I've just returned from Edinburgh, Darlings. Read about it, oh do...
Ms Bee (my manager) and I arrived late in the afternoon at our palatial residence in Joppa. Joppa is a terribly posh bit – we lived in style during our Edinburgh visit, at the home of some friends of Ms Bee. Of course, when one resides with well-to-do friends, one can only marvel at the décor… because one is afraid to touch anything. Being likewise unable to work any of the appliances, we dined off such provisions as we’d brought with us: Snackajacks, tomatoes and champagne. We’re well classy, us.
|Launch Party. Photo: Ian Fox|
|Photo: Ian Fox|
Well, Ms Bee and I spent a charming evening with Bobby, Ryan and Alan. I seem to recall looking at pictures of each other’s children on our phones. We must have managed to catch the last train home to Joppa, and to alight from it at just the right moment. A great start: Thursday beckoned.
Day 2: Thursday 4 August, 2011
|Photo: Lynne Morris|
With the hectic pace of it all, I soon found myself in an awkward situation: aside from being unable to keep track of anything we were given – like, free tickets (no sooner did they pass into our hands than we lost them by putting them somewhere safe) – I also needed to keep in touch with the little Lavenders between shows. They weren’t always easy to track down. When they were available, I was often somewhere very noisy. Eventually I headed for the street which was quieter than the cavernous mass that is Underbelly, but I was stopped by a burly steward. You can’t go out onto the road with a drink, he warned. Drinks don’t leave the venue. But I have to – I thought, and realised my situation. Right, I said, you’ve forced me into this, I now have to become the ultimate in slutty mothers, thanks to you. I took a deep breath. “Would you mind holding my glass of wine? I have to go and phone my kids.”
A run-down of the day’s choices:Bluebeard, a Fairytale for Adults – we met them in the street, they were young and cute and enthusiastic, and they gave us free tickets. Quirky and somewhat disturbing drama, it lingers in the mind… however the tickets were £9.50 and I would have wanted to see a lot of really excellent free shows to make up for it if I’d paid full price.
Underbelly, Cowgate. 4th - 28th August @ 6.55pm
Sammy J, ‘Potentially’ – the flyerer was cute, he said the show was really good and he gave us free tickets. He wasn’t lying, this could actually be my most favouritest show that I saw. We spoke to Sammy J afterwards and he said he’d written it very quickly; if that is the case I would have to conclude the man is a genius. The whole show was wound together seamlessly, raising laughs by connecting the seemingly unconnected and surprising the audience with it at every turn. I loved it. Sammy is my top pick.
Underbelly, Cowgate. 14th - 28th August @ 8.30pm
When Women Wee – the girls were outrageous, hyper-enthusiastic, they wanted to come to my show, and they said nice things about my bosom. I immediately felt as though I wanted to go and get pissed with them. By the end of the show I really did want to go and get pissed with them. By then, though, we already had tickets for Briefs… ‘When Women Wee’ is a Dirty Stop-Out production performed by five girls and set in a nightclub toilet: a disturbingly accurate portayal of different women with their guard (and their pants) down. Another highly recommended show.
|Briefs. In briefs|
Briefs – the flyer girl was pretty and enthusiastic. She liked my corset, so she knew I’d like the show. I did. A lot. ‘Briefs’ are a Boylesque troupe from Queensland: we caught a preview show so although there were occasional moments where they needed a little polish, the twin spectacles of gorgeous male bodies and breathtaking feats of physical strength and skill more than made up for any minor technical mishaps. Beautiful and talented, but also touching and human – so that’s all my boxes ticked.
Gilded Balloon, Teviot. 14th - 29th August @ 12.30am.
We got back to Lavender HQ at 3am. Fifteen hours in heels. That’s enough.
Day 3: Friday 5 August, 2011
|Room for two more on top?|
|Pie and Ale: d'ye want it? Aye, Blossom|
Day 4: Saturday 6 August, 2011
Despite our underpinning knowledge to the contrary, the previous day’s fine weather caught us out. Lulled into good faith by the sunshine, we were ill-equipped for the downpour. The half-dozen brollies I had brought with me, to ensure I was sartorially co-ordinated at all times, remained in my suitcase with my fetching anorak. While Ms Bee sought wet-weather solutions, I bravely continued to persuade the soggy masses of tourists that an evening of frisky poetry for ladies was exactly what they needed. I didn’t do too badly: once again I met a great many wonderful people. In August, one could fall in love a hundred times in a day on the Royal Mile.Here’s the dear little tiny girl I met, who threw her arms round my legs in a huge hug until I cried. Here too is the uniquely talented Nob Stewart: I was unnerved by his crazy specs, initially, but his humour and warmth won me over. He even offered to film my show, and I was sorry not to have the chance to thank him for it. Thank goodness for social media. One of my favourite EdFringe moments came as I was about to walk into Deacon Brodie’s tavern, out of the freezing cold and pissing rain: I was at a bit of a low ebb when a Frenchman, sheltering likewise from the rain, caught sight of me in my knicks and said, ‘Now, I love Scotland.’
Having caught the Pick of the Fringe earlier in the day (top picks Marcel Lucont – mais oui, monsieur – and ‘The Table’ by Blind Summit Theatre company), we just made it back to the Gilded Balloon for Sweet FA – Fascinating Aida, with their ‘Cheap Flights’ show. These ladies should be on the GCSE syllabus, if only to remind young people that they didn’t invent the word ‘f**k’, and that women don’t cease to exist after the age of thirty. Damn it, I should be on the GCSE syllabus for the same reason.
|Photo: Hannah Lucy Stone|
Day 5: Sunday 7 August, 2011
|I missed you in the whole world|
Home to my babies.