On the fringe of 2018

2018-01-02 22.21.19.jpg20180101_125146.jpg2018-01-01 22.50.59.jpgSo here we are in a new year, another Fringe to look forward to. Who will return? Who will come up for the first time? Will Barry Ferns return to do a This Arthur’s Seat Belongs to Lionel Ritchie show? Speaking of Arthur’s Seat, besides popping up to the top in August, it is a popular tradition on New Year’s Day to climb to the summit to celebrate the New Year – often with a tot of whisky or slug of champagne, after all it is thirsty work getting up there!

Once the breath has been caught, noses blown, a toast imbibed and the view thoroughly admired, it’s time for the photographic evidence that you were there. “Excuse me, but would you mind taking a photo of us?” is the question of the day in so many different accents from around the world, for a damp hilltop it’s very cosmopolitan! I take it many hoteliers or Trip Advisor must mention it as the number one thing to do on the 1st – at least it’s free!

We even had reasonable weather for most of the day this year, though it was very muddy underfoot, almost as slip slidy as ice. While going up gets quite arduous near the top, coming back down over slippery rocks and mud is a rather scarier for those of us with a touch of vertigo. A sturdy stick does help steady the nerves, or another tot of whisky!

So hopefully you’ll get to see a photo of yours truly at the top, another looking up at the hordes from lower down and the third looking over Edinburgh with a clear view of the Castle. Do let me know if they haven’t appeared. Cheers, m’dears!

 

 

Never babysit an anxious hound.

Really, don’t! Even in the night I’d be disturbed by my door opening as he checked I was still there. So no fringe shows, just walking and more walking. We did take a brief trip down to Portobello beach for a run on the sand followed by coffee at Miro’s on the Esplanade, ok, so we had cake too. Damn fine coffee, friendly table service, scrumptious sticky toffee cake, just a shame pooch wasn’t one for chilling and watching the world go by. Thankfully he went home this morning, yay.

So from paranoid pooches to good bears – I much prefer a Goodbear! Goodbear are a comedy duo, Henry Perryment and Joe Barnes who are now finely tuned to tweaking funny bones. This is the third year I’ve seen them at the Fringe and they just get better and better. This year the Apres Vie Hotel is the setting for their strange, often rather creepy, creations in sketches which twist in the most unexpected ways. It’s the twists that they do so well and they’re so charming too. I predict great things for both of them.

Also back was Aidan Goatley doing an updated version of his 2013 show Ten Films With My Dad, which was a free show at the Voodoo Rooms, next he moved to the room downstairs at Ciao Roma. TOP TIP – buy some of their icecream if you’re going to a show at Ciao Roma because i) it’s bloody roasting down there, and ii) it’s sooo good, I would recommend a scope of the sea buckthorn with a scope of the mango, heaven in a tub!

Last year Aidan moved on to the paying Fringe, which was ironic as I bought a ticket at the Half Price Hut for £4 – I always give a fiver at free fringe shows! He is an hour of joy and amusement at life’s foibles, there is an occasional slight rant, like last year’s about “street food” on which I am in total agreement with him. This year’s rant was about Avatar and again I find myself supporting his stance, quite obviously a man of intellect and taste. Highlight was his telling of going to Chicago with his Dad, with his synopsis of Escape to Victory a close second. He’s finished his Fringe run for this year, worth remembering his name for next year.

Let’s make this a trio of rib ticklers and mention Sleeping Trees, who have moved to Pleasance Dome this year, once again at the Movies: Mafia, Western and Sci-fi. The live score is superb and adds so much to the show. The physical and verbal comedy of these chaps is outstanding with some surrealism thrown in for good measure. They’re also doing Sleeping Trees and the Chocolate Factory again at the Pleasance Courtyard on Friday and Saturday evenings, it’s not in the Fringe Programme so almost feels like a cosy secret for the fans. Which reminds me I really should get a ticket!

 

Uke Hooting!

I did intend to write another post tonight but then I decided instead to go to the Kilderkin for the Uke Hoot. Now I’m home, it’s late, so just a quickie! Uke Hoot is a bunch of people who meet in a pub to play all sorts of tunes on ukuleles, it really is a hoot. I first came across this phenomenon a couple of years ago by happy accident.

Anyone can turn up uke in hand, you don’t have to be a great player, just enthusiastic, though be warned – they do tend to play everything at 100 miles an hour! No worries about the music, there is a large bag with all the song books and most songs had the little chord diagrams somewhere on the page.

Usually it’s on at the Kilderkin, down near the bottom of the Royal Mile, at 7.30 on a Wednesday, but as the Kilderkin will be using the side room as part of PBH’s Free Fringe, for the month of August Uke Hoot moves to the Blue Blazer, another fine real ale pub on the corner of Bread Street and Spittal Street (well worth a visit).

Witnessing the Uke Hoot would be almost like a free show itself, or if you’re in town and happen to have a ukulele about your person, do go along!

 

 

 

 

Who are you?

Day four suggests I identity my audience. Moose lovers! Edinburgh fringe-goers past, present and future, be you a fringer or fringee (though I’m not sure which are the performers and which the audience). If you like quirky, dark, slightly surreal, humorous, then I’m your moose. If you want gritty, social commentary, worthiness, sorry, but the Fringe is my escape from all that. I have been known to dip my toe in occasionally, like Henry Naylor’s last three works, all three were riveting and discomforting and I’m glad I went off piste for them.

As the time draws nearer I shall offer advice on how to sift your way through the programme and find those nuggets of gold. And maybe I might figure out how to show you some of my old fringe pics! Ho hum.

 

Please do not read this rubbish

Back in 1997 I went to an Edinburgh Fringe show called Marvin Hanglider -The Power of Negative Advertising. The blurb in the programme warned people not to see the show, not to waste their money on a ticket, it was rubbish. Needless to say he did pretty well, thanks to the contrariness of Fringe-goers.

I furnish you with this fact just to practice my blogging, indeed, you’ll hopefully get to see a photo of yours truly if I can follow the instructions right. A wee pic of me in a favourite spot, Dr Neil’s Garden by the side of Duddingston Loch. A peaceful bolthole about a half hour walk from the Pleasance Courtyard.

Ok, so no picture yet, apparently I have no media, but there is a photo there, honest, I just saved it like forty minutes ago when I started this post. Ho hum. It will be a pleasure for another time!