EDitorial ± 13-Aug-2018

Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Email arrived saying "Just wondering if you fancied a day at the festival named for you: Ed Fest?" That was in June 2017. It's taken until this long for the stars to align and, entirely thanks to friend Adam (see Latitude 2016), I am now returned from my first Edinburgh Fringe. Flippin' 'eck.

How I wish I was in Ed-in-bu-rgh, sung MES (RIP) some years back. I hadn't been there since the early 1990s to take in a Heart of Midlothian UEFA Cup game. Half-seven on Saturday morning, we set off from a Hopkins home past Penrith, Carlisle and Gretna to hit the north. Park and ride with une famille de Lille and there we were in central Southside by 11am, tickets in hand.

In our final year at Exeter, Adam and me shared a hall of residence with Richard, Andy, Adam, Gary, plus many others including one Joanne Rowling. Where better, then, for a spot of brunch at the cafe where JK penned her first Potter book? Into Elephant & Bagels off Nicolson Square for savoury goodness. Only later did I discover that this isn't the place. Caff taking all the credit is The Elephant House. Oh well, we tried. Showtime!

(11:50) The OS Map Fan Club at theSpaceTriplex
Solo show by the delightful Helen Wood about her love of the paper Ordnance though not the double-sided version. Funny photos, a bracing walk around Tetbury taking in Prince Charles and Poldark, flag-waving, sweets and quiz questions for the men. Props to the props. Full of Reithian values in that we were educated, informed and entertained. Super start plus a free badge on the way out.

(13:30) Fred MacAulay in Conversation at Gilded Balloon at the Museum
Underestimated the pulling power of this one and found ourselves towards the front of a mahoosive queue for a midsize theatre that rapidly filled up. Out came Mr. Mac himself, genial and chocka with anecdotes, then first guest Sally-Anne Hayward, up and coming self-styled comedienne-ess. Sofa then crammed with two stars of Scot Squad (me neither), Chris Forbes and Jack Docherty. That's Mr. George from Absolutely! Big laughs.

(14:50) Wil Greenway: Either Side of Everything at Underbelly, Bristo Square
Took my takeaway tea into the sultry subterranean depths of the curiously named Dexter venue for an hour of storytelling from Aussie Wil, heartily recommended by Daniel Kitson. A child in bed, a beetle in flight and a dog called Rhubard. Classic Margo. Felt myself welling up but manfully clung on.

(17:40) Showmanship at C Royale
Enough with the funnies, it's time for some the-a-tre. Lucy Roslyn portrays a circus oracle who may or may not have the gift. Sat on the front row and tried to hold her eye when she looked my way. Wasn't easy and made for an intense hour. Relieved to get back out on the pavement and breath.

(20:20) John Kearns: Don't Worry They're Here at Pleasance Dome
After time out on the grass of Nicolson Square Gardens to enjoy takeaway delights from Palmyra, over to the packed Pleasance to queue for some Show & Tell. Another fella picked out by Kitson, an odd character takes to the stage, all teeth and hairpiece. The favourite was Thistlecrack but he bet on Many Clouds with tragic consequences taking in a creme egg, triplets and a £100 massage voucher. Loved it.

...and still missed Rob Auton, Nish Kumar and Limmy.

Found a return bus, avoided the boy racers assembling in the P&R and once again over to the driver for the long return journey. Cheers, Adam, and thanks for all the biscuits!