you’re here to do a show, tell a story, perform for people. Don’t lose sight over why you’re here. Eat well and keep food on you – bananas, nuts, apples, rice cakes. Drink lots. And finally, try to get into a routine in the morning, the day and the evening.

Alex Gwyther performed ‘Ripped’ at Underbelly Cowgate at Edinburgh Festival 2019.

Photo: Pamela Raith