DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

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DARKCHAT were up for the first week this year and the audiences seemed smaller than previous years. Is there a pattern to when the biggest audiences arrive?


Obviously weekends are busy everywhere throughout the festival but if your show is genuinely popular through good word of mouth, correct marketing and luck then you'll have solid numbers throughout. This is the first year I've had a good run. I now see many past mistakes! The show is everything. Write a good show. This was my best Edinburgh by a mile because it was my best show.



“ Baker's Dozen" was (rightly) universally praised. Are reviews important or do you have a reliable fan-base?


I genuinely didn't read reviews until the last week. It was a very positive step. Reviews are important to sell the show in Edinburgh but people were coming through word of mouth so I had no need to search them out. In the past I've beaten myself up over them. It was good mentally for me not to look. Good or bad



What made you think of the concept behind "Bakers Dozen"?


I've always wanted to mix my two loves of music and comedy but not with comedy songs and not pretending I'm in Vegas in the 50's. I wanted it to be relevant. So I took the most modern most popular music to force me into being relevant



Was "Baker's Dozen" an easy show to put together?


No. But nothing worth it is easy.



Does each Edinburgh bring added pressure to top last years's show?


Not top but show development and improvement. I used to dread it I now see it as a privilege to be allowed to create and perform your own thoughts  



There is a lot of singing in this show. Did you appear in many children's/ school shows?


I've been performing since I was 5. I'm THAT child! I've always loved it



Do you get nervous before a show and how quickly do you relax on stage?


I get nervous but what experience gives you is a coping strategy. If  I get on and the audience laugh I try and keep that going and surf it til the end  



Does it take you long to relax after a show & do you analyse each performance?


About an hour for the adrenalin to leave and having others in the show this year was great to go that was great/awful with each other. If something needs fixing you find out pretty quick



A month is a long time in Edinburgh. How did you survive the festival?


I slept a lot in the day and didn't drink too much as I couldn't get near to losing my voice



Please can you sum up this year's festival in 5 words.


Everybody performing great work together



What was the first award you ever won?


Cub of the year !



Money is always a talking point in Edinburgh . Without being rude, do you make any/much money from a critically and publicly acclaimed show?


I lost a lot last year If I get near to breaking even this Ill be happy. The financial thing is just business. Except for a lucky few Edinburgh is a loss leader it's your 20 p can of beans to get you in and hopefully interested in a lifetime of my work. It's a trade fair. No business survives with out advertising



DARKCHAT saw 53 shows in a week and without a variety of 2 for 1 offers and the Free Fringe we couldn’t have afforded to see so many. What are your thoughts about the current pricing structure?


It's too expensive. I don't think the free angle is neccesarily  the right one Why will audiences pay for something when a version of it is free next door . It will kill it if not managed correctly.  I think my show was worth a tenner this year But I can see that if you want to see 5 shows that day it's too much. I don't know the answer. Art and economics never sit well together.



What were the best ( & worst) aspects of this years festival?  


There seemed to be twice the audience around compared to last year and the general vibe of performers was very positive and it hardly rained. No worsts this year. Lucky eh?!



We thought the standard of shows this year were higher than ever. What were your favourites?


The Hoe down. James Acaster . The Horne section I didn't see any stinkers



Have you been able to relax since the festival?


Oh yes I'm good at switching off once it's done. But we're touring the show so  we've been planning that and I'm always writing etc Its a creative life your brain never stops whirring



If you could change one thing about the festival, what would it be?


I'd make it 2 and a half weeks

Charlie Baker


On Saturday the 7th DARKCHAT awards took place. We are pleased to announce that "Bakers Dozen" received 5 nominations (check  our awards pages for info.)


Charlie was delighted and rightly so, walking off with the DarkChat Award fior Best Song, and was happy to complete a post-Edinburgh interview for us.