By Lindsey Huebner, Hopegrown Productions
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…
Lines from the 13th Hour hit ‘Closing Time’ still rattle through my head, even days after our final a capella rendition. Post-show, post-Frankies, post-dance party, post-goodbyes, post-Montreal FRINGE: we found ourselves in the nation’s capital for round two.
This was the play I never thought would open. The preparations, the fundraising, the bureaucracies, the administravia all made the production itself seem far off and theoretical. The Montreal FRINGE made it real.
I have always believed that my fellow performers are immensely talented, that Norah’s direction is inspired, and that Harry’s script is brilliant; however, uncertainty weighed heavily on my mind. Those horrible little ‘what if’s’ that can drive you crazy. “What if it’s not funny?” “What if I’m not good enough?” “What if all this work yields a subpar project?” Fortunately, opening night quelled my unfounded fears and brought me back to reality. The play is good and it will only get better. We are good and we will only get better.
Although the territory was uncertain, we dove in head first to all things Fringe. The supportive team and hyper-involved artists made it not only attractive but also easy for our new company to make our way onto the scene. From our award-winning Mac n’ Cheese concoction to cheering on Gigi Sukdip at a very rainy Drag Race and everything in between, we loved every second. What an absolute honour then, to be awarded the Spirit of the FRINGE Award when our involvement in the festival has brought us nothing but joy.
When it came down to our closing time, I had a minor panic attack as it not only meant the end of two amazing weeks and phase one of the tour, but it also marked my potentially permanent departure from Montreal. In September, I am embarking on a one-year MA in the UK. So Monday morning, Frankie hangover still coursing through my veins and rapping on my brains, I packed up all my worldly possessions and said goodbye to Hope Ave. Hangover notwithstanding, FRINGE was such a high to end on.
So thank you thank you thank you to our dear friends and supporters in Montreal. I personally cannot think of a better debut audience who were in equal parts supportive, critical, questioning, engaged and always ready to laugh. I’ve had the time of my life and can’t wait to cheer on my Hopegrown family next year from fair England.