Festival

I think the total of shows I’ve attended during this year’s Fringe Festival probably exceeds the total of shows I’ve been to in previous years. As a good resident of Edinburgh during my seven years there I studiously avoided having anything to do with the Bloody Festival, aside from the one show that proved I wasn’t a total humbug. Now that I’ve left the city behind it’s much easier for me to head in, cope with the milling hordes and then run away again.

So, on Tuesday night I checked into my booked room at Pollock Halls and headed to the Filmhouse for Phill & Phil’s Perfect Ten Live, with a screening of Blazing Saddles. But let’s first tackle the elephant in the small, salmon pink room.

Waking up in your old halls after a decade…wasn’t really all that bad. It was a bit strange but my almost complete lack of nostalgia meant it really just felt like an over-priced Holiday Inn. £34 for a room that hadn’t been cleaned properly and having to share showers is a bit much. Add to that the fact that I had to fix the shower door before use (clearly none of my fellow residents could understand how runners work).

But enough about that. The Tens work great, I laughed my drunk arse off at Blazing Saddles (which I’d never seen before) and then stayed to dance badly in the corner of screen one while Juniper and Wilding pressed play on the CD players. Aces.

After suffering through the Pollock breakfast on Wednesday morning (shockingly bad) I stumbled over to George IVth Bridge to meet with Jack for morning coffee and festival program perusal. The day was to be bookended with the Collings and Herrin in the morning and Richard Herring in the evening. We elected to pick up tickets for Hardeep Singh Koli in the evening slot, with Michael Legge for post-lunch and free comedy at the White (something) as well.

The podcast was a corker, I belly laughed more than once. Then we bumped into a face I recognised from the night before and so the duo became a trio for the day as Colin joined the gang. After the podcast we decamped to the Tempting Tattie for lunch and then off to the GRV for Michael Legge’s show.

Despite Michael ragging on his own show, the three of us agreed that we’d enjoyed it. It was not 5/5 to be sure with some of the sketches falling flat but there were definite laughs in there and the names are now lodged in my head for future googling. Colin was pulled out of the small audience to participate which is only important to know once we move the action to the free show…

…which is now. One compere, three comics. The compere was Chris Martin and he was definitely the strongest act. The only other worth really mentioning was the girl who came on second. Mostly because she died on her arse. Badly. At one point she tried to engage the audience and picked on Colin. He promptly moved her onto me by stating he’d been picked on for the last show. The following exchange then occured;

“So what do you do?”

“I’m a software engineer.”

“Oh, right…do you enjoy it?”

“Aye, it’s good fun.”

“Oh…get paid a lot?”
“Not bad, I can’t complain.”

And then she moved on to Jack who responded that he was  PhD student. She went back to jokes.

Then food, where I barely managed to stay awake, having only had four hours in Pollock. Hardeep was a bit of a disapointment. He can tell a good tale, to be sure, but he seemed to be hiding behind the gimmick of cooking at the same time which consistently ruined the flow.

Then to Hitler Moustache which marks the first time I’ve seen Herring live. I laughed. I laughed so hard. I think he was right in his own critique that it strays a bit from comedy in the final act and veers towards being a bit too right-on, but his politics gel with mine so it was no hardship.

So adding the five shows I did on Wednesday (P&P was non-fringe) to seeing Adam Hills earlier, Rich Hall last night and Marcus Brigstocke next week, I’m definitely doing the Fringe this year. I guess that makes me a tourist in a city I’ve lived in.