Sunday, August 23, 2009

edinburgh weekend

Just back from a weekend in Edinburgh for the festival!
I went through primarily to see my friend, Mark, in a play about Suffragettes in Scotland at the turn of the last century and have to confess to being a little worried that it might be a bit of the usual agit-prop rubbish that Scottish theatres used to do rather too much of: it wasn't. It was a rather excellent little series of sketches in which Mark played all of the men, all 13 of them:

Mark In Play

Here he is writing a letter to the newspaper about how ludicrous it is that women should have the vote!

Edinburgh at this time of year is great. The town is full of tourists and street performers, some of them very good indeed:

Gothic Actor

This guy is one of the actors from a company called "The River People", who I went to see on the strength of their street performance. Their show Lilly Through The Dark was a blend of physical theatre, narrative, music and puppetry and was absolutely excellent.

Of course, the street performances can be dreadful too:

Henry On Sax

(This was even worse than it looks.)
And they can be plain odd:


I'm still not sure why this guy was performing with a horse's head on.

Also got to see the Callum Innes show, which is worth a look, and the Jerwood Contemporary Maker's Show, which has some lovely work in it.

I heard someone on the radio last week saying that Britain was 67% nicer this month because all the wankers go to Edinburgh. Not strictly true, but I take the point. Highlights of middle-class obnoxious behaviour include the three families who colonised a cafe yesterday at breakfast-time, re-organising the furniture to suit themselves without by-or-leave and who huffed and stropped at anyone who wouldn't move to accommodate their selfishness; the young teenage boy who thought it was OK to curse and swear and scream in public at his revoltingly liberal mother and father for not asking his opinion about which restaurant to go to; and the private-school idiot who actually uttered the words, "That's Yay. No, that's double yay. No, technically that's, like, yay squared."

Of course, the other reason that Britain can't be 67% nicer is that some very nice people have also come to the festival: my highlights of star-spotting were Barry Crier, who sat next to us in a restaurant, and Nicholas Parsons who was meeting his daughter outside a theatre I was going to.

Back to unglamorous work tomorrow!