When there's only a few days remaining you try and choose carefully, you read the official program guide, you ask fellow audience members for recommendations or more often than not, you choose according to what time it is, and where you are. For example, we were at the Space Triplex, right across the street from our flat, and a show we hadn't seen was starting in a few minutes, so we asked the box office staff if they'd seen it, and what they'd heard. They'd heard good things, so we went to see a 40 minute cabaret/play called Lydia Trueblood , The Black Widow of the Atlantic Coast. It was sparsely attended, and the Space Triplex Studio space that they were performing in was very stuffy, but we really enjoyed the story and songs.
Lydia Trueblood is loosely based on a real person. America's first female serial killer. It was written by Efrain Schunior and Liz Eldridge. Liz Eldridge also played Lydia and that gal can sing. Quite a set of pipes on her. I kept thinking that she would be a perfect fit for a Sophie Tucker play, because she had that kind of bravado. There were only about 5 people in the audience, which didn't make one bit of difference to the actors because they gave it their all. Clara Dykstra played Annabelle, Lydia's daughter, and she was able to play the trumpet and the accordion simultaneously. It was not a circus trick kind of thing, she played an entire song, and did a beautiful job.
It's interesting that there are so many plays at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe that have a female serial killer as protagonist. It's the zeitgeist of this Fringe. Is it because women are feeling disenfranchised in our modern world? Are we tired of being objectified, marginalized, abused, patronized and ignored? Some of the plays may have been written by men, and what does that mean? Are men these days afraid that centuries of downtrodden women will begin to extract their revenge on the patriarchal oppressors who exclude and demean them? Or am I just pissed that I have 5000 loads of travel laundry and a messy house awaiting me in Edina, Minnesota?
Is the glass half full, or half empty? Or does this mythical glass exist only in an exclusive mostly white male country club, and our daughters may never be allowed to take a sip of the heady champagne of opportunity and power?
This is what happens when I blog when I'm tired.
It doesn't help that we wasted precious minutes attending a concert that was not very good. The performer and details will remain blurry, because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But c'mon. Here's the deal. It was a person with an instrument and a computer, and some fancy electronic gadgets. I believe anyone should be allowed to create, and share that creation with others. But. . . .what we witnessed was more along the lines of musical masturbation. The first few minutes were interesting. . . in a lecture kind of way. A computer can record and play back instantly, a sound, and then you can use other electronic equipment to modify and alter that sound (essentially playing with yourself). Well, he played with himself for nearly 50 minutes. Judging by fellow audience members the subtitle of the show should have been The Somnambulist. The front row was so lucky, they got to stretch their feet out and recline. If it wasn't so noisy, I know I would have heard snoring.
Early on, I would see something I didn't particularly like and it would be no big deal. But the clock is ticking now, and every precious minute in Edinburgh matters. Sitting in a cacophonous concert my mind drifts to what I could be doing. Seeing a good (or at least better) show, chatting up a local or a fellow performer, taking a stroll because there's so much to see. . . The polite church like applause signals our release and we are free to make our next choice. Life is a gamble and at least we get to play. (Unless someone insists we watch them play a game of solitaire.)