I am writing this further catch-up blog on the 29th of August. We have been home for two days and we are both still in Edinburgh Jet Lag Mode – i.e. feeling shattered, not quite believing we are back in Cornwall and I am still trying to kick off the horrible cold I caught up there. There have been chickens to collect from two different holiday homes, loads of veg needing harvesting from our kitchen garden, laundry to do, and Dave has been working full time on getting all of the paperwork together to send off to Guinness for ratification of the Fringe World Record.
I am aware that I have not yet accounted for the 24th and 25th of August (Days 26 and 27 respectively) plus there is a short blog due for our night at xsmalarkey on the 26th in Manchester on our way home.
I’m going to talk Dave through the shows he saw on my birthday (while I was running in an event run by the ERN at Meadowbank and having a few hours off after) and see how much he can remember. Also he did an extra show late that night and another one in the morning of the 25th. So here we go:
On the 24th Dave began his day at The Stand in the Square for Funny Stuff for Happy People, a children’s show with Martin Mor doing magic and other bits and pieces, taking the mickey out of the adults and had Silkie doing background music. Dave tells me it was really, REALLY good and had lots for the adults there too.
Then he was over to the PC (Green) for The Tale of the Dastardly Defrost, another kids’ show which had five actors playing various items found in a fridge including Champagne and Stilton. When the fridge gets defrosted – what happens?? Dave thought it was excellent.
Over then to Funz and Gamez, a Fosters Award Panel Prize winner at Just the Tonic Caves (on the Cowgate). Very much for adults as much as kids and had the best line Dave has heard all Fringe – which was related to Grandmothers’ longevity! (Dave has a dark and twisted side is all I’m going to say!)
Back over to the PC Green for a show called Little Prince in the Desert, a lovely little tale about an alien’s adventures on Earth. Very entertaining.
Staying at the Green Dave saw Jay Foreman’s Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children (And Other Funny Stories). Good fun! This finished up at quarter to six, whereupon he walked down to the Cowgatehead to catch up with me.
So to backtrack slightly in that day: after my running event, and having eaten two big slices of delicious cake, I went for a climb up Arthur’s Seat (the weather was lovely) and along with about a thousand others, wandered about on the top, marvelling at the views. I took lots of photos, then got myself back to the B and B via a scramble down the North face(!!) and a recovery jog around the base of the volcano, for a much needed shower before heading out for a spot of late veggie lunch (Himalaya Cafe) and then took myself down to the Cowgate to find venue 32, Cowgatehead, for Men and Myth a two part stand-up hour by Jack Samuel Warner and John Pendal.
Having introduced myself to John at the venue door, I was wished a Happy Birthday and was bought a pint of cider (which went down very well, thanks John!). During the very entertaining hour I was also presented with two cupcakes complete with candle and the audience sang Happy Birthday. We might have been a small crowd on this, the penultimate day of the Fringe, but we were beautifully formed and enjoying the acts. Then Dave sidled in the door to join me for the last fifteen minutes of the show and to keep me company for the rest of the evening.
We stayed at the Cowgatehead for the next two shows: the first of which was Alexander Bennett’s Follow Me which had very few in the audience to begin with – people were coming in two by two throughout the hour which was annoying because Alexander didn’t do his planned material thanks to the small amount of people in the room at the start! He did his best to put on a show for us given the circumstances (I liked Strange Laws!) and we know Alex is a talented young man because we saw him last year at The Counting House giving an excellent performance. He definitely deserved more this year. Fingers crossed for next.
The next show we saw there was Hennessey & Friends, an excellent three man (two men/one woman) sketch act. Some great sketches here, some joined narratively. They’d just won the Best New Sketch Act at the Gilded Balloon and get a space up there next year so well done!
So then, across the road to the Underbelly for the one and only Dark Room, a version of an eighties text based video game, dungeon mastered by John Robertson. Dressed in black with a sexy leather corset and Doc Martins, John strides the stage adorned with his Dark Room headset and torch, picking out his victims, verbally abusing them as they vainly attempt to find their way out of his Dark Room, giving them tiny moments of hope, dashing them down again, before killing them off (electronically that is) and rewarding them with Pot Noodles, unlabelled tins, inflatable whales and empty cardboard boxes. The crowd loved it and as each victim fell, a dozen others were shouting to take their place. This is the third time we’ve seen John’s Dark Room and it never fails to entertain us immensely. Altogether now : YOU AWAKE TO FIND YOURSELF IN A DARK ROOM!!
Staying at the Underbelly, we had a twenty minute break then back into Foil, Arms & Hog: Loch’d. This three man Irish sketch act had some great moments. We particularly liked Shaken Beer Can Roulette with a chap from the audience being picked out to go against one of the trio. To his credit the punter came through to win and we had the pleasure of seeing the other guy get well soaked. This was only a prelude to more messy play however as the venue staff plus Damian Clark were then running up the central aisle with cream pies and Champagne to throw and spray all over two of the (tied up with cable ties) sketch team as it was both their birthdays as well!
Lastly at the Underbelly we saw Best of Scottish Comedian of the Year. This had four comedians including Larry Dean as headliner. We didn’t manage to catch the names of any of the other three! Larry was his always splendid self, getting the best out of the late night audience with no trouble at all.
It was now well after midnight and I walked with Dave up to The Counting House, where we ascertained that there was going to be an audience for Improv From the Crypt, a show in the Ballroom by the Cambridge Impronauts. We were assured by the doorman that they had quite a few punters up there so I left Dave at that point to go home and get some rest. The improv came from the audience, the genre was vampires, the setting was a hospital, the title suggested by Dave, “Surgical Spirits!” (inspired!) . He reports it back to me as a very good show by a very young group.
And that was day 26!