Sunday, August 21, 2016

Edinburgh Days

I'm going to get these two bits of wood framed, as a souvenir of my two weeks 'holiday' in August 2016, with several days at the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. My 'batting average' of enjoyable shows was excellent early on, but was too good to last. And once you've been to two back-to-back shows that have not been very good, the remedy is to go and see, for the second time, a show you've enjoyed before.

Hibiki's Super-cussion (at Venue 43, theSpace@Symposium Hall until the 27th at 2pm each day) I could enjoy many times over. See my previous post here. Do go and see them if you can. The top pic is a broken taiko bachi (a drum stick). They don't make trees like they used to! A wonderful memory of Edinburgh 2016. I saw it happen. The performer (Hironobu, I think) barely missed a beat as he grabbed a replacement!

And I've now got the full set! Great fun.

I got up early one morning to be sure of seeing Elsa Jean McTaggart's morning show, and that was a lovely way to start a day. Elsa has two different shows each day until the 27th, at 11.50am and 7.30pm, both now in the same venue: theSpace@Symposium Hall, in Hill Square, Venue 43.

My 'find' of the Fringe was Countermeasure, a Canadian a capella group like no other. I went back to see them again, and enjoyed the second time even more than the first, partially because I didn't have to take part again! Their run has finished and the group should now be in Italy at a festival there. I hope our paths will cross again. A credit to Toronto, and Canada! I found this promotional video.

I have gained an admiration for those who 'flyer' their shows, which must be a thankless task, but is a vital marketing strategy. It is only this year that I've discovered that many of those who I've stopped to talk to about their show, are actually the performers.

It is a lovely thing when one is approached, to be able to take the ticket out of your pocket and say, "I'm just on the way to see your show!" Or better, "I saw your show the other night, and it was great!"

On the other hand, I have had to kick myself a couple of times when shows that I've looked forward to going to see have reached the end of their run before I was able to get to them!

I came across a couple of visitors with cameras pointed upwards. It took me a little while to appreciate that they were fascinated by this strange, rare, meteorological phenomenon. Yes, a Scottish blue sky, with nary a cloud in sight.

Next day, the rain was belting down, and the outside tables looked a bit forlorn!

Still, I've enjoyed the two weeks. I took the car up on a number of days, so that I could see evening shows. It's something I haven't done often, as the train is so convenient. I have learned about Edinburgh's various park and ride schemes, and have obtained good value from my National Entitlement Card, aka my bus pass. Lothian buses are wonderful!

One show that should get an 'honourable mention' from me is Joe Stilgoe's 'Songs on Film' at Assmbly Checkpoint, of an evening. That I did enjoy. See Joe's website here.

I had not intended that my Edinburgh adventures would last longer than two weeks. But many Fringe shows have another week to run. There are more drums to experience, and I've yet to find some good theatre to enjoy. Maybe I'll manage another couple of days in the big city this coming week!

Pics © Skip Cottage

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