Georgie Grier performed to a near-sell out crowd at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival today – comparing it to playing Wembley – 24 hours after only one person turned up, MailOnline can reveal.
The London-based actress was left in tears after her one woman play, ‘Sunsets’, was watched by only one woman, who it has emerged is fellow Edinburgh debutante Sophie Craig.
Ms Craig tweeted today: ‘I was that one person in the lovely Georgie Grier’s audience. We had a lovely hug at the end and she was so professional and brave and she gave me everything. You should be so proud angel! Thank YOU! Now go get em girl’.
Ms Grier’s tearful tweet last night went viral, and sparked kindness from some of the biggest names in comedy including Sarah Millican, Jason Manford and Dara Ó Briain.
And today festival-goers turned out in force to support her and Sunsets, with people queueing out of the door until she played to a packed room.
Around 32 seats out of the 40 available for the £11-a-ticket sold for her performance this afternoon. She looked delighted and said: ‘Hello Wembley’ before launching into her show.
Georgie Grier’s one women show Sunsets plays to a packed Patter Hoose in Edinburgh today – 24 hours after only one person turned up
Ms Grier’s one women show about the creation of a podcast only had one woman in the audience yesterday
Georgie (pictured today) looked delighted when she went on stage and said: ‘Hello Wembley’ before launching into her show
Georgie Grier, an actress and writer based in London, shared a teary-eyed photo of herself on Twitter and said only one person was in the audience for her show Sunsets
Sophie Craig has revealed that she was the one person there yesterday and that they hugged at the end
Susan Keelan, 59, and her husband have travelled from Ireland for the festival and said: ‘My daughter in Sydney saw Dara ÓBriain post a link about what happened yesterday, and as we were randomly walking up here some guy gave us a leaflet for the show.
‘And we thought well that’s fate, we’ll definitely give it a go. It’s not that I felt sorry for her because it’s so hard for them all – we’ve been here for three days now and we’ve gone to a lot of shows.
‘The competition is huge and the talent is amazing and so much can fall under the radar but going to see her today just seems to be a good opportunity to pick this one up and give her [Georgie] a bit of a boost’.
Another festival-goer, who has travelled from London, said: ‘I read about what happened this morning – so I wanted to come along.
‘I can understand why she’s upset because it’s like baring your soul, and it can make you feel very vulnerable when nobody comes to see your show. But I think she’s going to do all right.’
Lisa West, 33, and her friend Lewis Easton, 26, from Glasgow, were at ‘Sunsets’ this afternoon. She said: ‘We came along because we read about Georgie online and really felt for her.
‘It was a good show, and I think a lot of people can probably relate to it as well. A lot of people in the audience today said they only came along because of what they had read online.’
A smiling Georgie this afternoon after her show became an overnight hit
The London-based actress is the star of a one woman play, ‘Sunsets’ (pictured today)
Supporters file in for today’s show – in marked contrast to yesterday
Susan Keelan and her husband outside Adam House in Edinburgh to support Georgie Grier
Others took to Twitter to say they would also be going to watch after one person turned up
Stars have taken to social media to support her and tell stories of how they played to small crowds
Mr Easton added: ‘It was fun and enjoyable and like Lisa said, people can probably relate to it.
‘I wasn’t too sure about coming to see Sunsets, but again after what I had read online, I thought we should come along and show our support to her and I’m glad we did.’
Ryan Smith, 44, who went along with his wife Sophie Lane, 39, told us: ‘There was a huge cheer for her and I really hope seeing the place more or less full today has picked up her mood.
‘I’d imagine it’s really daunting performing at the festival like this, and for only one person to turn up is just awful. But I hope it’s given her the boost she needs.
‘The majority of people who are here today only came because of what happened yesterday. We had already planned to come today, we’ve traveled from Shetland and always try to attend as many shows as possible when we come.’
Another punter, who didn’t want to be named after sneaking out of work early, told us: ‘It was a decent show, not something I’d usually go to see, but after reading about what happened I wanted to come and give her my support.
‘Loads of folk have done the same – and I think that is really good because she must have felt terrible yesterday. I almost shed a tear for her.’
Ms Grier has now revealed that she took to social media to avoid worrying her mum by phoning her in an emotional state and says she had no prior intentions of her message going viral.
She said: ‘I didn’t want to call my mum crying. I didn’t want her to have to go through that again.
‘I thought the hashtag Ed Fringe community on social media has been a really supportive place.
‘I thought I might find a couple of other people who had one person or get some words of comfort.
‘I did not expect the level of reaction I’ve had it’s been so lovely, so unexpected, so many words for what I have experienced. I am so appreciative of what I have experienced.’
Those doubting Ms Grier’s intentions will remember comedian Robin Grainger, who last year rose to fame when one person attended his show at the Scottish festival.
She added: ‘I just wanted someone to vent to who wasn’t my mum. In that moment I had tears in my eyes, I wasn’t thinking anything further than needing a bit of a release and not having to bother my mum, my dad and my sister.’
Ms Grier, who says she decided to put on a one-woman play to save production costs, told Anita Rani on Woman’s Hour today: ‘Comedian Jason Manford very kindly put a video out saying he had been in a similar position. He did a whole little video… it was so nice of him. And other comedians and other performers across the Edinburgh Fringe.’
TV star Jason reacted by sending Georgie a video, reassuring the writer, ‘It’s absolutely normal for one person to rock up to your show especially at the beginning of Edinburgh’
Ms Grier had posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘There was one person in my audience today when I performed my one woman play, ‘Sunsets’ at #edfringe. It’s fine, isn’t it? It’s fine…?’
O Briain replied: ‘We’ve ALL done it. Soon, you’ll dine out on this anecdote.
‘More than once I had to buy my audience a drink, as a thank you for being the only ones there.
‘Best thing though, it’s all stage time, and the show will get better every single time, ready for the big crowds later!.’
Manford replied with a video message, in which he said: ‘It’s absolutely normal…for one person to rock up to your show, especially at the beginning of Edinburgh, and also for you to be a bit upset or annoyed or pissed off about it. That’s totally fine as well.
‘I did Edinburgh in 2004-5 and I remember [the] first couple of shows, the first week I think, was just, it was such a slog and I was out in the rain and I was flyering and people weren’t coming.
‘I got total impostor syndrome. How much is this costing me? What am I doing here?
‘Look at all these amazing people. How embarrassing that…nobody’s turned up but, you know what, you’re on the path and it’s just the start, that’s all.’
He told Ms Grier that ‘tomorrow will be better and next week will be better…so just enjoy yourself, if you can’.
Among the other public figures to reply to Ms Grier was Member of the House of Lords Daniel Finkelstein and astronomer and television presenter Mark Thompson.
Mr Thompson said: ‘I’ve seen amazing shows with really poor audience numbers.
‘Just because there was just one audience member doesn’t mean your show isn’t awesome. believe in yourself but maybe it’s the poster/marketing?’
Lord Finkelstein said: ‘I went to Norwich to give a speech and it took me 4hrs of travel. There were only 2 people there.
‘One of them was the person who invited me. I asked the other person to join the cause I was there to support. He said he would, but it might interfere with the terms of his parole.’
Ms Grier says Sunsets is ‘about rom coms but also family’,