Day Eleven at the Fringe – Saturday 9th August 2014 – being written up in the early hours of Monday 11th!

Have you any idea at all how frustrating it is to be blogging Saturday’s Fringe events on your wee tablet computer well after 2am on the eleventh night of the Fringe, decide to do a “save to draft” as it’s not quite finished but your eyelids are drooping and you will try to finish it the next morning – only for the tablet to ignore your finger on the “save” button and instead highlight the “delete” button and off it goes – into the ether, certainly not to the drafts folder. No – I LOOKED! It was gone.

Dave, who had just arrived from The Counting House, heard my whimpers of despair and suggested I try again tonight. So here we are on the Sunday night (1.19am) – a double lot of blogging to catch up and no extra hours in the night to do them. However – Dave has suggested I have nearly SIX hours off tomorrow (Monday) afternoon to get things up to date and I am also going to try and fit in my long run as the BUPA Intermediate HM plan with which I am vainly trying to keep up, is demanding another eight miler (should have run that today, Sunday,  but no time, and I’d run a 4.72 pyramid intervals yesterday around the Meadows, so my quads and hamstrings were killing me). Between the Fringe and the HM training, something has got to give, and I think it’s my body.

ANYWAY – this will be a short digest of shows seen for Saturday 9th, our eleventh day – drat it, I was so descriptive in the first version but the technology took it away and I have not the energy to redo.

So, first up for Dave was another viewing of Lexicon Lady down at the Free Sisters – he reports that it was a much better show this time around, much more honed.

Secondly he stayed down at the FS for Ray Fordyce’s Brunchtime Banter (part 2). This was a compilation show  comprising Ray Fordyce as MC, Mizzy Hamilton, a magician; Christopher Stephen who talked about Scottish independence, being ginger and wrestling; next up Ross Hepburn, a hypochondriac, and then Sir Reginald Tweedie-Duffer.

I’d been for my aforementioned training run around the Meadows, where there seemed to be a lot of marching bands setting up (and I’d spotted quite a few blue shirts of the Edinburgh Running Network who are hosting an event I’m running on the 24th at the Meadowbank Stadium), showered, then got myself down to the Pleasance Queen Dome for 12.20pm where Dave and I were to meet up for The Word Cafe, a spoken word hour with MC and poet Julie Mullen, also starring Matt Harvey and Katie Fox. We were staying at the Queen Dome for the majority of the day.

Next up a wicked hour of Austentatious, an improv period costume drama of a Jane Austen type novel (titles gleaned from the audience). Rachel Parris and Cariad Lloyd were amongst the players. All good fun!

Then into Swimming, a drama set on the Isle of Wight during the holiday season. The play portrayed the insularity and frustration of small island life and all three actors were very well observed. 

Then Dave and I split up between two venues for the next hour. He was staying at the Pleasance for Blofeld and Baxter, a cricket show, while I was nipping off down to the Underbelly at the Bristo Square Cowbarn, for the Musical Comedy Awards Showcase. 

I was ushered halfway down the Cowbarn and ended up right at the end of a row trapped up against the wall so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to escape quickly to get back to the Queen Dome to go into Jason Cook – Broken, at 17.40. The Musical show was finishing at 17.20pm and I could only hope it finished on time or I’d be struggling. 

MCing for the musical showcase was the wonderful Rob Deering; we then had some good acts to inclue Four Screws Loose doing a 80s medley (camping it up more than Butlins), Jonny Awsom, Jonny and the Baptists and eventually (after some mic and piano problems) Frisky and Mannish to finish off. I later found out that the technical issues they had were owing to something having been accidentally unplugged, (by whom I am not saying, but I KNOW!) 

So, eventually I fought my way through the crowds (and a heavily policed Israel/Palestine protest going on right in the middle of the Underbelly entrance area) back to the Pleasance Courtyard to go in with Dave to a fairly full house and Jason Cook. I’d completely forgotten that this was the chap who’d written the northern tv series Hebburn, which Dave and I had liked a lot. He comes across as a nice bloke, telling us about his wife and daughter – alongside some great photographs of him with the little one. Very open, honest and funny. Go and spend some of your Festival pennies on him!

After that it was onto the hilarious Mr Swallow – The Musical. A “a rehearsal” of the retelling of the Dracula story,  is the conceit of the thing, and alongside the over ambitious, total ego-maniac that is Mr Swallow (Nick Mohammed) we have three other supporting players (including, we were interested to see, David Elms in a new role to us – we’ve only ever seen him in stand-up!) The actor playing Jonathan Harker is a double for David Tennant, and I’m sure I’ve seen him before on something on tv but I can’t find a listing for his name so I can’t check! Very funny and energetic production – worth a punt!

Running late to start was Dan Clark: Me, My Selfie and I. We liked Dan’s tv show How Not To Live Your Life – so we were looking forward to his show, but it left us somewhat cold. It didn’t help that Dan took exception to a Scottish lady right in the front row, who was quite obviously texting someone on her mobile and not paying attention. It also didn’t help that she didn’t apologise but just carried on with her phone despite him having a continued go at her. In the end he offered her a refund (“speak to the venue staff”) and asked her to leave, which after a bit of backchat, she did. We’ve seen this sort of thing before(but rarely) with other gigs and it can be very hard work for the act to pull a show around afterwards, and it all just gets REALLY AWKWARD.

Anyway, onwards and upwards to a show that Dave was really excited about, Adam of the Riches. This guy had won the Fosters Award in 2011 and is a master of audacious audience interaction. So of course we were sitting in the front row…

…and for a short while we were even sharing the front row with (albeit at a slight angle to) Rowan Atkinson, but within a few minutes he had located himself to a rear bench well away from attention. 

Adam ran through a series of short sketches and scenes, with piles of people being involved including a Sean Bean spoof (and yes, Dave got dragged up on stage for this one) a tattooing scene (gore filled), and a very memorable shower scene. The room was packed out and everyone was having a whale of a time. Adam is anarchic and if you like your comedy sweaty, covered in “blood”, then soapy and wet, with some homo erotica thrown in, this is the man for you!

Our final show at the Queen Dome was Another F*cking Variety Show, a cabaret event hosted by Lily La Scala. The list up in the foyer included Mat Ricardo gentleman juggler, Aurora Galore (fan dancer) Cal Wilson (female comedian) Jason Byrne, Geins Family Giftshop, a two guy act, one of who got naked apart from a gilet used as a loincloth, and squeezed himself backwards through a small hoop. The star of the show however, was a burlesque act,  an extraordinary lady, whose name we didn’t catch, who got completely naked and then performed some painful looking tricks with dripping hot candlewax on various parts of her body. I’m not saying much more on this, but it was definitely the most extreme bikini wax you could think of!

This show ran nearly 45 minutes over, and so, still stunned from Miss Hot Wax, we had to then leg it over to the Counting House for Dave to see Bring on the Apocalypse. I stopped long enough to say hello, take a picture of Dave in front of the show (as per free show Guinness Record requirements) and get myself back to our B and B, where, as mentioned before, I tried to write up the blog and promptly lost it. 

These things are sent to try us.


Day twelve coming tomorrow!



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