After a week of unaccustomed hills and even more unaccustomed walking I’m about to leave Edinburgh. Perhaps I need a skateboard to use when I’m away from my bike? Or just skates? I feel the need for wheels of some sort, and a cool one would be nice – as long as I can manage the associated issues of balance.
I saw my last gig this morning, watching a bass-baritone sing a whole lot better than I can manage to the delight of a rather elderly crowd at the Queen’s Hall and, I believe, the live(ish) listening millions (OK, hundreds) on Radio 3. As a result the programme had strict instructions as to when we were allowed to applaud – presumably to avoid us crashing the pips (or some similar radio disaster).
Yesterday, I saw Dirty Great Love Story which counts as the best rom-com I have ever seen, bar none. Probably the cheapest too – it involved only two actors (who had also written it) and two chairs. No set, no scenario and no costume changes. Truly romance for these economic times. It made me both laugh and cry quite a lot: I think there may be a romantic trapped deep within me somewhere though fortunately he usually only makes a break for freedom in the safe anonymity of the dark. This time though he made his escape only 3 feet from the actors in a rather too well lit venue (I’m putting it down to a sudden attach of hayfever – not the play by Noel Coward – if anyone asks). This release of emotion also took place within touching distance of Michael Mosley: maker of excellent TV documentaries on medicine. Not quite the way I’d planned to add another celebrity to my growing list of “spottings”, but still rather better than when I invited Simon Amstell to go ahead of me in a sandwich shop using French a little earlier in the week (in my defence, I hadn’t recognised him at this stage – but I can’t really claim he looked particularly French either. Still, I like to imagine the Auld Alliance remains strong and so most of the locals will understand the language of Proust and Voltaire).
The other highlight of yesterday was Luke Wright – if not actually my favourite poet, then definitely top of the list of those I’ve seen perform live. Weekday Dad brought another errant tear to my eye, but luckily far fewer lux were in attendance. This performance did also make me wonder why theatrical lighting still produces so much waste heat: surely, there are more efficient and, more importantly for the small venues of the Fringe, cooler options available in this modern age? Is there a business opportunity here?
Still, now our hero must away to catch a bus into Waverley, before seeing how much of the cost of his First Class ticket home he can manage to munch his way through on the train south. I’m keen to give it 110%, at least!