Thursday, August 30, 2007


Char and I went to Edinburgh for an extended bank holiday weekend to check out the festivals. I never believed all the positive reports about going up I've had over the years, I think because my knowledge of Scotland is formed almost entirely by Trainspotting. Even when we walked around the city, which was constantly impressive, whilst I was not shocked by the large amount of pretty and tanned people there were milling around in the sunshine- I assumed they were fashionable London media types seeking out some culture, like myself- but I was, to my shame, always shocked when I heard them talking exactly like Begbie. It really was amazingly fun (read: expensive). We saw loads of shows and comedy in our four day stint there, and some of which was good but a lot of it was really dire. The advice is often given to listen out for word of mouth, so when we arrived and our new housemate listed some of her must-sees, we immediately rushed out and booked ourselves up for most of the weekend. Unfortunately after the first show: some family-friendly acrobatic slapstick nonsense, Traces, it became clear our new friend has the mental age of about two. She probably made her recommendations based upon those that had the best shiny bits on the tickets, a view that was reinforced when we sat through two hours of children's puppetry the next day, which was like an itsa-bitsa remake of a kind of dumbed down Tweenies. As we watched it, hungover and trapped in a small black oven, it was obvious why all the infants around us were crying.
As you wander around the city, all the posters are crammed with stars and plaudits from vaguely credible newspapers and slightly-less-so websites. A lot of the things I'd seen before and I was bewildered as to how anyone can possibly say these things. There are very average comedians boasting quotes like "definitely the funniest man that ever lived" and you just have to wonder how anyone can ever think these things, let alone apparently write them down and put them in the public domain. It'll probably turn out that our housemate is a journalist with the Scotsman and although if that was the case the quotes would be more like: "I liked the way the man wore a hat indoors...". We did see some very funny stuff, but most of the laughing was definitely done with/at our friends who were there too: Archie, Sophie, Sandeep, Arron...
I went there to broaden my mind and reignite/ignite my flames of passion for theatre and live performance, but came back less keen than ever. However I did re-realise several of my other passions: wandering around, super shandies, rum and ginger, falling asleep in clubs, McDonalds breakfasts and seeing old friends.

No comments: