I have developed a super power while here in Edinburgh. The minute I put a stack of flyers in my hand and approach a stranger, there's a 75 percent chance I become invisible. Since I have no control over this invisibility, it cannot be depended upon. Glenn feels his super power has more to do with magnetism and actually being able to repel people when flyering.
Inversely, a side effect of mine is that I seem to attract drunks. Vincent grabbed hold of my arm and didn't want to let go. He'd had numerous drams, (or pints) and really wanted to chat. He thought I could meet him in London. Which would be fine with me, I love London, but, I had a show to do, so I used a move that used to untangle me from a parents grasp as a child, and I literally ran away from Vincent.
I had a costume mistake this morning during Macaroni on a Hotdog. I was ready to make my 2nd entrance as Raphney (the adorable lady who helps run the Lutheran Church), and I realized I had neglected to put on her purple pants. Luckily I was able to get them on in less than 2 seconds and make my entrance. There is very little margin for error in my play, which is why I exercise faithfully every morning, take my vitamins and avoid alcohol during the week. That sounds pious, but the Fringe is a marathon, and I am planning to finish it.
My aim is to treat myself to a pint on Saturday, and I've been eyeing one called Arran Dark at the Abbey Pub. Hopefully the cask won't be empty. That happens sometimes. In 2012 one of my saddest memories, is of heading to a pub that I knew had Adnam's Broadside, and finding out that only minutes before they had pulled the last pint from the cask and they had no more left. Mine was the face of sadness.
So, we decided to go to a play at the Traverse Theatre today, it just won a Fringe First prize, which is a big deal, and it's also been awarded a ton of stars. It was Swallow by Stef Smith (who I had met at a playwriting workshop at Fringe Central). I'm glad we went. The acting was excellent, the staging really interesting and I loved the sound design. We've been used to going to plays that are right around 50 minutes though, so the 2 hour length of the play, and the fact that we paid 20 pounds each for ticket, made it a less than great experience.
I'll call it the Guthrie Effect. You pay a bunch of money, and you sit in an audience full of people who are usually well-to-do, and everyone claps and tells each other what an amazing play they just saw. But what if you don't really feel that way? What if there's a whole bunch of Emperor's New Clothes stuff going on? Does theatre have a duty to 'challenge' you? Or should it be entertaining? Can it be both? Should you hold a play to a higher standard because it has fancy production values and a posh venue?
For supper this evening, we stopped at Petite Paris, near the castle. If you eat there before 5 p.m., you can have your choice of entrée and a cup of tea (or coffee) afterward for 8 pounds 90 pence each. So, supper was a splurge at 20 pounds, but we'd had oatmeal for breakfast (very economical) and toast in the room for lunch. Petite Paris serves really good food. There was a blue cheese sauce on my entrée that was so delicious, accompanied by crispy roasted potatoes, and a nice basket of French bread. We sat inside the restaurant, so we were sheltered from the noise and bustle of the street (and street performers). Street performers are scattered everywhere around the Royal Mile, and some of them (sadly) are amplified.
We saw a man juggle a chainsaw on our way to flyer on the Mile, (but the blade was removed, so, big whoop, where's the danger in that?), and there was a woman who you could pay, to type you out, on an old fashioned typewriter, custom designed erotica. I was intrigued, but we didn't stop.
We flyered for a good long while and then saw One For My Baby, a new play written by Anthony Orme, playing at venue 39 theSpace on the Mile. The play focuses on the stormy marriage of Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra. They did a great job showing the passionate nature of their relationship and the pitfalls of life in the public eye. What should you sacrifice for your career? Only when Frank said something about a queue did I realize that it was written and performed by UK residents. They did a fine job with the accents and atmosphere. A piano and saxophone accompanied the singers.
On a whim we stayed to see another play in the same space, The Heist, by Heretical Productions, and it was really silly fun. Lots of laughter and a very talented piano player who provided songs and sound effects for the actors. I'm pretty sure I recognized one of the actors, he did improv and a children's show at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe.
In a rare burst of seeing 4 plays in one day, we caught Ozymandia's, by Raving Mask Theatre. I chose it on the title and time alone. It was at theSpace at Jury's Inn, which is venue 260. There was this set up at the beginning, where you're pretty sure you're in for one of those interminable plays where people do things slowly and talk in a serious voice and that means it's art and all kinds of profound. Well, it soon turned into a lot of fun and not at all what we were expecting. Lots of laughs, and a few things to think about too.