ED2014 Columns ED2014 Comedy

Rhys Mathewson: Top five tips for getting through your ‘werewolf hour’

By | Published on Saturday 23 August 2014

We’re nearly at the end of Fringe 2014. Have you had your ‘werewolf hour’ yet?

Rhys Mathewson

If it’s still to come, Rhys Mathewson has some tips for coping.

If you’re like me you’ve been getting stuck into as much of the Fringe as you can, to make up for the other eleven months of the year that I spend sitting in my kitchen. If you’re like me, you also know that at some point during the month, after performing shows and seeing shows non-stop for nearly three weeks, the Festival will tear you apart, from the inside out.

The hour of complete meltdown – or as I call it, in a shameless tie in to promote my show, ‘the werewolf hour’ – usually happens at the least convenient time. Sure, if you were back at your massively expensive (in August) flat, you could take the day off to repeatedly do any combination of tugging it, showering and crying. But you’ll probably be in the middle of Bristo Square when you hear about your long-awaited and wholly two star review… which essentially means “shit, but not shit enough to be enticing”

So, if you feel like your werewolf hour is now finally approaching, here are some tips for getting through it.

1. Get a drink. Turn your phone off and hook into whatever pint you can afford. Take half an hour and treat it like an island of time that exists outside the Fringe. Deep breaths, big swigs: remember why you came here in the first place – to make lots of money, get on television and get lauded by your peers as a genius in your field. Let the cider push those delusions out of your body.

2. Take it out on someone. Of course, sitting down for half an hour and turning your phone off isn’t a luxury people on the production side of things can afford. Maybe if those lazy sodding performers worked for more than an hour a day they would understand that. But you can harness the power of those emotions! Yelling or crying at someone unlucky enough to find themselves on your to do list is a release valve for your feelings and tends to get whatever it is you were yelling about done a lot
quicker than you were expecting.

3. Find a toilet and take a dump. No real reasoning behind this one, but I always find it helps.

4. Talk to someone worse off. Yeah you might feel crap about having only two people in your audience yesterday, but talking to your mate who had twelve people in who all walked out halfway through will make you realise you’re actually doing OK. Schadenfreude is a powerful rejuvenator.

5. Go and see something wonderful. This is the most important piece of advice I can give! Pick a show that looks unashamedly joyous and save it for your werewolf hour. Last year for me it was the Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra. It lifted me back up and reminded me what the Fringe should be about: performers from all over the world having a blast. Rise from the ashes of despair, get out and enjoy the Fringe! No matter how it’s going, it’s still better than your kitchen.

‘Rhys Mathewson: Hombre Lobo’ was performed at the Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Festival 2014.

Photo: Adam Robertson