Edinburgh Delights Part 1

August 16, 2009 at 14:11 (1)

Back in Edinburgh at the Festival for the 10th year in a row!!! Hard to believe so much time has passed! This Festival, more than anything else, acts as a marker for the passage of time in my life. It was the first festival of its kind that I ever attended, and having come back every year, I have a real sense of time moving on, me getting older, and the world evolving around me.

Bas and I flew over on Friday, checked into our hotel, and got straight down to business. we went to see Janeane Garofalo first, an American stand-up and actress. She was terrible!!! We’d read bad reviews in advance, so we were ready for a letdown, but she was even worse than we feared. She never connected with the audience, never really made anyone laugh, and just died a long, slow, horrible death on stage. I’d feel sorry for someone in her position, normally, but given her experience and standing, she should have been much better prepared, so I can’t work up much sympathy. Things improved very quickly, thankfully, with our second show, The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church (I think that’s the right title!), a play by Daniel Kitson, who never fails to delight. His plays tread much the same sort of areas every time, but are always worth seeing. One of the festival highlights each and every year!!

Saturday was a full-on day!!! I find, now that I’m getting older and have come so often, that I don’t cram in quite as many shows as I once did, and I need a breather between each show. At my peak I was seeing 8 or 9 shows a day!!! But Saturday almost hit those peaks — we went to 7 shows. The day started out with a fun family show, aimed at 3 to 7 year olds, called Giraffes Can’t Dance. Bas and I were about the only people there who didn’t come with kids, but I don’t care — I like going to shows for little kids — they’re fun!!! It was simple but well acted and staged — recommended for those with younger children. Then we saw a brilliantly devised physical comedy play, called Flhip Flhop, which was excellent — a good script, amazing dance routines, top-notch in every way!!! Then came a play, Crush, which was OK but nothing special, about a disintegrating relationship. We had a break at that point and grabbed something to eat (forgot to mention that we also met up, briefly, with Sarah Hodgson, who edits my adult books), then went to see a sketch show called Pappy’s Fun Club, which had us both almost crying with laughter!! I can’t recommend this one too highly — it stands up with the best of anything I’ve ever seen in Edinburgh! Then we saw Rhys Darby (from Flight of the Conchords) doing stand up. Nothing special, but better than I thought it would be. Pretty much everyone was there because they know him as Murray from the TV. Take that recognition away and I think he’d struggle to pack out a venue. But, having said that, he was still pretty good. Then, to round the night off, we saw Hans Teeuwens, a Dutch comedian who we saw here last year, and who we went to see in London too. I think he’s a comic genius, although his routines are very dark and often crude, and not to everyone’s taste.

This morning we saw a fun musical based on Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species book. The sort of show that the festival thrives on — nothing amazing, but enjoyable, perfectly suited to the spirit of the fringe. Now I’m off to take part in a show where you go on a date with the performers!!! More about that in my next update…

4 Comments

  1. Robbie said,

    Awesome blog Darren Shan. I hope you continue to enjoy Edinburgh and that you both keep up the good work as well as the memory to write more soon please!!!

  2. Robbie said,

    By the way, Darren Shan, is there a reason as to why you changed the website for your blogs????

  3. Isis said,

    Hey Darren 🙂 let me start by saying that you are without a doubt my favorite author. So when i heard Cirque Du Freak was becoming a movie, i nearly passed out from excitement. But when I saw the trailer i was a little confused. I thought the film would retain its darkness and it looked more like a kids movie 😦 I just wanted to know what your thoughts on it were. Did you have any say in casting for roles, or how the movie was to be presented? Just wondering. I’d really love to hear your response. Thank you.
    -Isis S.

    • Robbie said,

      Darren Shan sold the rights for the movie or books a while back and has had no involvement in the making of the movie.

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