Edinburgh Festival: Day 7

by childofwine

You guys, I’m soooo tired.

Yeah, yeah yeah. We’ve heard ya, you say. Ooh so tired, you’ve had to watch so many shows. So many chairs to sit in and watch artists make f*cking cool work.

No, no. Listen. I did something last night, and people actually laughed! Mwahahahahaha!

No. Not like that. That’s me laughing now. With pleasure.

It was a great day overall. First day the whole visit where I didn’t have to bolt out the door to catch an early show.

Started with Climb A Willow To The Sea God’s Garden, a children’s puppet show with live painting. The paintings were canvases just to the side of a long table that was fashioned into a stage. Light from behind illuminated the silhouette of an artist and slowly, brush to canvas, landscapes appeared. Surprise washes of colour and small paper puppets on sticks danced across until they appeared in larger puppet form on the stage. I was so enchanted. I walked out floating, one of many. Kids and adults grinning and holding carefully the paintings from the day’s show and beautiful postcard prints  given by the company as gifts.

Then, ah then, Red Bastard. So scared, I was soooo scared. This one had been built up, OH MY GOD RED BASTARD IS AMAZING YOU’RE GONNA LOVE HIM and OH MY GOD RED BASTARD JUST DON’T FORGET THAT NO ONE IS SAFE. Well I do, love him, and yes, no one was safe. No one was safe just like no one was safe in clown school because life is too boring when it’s safe and there’s too many amazing beautiful moments that can happen when we are brave and bold and daring. I can’t say more, it would ruin it. I want to go again.

Finally, Chalk Farm, a new Scottish play co-written by the same fella who performed Beats, the very first show I saw here. About a mom and son who live in an area of London known as Chalk Farm during the 2010 riots. Very similar aesthetic to Beats though more theatrical. No live dj or animation but six sets of three screen panels make up the set and represent the thousands of video surveillance and tv monitors around London. A bit pointed maybe but still very good storytelling and weaving of two story lines to a dramatic end.

So then my day is done I think. I haven’t heard from the FF so I don’t have to worry about returning to Balls, The Cabaret where performers try things they never would do in a show or have never dared or … no such luck, the FF is ready to go and I’m ready to throw up everywhere. Every bone in my body screaming Do Not Do This You Will Bomb and me trying to remind myself how many I had watched bomb the night before and how wasn’t that the whole point of my last month and isn’t this the perfect time to try and won’t I be pissed if I don’t and so proud if I do?

Then we show up and people are getting into costume and it feels so much more together than it did the night before. Oh god oh god oh god oh god. Whiskey. We come up with a basic structure, the FF trying to add in ideas all the time and plan out the whole bit and me just wanting to know how do I get out of it at the end.

The evening’s a fantastic gong show, again with some spectacular stupidity and failure but this time some real laughs. Two rows of kids celebrating their A level results give an added bonus vibe to the night. We end up last. FF goes first, I let him bomb, then I’m up and we’re playing and I’m conscious that there is general real honest laughing happening. In the room. At us, what we’re doing. From multiple people.

We totally could have stretched it out a lot longer, could have played with the A level kids a bit longer, turned the game we shared on stage into a game with the audience. Blah blah blah. It was fun. People came up to us after to say they liked what we did it was funny and we played cool cool cool until three something in the morning when, having said goodbye to the hosts and performers we casually hung out with afterwards we found ourselves walking home and burst into giggling victory dance.

So yes, I’m tired and I’ll be back at the cabaret tonight, not to perform but who knows…

Today, only Track 3 and the Tiger Lillies but give me an hour or so and I’m sure that will change.

Oh! Wait! I’m in a show! Appearing one time only at 2pm as the dead girl. As far as I understand I will literally be the dead body onstage. For an hour. Under coats. Should be good. Maybe I can get a little nap in!