A is for Aidan, Alex and Arthur

Just fourteen days to go before the solid-form, paper Edinburgh Fringe programme is finally released. Can’t bloody wait!! I’ve tried having a look around it online but it takes so long to get anywhere, and all that clicking back and forth for more information, can’t be doing with it. See, you can look in the paper version and there’s everything immediately in one glance, the blurb, the venue, the dates and all the varying prices, all there together, no messing. Checking online I’d still have to write all the details down, all that scribbling would take a long while and use paper anyway.

Yes, I took a peek yesterday, when I clicked on Browse What’s On it said there were 3196 results; I filtered out the Online shows and it came back with 3124 results; then I took out Children’s Shows, Events and Exhibitions (apparently there’s 199) leaving me with 2925 to browse through. And that’s another thing, I thought I’d just look through to the end of the A’s, then the next time I’d pick up with the B’s – there’s only previous and next choices of pages, no way of jumping straight to page 30 to the start of B (If there is a way it’s not obvious).

Actually the first shows listed are the ones with numerals at the start, about 30; one for the night owls is 2am at The Jazz Bar. The A’s always have a few beginning AAA to get the first listings, followed by a few Aaaaaaaaaargh…. shows (round about that number of a’s, I didn’t bother counting). I noticed Henry Naylor has a new show, Afghanistan Is Not Funny, this time he’s performing himself; and his one woman play Angel from 2016 is back again.

Joys, Mr Goatley is back with Aidan Goatley: Tenacious but not at the Sweet venue in the Grassmarket this year, he’s on at ZOO Playground at High School Yards instead. Also back is one of my finds from last year, Alex Farrow, still with Laughing Horse but in Cabaret Voltaire this time. Oo, I had a disagreement with a chap the other week who said that the Liquid Room was on the left-hand side near the bottom of Blair Street (it’s not, it’s on Victoria Street) he was obviously thinking of Cabaret Voltaire, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember it’s name at the time! Last year his solo show was Philosophy Pig, this year it’s Alex Farrow: Philosophy Machines, he may not be teaching philosophy any more but he’s not ready to give it up yet, and if there’s comedy to be mined from it, well.

Arthur Smith is back, of course. He must be in the running for longest-running Edinburgh Fringe act by now. Hmmm, I must check that out sometime but not right now as its way past my bedtime, so I’ll bid you good night.

Good night!

If you’ve never seen Buffy this won’t mean much!

Another Friday night and I ain’t got nobody – and I have about half an hour before Buffy comes on. The seventh series just started last night, but I turned over to watch the last episode of series six again, it is rather good! Mind the episodes leading up to it were pretty awesome too. Funny that, as first time round I wasn’t impressed by a lot of series six (apart from the obvious, of course), but on seeing it again there’s so many nuances and so much focus on personalities and relationships that I wonder, did I miss that or have the years given me a different perspective? A few thoughts on things I noticed this time round…..

Xander’s dad at the wedding, we all know that type, not nice and a lot of other ugly words; Xander would probably harbour secret worries that he’ll become the same. Let’s face it, he had become quite annoying and a tad disaffected through series six, so when Xander was shown a bitter future who didn’t think that was his truth? Okay, there was a teensy tiny suspicion but we were all relieved that it was a lie, sadly the lie had already done enough damage; Anya’s and Xander’s trust and belief in each other was torn to shreds by doubts and fears. I actually felt quite moved by their loss and fallibilities.

But back to Xander’s dad, where did I know that face from? Ah, I would have previously known it from Grace Under Fire (a great sitcom from the 90s), more recently it’s been the face of Bernadette’s taciturn father in The Big Bang Theory.

What a great story arc for Willow in series six, there were plenty of little hints of her descent into magic addiction, like the petulance and blind desire to shape life to suit herself. And when she gets really dark, wow, who ever would have thought sweet little Willow from season one would ever flay a guy alive?! Her romance, break up and getting back together with Tara was all so brilliantly written and acted; there was no big flag waving or heavy underlining of, oo, lesbians here, it was played so naturally and sweetly, I was rooting for them all the way. Tara’s death was quite shocking and signalled the start of the spiralling mayhem to the series finale.

How good was Anthony Head’s return? “I’d like to test that theory!” Boom, Giles was back, and the episode ended. There may have been a little air-punching the first time I saw that, and then we had to wait a whole week to see what would happen next! The anticipation! But the brilliance when it was Xander, the everyman, the ordinary chap, who saves the world and Willow by being himself and refusing to give up on her. Oh, my heartses!

One thing that didn’t ring true this series, this time and on my first viewing was the bathroom scene with Buffy and Spike. I get why it was put it in, but for all we know about these two, no, it just felt contrived and poorly written. I guess it wasn’t the easiest of scenes to write but still, it felt like the characters were being fed lines rather than being themselves.

Another wee note is Clem, like the Shar Pei of demonkind (very wrinkly skin). A sweet likeable demon who takes over Dawn-sitting duties when Spike takes off. For most of Buffy demons were all varying degrees of bad guys, then suddenly we notice Spike seems to have a chum and the local bar were demons hang is the place to go get info. This is, of course, after Angel goes to L.A. and Joss Whedon starts writing demons as just other citizens living there and getting on with their lives; which reminds me, next week E4 is showing Angel from the start. Joys!

Toodle pip, my sweets!