Day 21 at the Fringe – 19th August 2014

Feeling fairly corpse like this morning, I dragged myself out of bed at 11.30 am, (did you see what time I was blogging at last night? 4am AGAIN) showered, dressed in jeans, sweater and trainers and with a bottle of water in hand and my trusty knapsack over my shoulder (ok, it’s a blue drawstring gym bag emblazoned with the Saltire – I’m looking for effect here folks!) I legged it quick smart (and I mean LEGGED IT) down to the City Cafe in time for Pam Ford’s Free Festival Happy in my Skin Too at 12.30pm. This is a lovely honest show – with Pam WYSIWYG, and it’s a nice gentle start to the day. Pam has got an infectious giggle – the girl to my right kept breaking out in laughter every time she heard it! Go and see her.

Dave had been up and out earlier than me as per usual. I am not quite sure how he is maintaining the pace as he was out to Late N Live last night and didn’t get in till goodness knows when. He reported seeing Damien Clark, Andrew Bird, Scott Agnew, Phil Wang and Kai Humphries at that show, with a backing band called The Church. I’m fairly sure that when Dave has that magic number of 300 shows under his belt (plus a couple of extras for insurance) he will drop into a deep coma from which even Snow White’s kiss would not wake him. He is also full of the Fringe Festival germs, having caught the throat thing I had (which is now well on the mend thank you very much for asking).

The other problem with today was that Dave had had to replan it once already because of Radio Five Live asking him if they could interview him today about the World Record Attempt, then after he’d replanned around them, changing shows to make room, they re-emailed him to ask if it could be changed (to yesterday) and he’d told them no, we’d rescheduled once for them and weren’t prepared to lose more shows changing stuff around yet again.

Anyway, I digress. While I was at the CC seeing Pammy, Dave had already seen Ben Mepstead’s MIddle Class Idiots which was character comedy at The Counting House at 10.40am. Dave reported it as being “very promising” – strong words from someone in a sleep deprived morning semi coma, so I would recommend seeing this one for yourselves!

He’d then gone into Will Hodgson’s show at the Cabaret Voltaire on Blair Street. The show, called “You Will Be Taken From This Place” is a spoken word gig about the history of hanging. Dave told me that it was absolutely brilliant, but this morning over-ran by about 15 minutes which had knock on implications for his record schedule timings.

So – I came out of Pam’s show, nipped up the road to South Bridge to grab a vegan savoury of some sort from Piemaker (Thai Vegetable – mmmm) and a drink, then wandered back down to Bannermans on the Cowgate/Niddry St for Pippa Evan’s show: Don’t Worry, I Don’t Know Who I Am Either. I was quite surprised to find Dave there already – and he was a bit stressed because he felt his schedule was being knocked haywire. This show is Pippa’s multiple character act (as opposed to her full show character act Loretta Maine – I love that woman – but I wouldn’t want her for a sister/close friend!). DWIDKWIAE is a great show with Pippa at her most inventive. We were given songs, quizzes, c*ck jokes, (and to make it even, vagina jokes) and character after character. Great stuff – a very entertaining hour indeed!

Next we walked up Niddry St towards the Globe Bar to try and catch Mark Cooper-Jones’s show but the queue was already out the door and down the street and the queue manager dude came out to tell us that it was fairly unlikely that we (and quite a few others – we couldn’t take it personally) would not be able to get in due to the fact that it was “quite a small room”and that he’d been recommending people get there by 2.25pm for a sure seat. Pippa’s show had finished on time (2.35 pm) so it wasn’t her fault either – we were just trying to fit too many shows into too tight a space ourselves.

So – with Dave frantically replanning as we went (he just can’t afford to “lose” shows at this stage – the elusive 300 number glows ahead like a warm, dry beacon in the Edinburgh Festival rain) we nipped back around to Just the Tonic’s Mashhouse for Declan Dineen’s #meetandtweet – a show about Declan trying to meet up with 150 of his Twitter followers. An interesting hour!

Then it was time for my originally planned Clever Peter: Free for All, a Free Fringe show at the City Cafe again. The troupe are already doing a ticketed show too which we’ve seen (search for their name on the blog) and they were very good then too. Dave decided to join me for this instead of his scheduled show (timings between shows were making things difficult again). A good choice as it turned out because we both had a lovely hour at this sketch show in the bowels of the cafe. The three boys are quite manic and up for almost anything. Quick character changes, nobody’s scared to “be a lady” and there’s a good smattering of the almost obligatory simulated sex. The small audience were very appreciative of their efforts for sure!

Then we were both back at the Pleasance Forth for the next three shows including Knightmare Live – a show based on a tv show from the 80s and 90s.  I’ve never seen the TV show but it there were a lot of people in the audience who were there as big fans of the programme and we had Jess Fostekew in the cast playing several parts. A lot of fun for all concerned. Go buy a ticket and get to cheer, boo and hiss.

Oh, and then, and THEN, we were out and in again to the same space for Red Bastard. Dave had warned me that this would be like nothing I’d ever seen before and I’m not going to lie – I was quite worried about what was going to happen – and Dave, the bugger, had sat us down in the front row.

It is true – this gig is very original. Eric Davis, the artist behind the Bastard, will scare the pants off you to begin with, but as the show develops you will see where he is going, and if you go with it honestly you just might be made to see things differently and to move out of your comfort zone. I’m not saying any more on the subject – it’s definitely worth a punt!

Next in the same room we had Lights, Camera, Improvise: The Improvised Movie – a production by Mischief Theatre. Suggestions by the audience on genre and title see the Mischief company make a movie, which the director/narrator can play/rewind/slow mo for the crowd’s delight. All good stuff, although we have seen an awful lot of improv this Festival – I am afraid that due to the heat I nodded off once or twice, but we were right at the back so I don’t think they noticed!

Another change of plans at the end and we were off to Beth Vyse’s Get Up with Hands – a manic hour which Dave has already attended once but really wanted me to see! Beth plays a TV presenter who has her own morning show but is possibly on her way out of the business. Once again Dave was volunteered to get involved  (being Letitia Dean!) – while I rolled about laughing at his predicament. Photo attached! A great way to spend an hour – go get a ticket!

Over then to Just the Tonic’s “Just up the Road” venue on the Cowgate then for American Roadshow with Tamer Kattan and Toby Muresianu, who host this gig jointly, and have guest comedians also. It’s a nice wee show and today’s guest was a redheaded American lady called Zoe Rogers Well worth a late night visit.

Lastly I joined Dave for another showing of Wank the Dog. Not as horrific as the name suggests – it’s a slightly blue late night compilation of comics at the Free Sisters. It can be a bit of a bear pit as the late night, worse for wear audiences will show no mercy if the comedians can’t command the stage. (see our last blog of this show) but if a comedian is truly worth his fee, he should escape safely. We had a lady called Spring Day (yes, really)  and Ian Miller, our host for the night was also the headliner, coming on at the end with more of his very suspect movie illustration promo posters.

And so to bed, and very late too, so this blog is not being updated as quickly as usual. Dave being Letitia Dean



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