Tony Cowards set to perform 'virtual' show through Twitter at Fringe
Andrew Mickel6 July 2010
A comedian is set to make a fringe first by peforming at the festival even though he will not be making the trip to Edinburgh.
Tony Cowards has launched one of the most unique shows at the fringe to date; No Ticket Required - a completely virtual show which is going to be hosted entirely on twitter.
Though twitter-based comedy shows have been tried before, Cowards has taken the idea one step further with his No Ticket Required, which will see him simply tweet his 30 minute long show on the micro-blogging site.
Speaking to Such Small Portions Cowards revealed that his Fringe show will be performed via his home: “I've been up to Edinburgh for the last 4 Festivals, performing an hour show at the last 3 and this year I decided that I wanted to be involved but without the expense of traveling up.
“Edinburgh is incredibly expensive for performers, last year I was doing my own show, MCing another show and teching at a late night show and I just about managed to make a small amount of money.
I figured that this year, by spending just a relatively small amount to get in the Fringe brochure but then staying home I will be financially better off and have more chance of raising my profile than if I was to go up to the Fringe and disappear into the increasing numbers of acts who do shows there.
Though Cowards isn’t heading to the Fringe itself, his show is. It has been given a slot at one of the Laughing Horse’s Free Fringe venue 194. It is also included in the Fringe programme for 2010.
“Alex Petty, at the Laughing Horse Free Festival, was very supportive and was happy to provide a "venue" in order to make the show a legitimate part of the Edinburgh Festival,” Cowards adds. “Although explaining the concept to the lovely staff at the Fringe Office wasn't easy!"
Comedians have flocked to twitter since the micro-blogging site exploded in popularity in 2008, many such as Cowards and Gary Delaney have used the platform to try out new jokes on their online audience.
Cowards is hoping that the show will reach a larger audience than one which he would have performed if he was to have performed at a traditional venue.
“With a bit of luck my "shows" will be seen by tens, hundreds or even thousands of times as many people as would see a "live" show if I was to perform up in Edinburgh. He says. “I'm also planning to include some spontaneous sections to the show where I'll respond to audience suggestions and heckles, which will make it much more like a live show than just reading jokes off a screen.”
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