Edinburgh delights – Part 2

August 19, 2009 at 15:43 (1)

Right, I’ve got a bit of free time, so let’s crack on with the rest of the round-up of what I’ve been up to in Edinburgh! I must say, I’m finding it hard work this year — I feel exhausted pretty much all the time!!! I guess age is catching up with me. Though I’m still relatively young (37), I think I’m much younger inside my head, and I’ve been trying to cane it round to as many shows as I possibly can, as I used to do several years ago. But I think it’s time to admit I just can’t keep up that sort of pace any longer. In future I think I’ll have to limit myself to 3 or 4 shows a day, and either no late nights, or very long lie-ins!!!! Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to.

Internal, on Sunday, was the highlight of the festival for me so far. An intriguing, one-on-one bit of theatre, it involved going on a short “date” with an actress, where you sat in a small, intimate space and chatted with each other. Then you linked up with the 8 other people involved in your show (4 punters and 4 actors) and sat in a circle, discussing what had been said. I know that doesn’t make it sound like anything special, but trust me — it’s three days later and I’m STILL thinking hard about it!!! A unique, thought-provoking, personal experience that put a whole new spin on what theatre can do.

We went to see a comedian called Dan Antopolski later that night (after I’d watched Spurs get their season off to a flying start by beating Liverpool 2-1!!! yes, mate!!!!!). I’d seen him several years ago, when he was one of the stars of the festival, but this time round his show didn’t do much for me. I’ve noticed that here over the years — most comedians tend to flare shortly (assuming they flare at all), then fade away pretty swiftly. Only a few have the staying power to hang in there and delight in the long term. After that, we saw a Best of the Fest show, with 4 different comedians, the best of whom was Andrew Lawrence, who I’ve now seen 3 times over the last few years, which is probably enough for a while — you can have too much of a good thing, especially where comedians are concerned!

On Monday I went with Bas to see a play about child soldiers, called The Nine Lives Of Bua Lydia. The subject matter was harrowing, but it hadn’t been developed into a proper dramatic play, so it didn’t do a lot for me. That afternoon I did a panel event a the Book Festival, in aid of Amnesty International, where I read out a poem by an African author who was forced into exile. An interesting departure from my normal sort of event!!! Iain Banks was on my panel, but I didn’t get a chance to chat with him, which maybe was a good thing — I’ve never been much of a fan of his work, and as I find it hard to lie in such situations, I was worried that might slip out if we got talking!! Sometimes silence is golden!!!!

On Monday night we went to see a new show called Sporadical. It’s by a group called Little Bulb Theatre. They did a show last year called Crocosmia, which was one of the plays I’ve most enjoyed in my 10 years of coming to the festival. But this year’s effort was a slipshod work in progress. It had some good bits, but was a bit too over the place for my liking — it felt more amateurish than their previous show. After that we saw a stand-up comedian called Alun Cochrane who was pretty good — unspectacular, but enjoyable.

On Tuesday I had my mega event in the morning. I assumed I’d be finished by 1.00pm or thereabouts, so I’d booked a show for 2.45 — but I didn’t wrap up signing until 3.00pm!!! We went to a promenade show called The Hotel, which is a show where you walk through a specially designed set where lots of little plays are being played out, free to look at whatever you choose. It was lots of fun. I had another show booked for that evening, but I was too exhausted to go to it, so we binned it off and went for a longer dinner instead!! Later we saw a performer called Ben Dover, a porn star who was talking about his years in the business!! It sounded like it would be naughty fun, but he wasn’t a particularly good story-teller, so it ended up being a bit limp. (Sorry — couldn’t resist the pun!!! And if you’re too young to understand the pun — don’t ask!!) We rounded out the night by watching Daniel Kitson do his stand-up show at midnight. It’s more of a monologue than traditional stand-up. Excellently delivered, but we were both tired and found it hard to focus, so we didn’t enjoy it as much as we should have done.

This morning we went to a children’s show called Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom. It was OK, but nothing special. We had another show booked for afterwards, but I forgot to bring our tickets with me!!! That’s when you KNOW you’re really starting to flag!!! Instead we spent the afternoon relaxing, and I took the time to bring my blog up to date, which leaves us… here!!!! We’ve a few more shows tonight, then off we head in the morning. To be honest, I’m looking forward to leaving this year — after this particular holiday, I feel like I need another holiday ASAP!!!!!!!!

1 Comment

  1. Robbie said,

    Good blog indeed. I am glad you are still enjoying Edinburgh. Keep up the good work and please remember to write more soon!!!!! Always a pleasure,
    Robert Michael Rowe.

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