Edinburgh Festival: Day 5

by childofwine

Days here are like a lifetime. This is not a complaint.

I’m living entirely in the moment of each show and there are so many of them per day and there are so many interactions and moments of thought between. When I’m alone, when I’m with others, it doesn’t matter. It’s the Edinburgh Festival (Bermuda) Triangle.

On Day five I saw theatre that was raw, beautiful and filled top-full with pleasure.

A beautiful young dancer actor sat down next to me during his show and we necked a bit, it was delicious. A piece of theatre started off so standard and predictable that I could never have predicted the feeling I would have of being punched by the end of its hard hitting wonderfully dramatic ending. Finally, after being punched by the sadness that fills our world I watched three women dominate a stage with brilliant strength humour and beauty that brought back the tears from the dramatic theatre with an incredible sense of catharsis, and a little fowl humour.

How can I come away from this. How can I leave. How can I go back to where I don’t have access to work like this.

I’ve been thinking about the show I saw on day four, the Canadian piece that I couldn’t seem to talk about. There was nothing wrong with it, it was a great story, a fantastic character and all delivered with polish and precision but there was something missing. Some thing I think I often find myself searching for in Canadian theatre. Sort of like we watched a DIY video and thought then that we could in fact do it ourselves but the life is missing.

This is going to sound wrong. This sounds wrong. For the most part I’ve stopped going to most shows in Toronto, unless I am supporting friends, because this is too often the response I feel deep down inside and what do I know. What have I done to counter this.

Not much. I know. Not much. I sit and watch a lot and I talk a lot but I have done little. I have done little in the grand scheme of things. I want to put my money where my mouth is but I know I lack the experience and, as I learned so publicly in clown college, I am oh so afraid of the inevitable and necessary flop.

Day Five’s shows:

Three young people, two men and a lady. Three chairs. One bed in iron wrought frame. Shakespeare’s Sonnets as framework, inspiration, launch point. Fantastically aggressive at points. Beautiful dance sequences. A rollercoaster ride of love and hurt and jealousy and sorrow and passion and and and…

Stuart; A Life Backwards:
What a beautiful company. What a surprising piece of character work and wonderful script. Sad. Sad story and I thought of friends of mine for various reasons and I was sad and I thought of Stuart and how I perceive the Less Fortunate around me on a daily basis at home and on my travels and I was sad. I didn’t see the final punch coming at least not until the fist was flying towards me. Hard when it’s real life, you can’t predict that so easily.

Fright or Flight:
Fowl, fowl humour. After the hard hit that was Stuart, this was possibly the best possible show I could have picked. I would have liked it no matter what, but it helped that I walked in needing a smile. Beautiful physical movement, incredible aerial work and fantastic pleasure and play with each other and us. Ridiculous. Perhaps it was a result of the emotion of the previous show, perhaps not, but more than once I felt a wave of emotion come over me when, out of the sheer mad absurdity of the piece, moments of incredibly beauty emerged seamlessly from and alongside the ridiculous. So yummy.


Thor of the Common Man
Le Foulard
Next Door

p.s. I will appear in my first Edinburgh Fringe Festival show this Friday. I will be playing the dead girl on the floor.