I was listening, as usual, to Radio 4 on the way home from work tonight. Front Row was on, coming from Edinburgh and doing reviews of the shows around the festival Fringe.

It brought back memories of my own experience of the Fringe, of being part of a production and the excitement/thrill of the shows and talent on display.

I had accompanied a  very undistinguished university performance of a Shakespeare classic (naturally giving it the imaginative and unexpected treatment of modern dress!). This was a production justifiably forgettable in the annals of Fringe history and notably poorly attended. None of the cast members went on to win fame as a member of the Monty Python team (nor, indeed, do I know of any who have won fame in any specific walk of life!!).

Nevertheless, all of us had a ball, touring the other shows and productions at times when we weren’t ourselves performing, meeting with the other cast members at the Fringe bar afterwards. Walking down the city centre streets during the day or at night brought encounters with every sort of street artiste and performer, bringing an exuberant, enthusiatic, expectant energy to the whole Edinburgh experience.

Many of the other shows were utterly inspiring, the talent sparkling, clear and humbling. Many of them were entirely amateurish, like ourselves, obviously on the first foray to this international showcase, where raw new talent rubbed shoulders, sometimes uncomfortably, with mature, brilliant, seasoned performers.

Throughout the festival period the city was bubbling, very aware that it had the attention of the media, very aware that the brightest and best of the worlds of music, stage, screen and literature were distributed throughout the theatres and church halls of the town centre and environs.

This was the place people had come to to get noticed, to showcase their work, to earn the accolades of their peers. They had a short window in which to make their mark. This was a town momentarily full of folk single-mindedly marketing themselves, scanning audiences for signs of producers, commissioners, critics.

But for myself the highlight of the festival was getting along to a late night mimed production of Murder In The Red Barn. AB FAB!!! I have images of the actors in my mind to this day! They didn’t get the official ‘best in show’ award, but to me there was nothing to beat them. A look from Maria Martin told exactly what she thought and would do – she could certainly have given Angelina tips!

And listening to the round up tonight of the productions, my list of things to do before I reach XXXX

Not exactly a Fringe event - but a Scottish connection anyway!"

(30/40/50/60 depending on how well you know me!!!) has grown again. I must get back to Edinburgh for the festival again before that witching age!! (Which is, of course, growing worryingly close!!)


About xtrekki

OK - I've been doing this for almost a year now and have still not mastered the mysteries of blogging!! WHAT are widgets? What are tags? Where on the dashboard do I find them or an explanation of how I can get them to work for me? In other aspects of my life I am fairly sharp. I could certainly be advisor to Hercule Poirot in unraveling his most impenetrable of cases. So - why oh why can I not figure out how to manage this bloomin' blog???????
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4 Responses to Nostalgia…

  1. kileen says:

    I am a cultural vacuum. I have no desire to go to the Edinburgh festival. Edinburgh yes. Festival no.

    • blackwatertown says:

      Ah they’re both good – Edinburgh and the Festival (as long as you can find somewhere to stay that won’t bankrupt you – or indeed anywhere at all). The locals are friendly depsite the flood of incomers and there’s great fun to be had.
      I’ve only been once to help with a performance – it was a blast – saw Rhod Gilbert Welsh comedian (excellent) & 2 plays – Chronicles of Long Kesh (by Martin Lynch) & Go To Gaza And Drink The Sea (not so much humour in that one) – both good.

  2. xtrekki says:

    Other than Murder in the Red Barn I have no memory of who else I say – although I went to lots of shows; What I remember was the atmosphere and the buzz throughout the town! It was brill. All the better, probably, for being the first big festival I was ever at. I was entranced and thrilled by the whole thing!

  3. Patti says:

    Sounds really interesting – I’ll have to keep it in mind whenever I plan a trip to Scotland.

Looking forward to hearing from you...often!

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