Just an Observation
Well that time of year is nearly upon us yet again!
The streets are already starting to fill up with dithering tourists not knowing where they are going and seemingly devoid of any purpose once they actually decide.
The skies are grey – as they have been for at least the last eighteen months so nothing new there.
The locals already exasperated and overwhelmed with a feeling of dread and the Scottish accent has all been obliterated and drowned out by the temporary onslaught of national and international interlopers.
Yes the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe and all that it brings with it –inevitably it will also start raining next Thursday and not stop until September- is upon us once again!
Actually this year I am quite ambivalent about the whole proceedings although I will still be reviewing shows. What I won’t be doing however is stressing out by running from one to another. Years of experience have taught me what will be worthwhile and what is to be avoided.
Mind you I do always try to pick at least one show I suspect will be dreadful as a means of releasing all the bile and frustrations I don’t feel I can justifiably take out on the aforementioned dithering tourists who seem to constantly dare to be in my way. Let me state however I don’t pick these shows indiscriminately and usually make sure it is a big budget production which has obviously had money thrown at it and should therefore be of a higher standard. It would be unfair to show such invective towards a struggling company as they are probably financially crippling themselves for years by staging their shows.
On the other hand maybe delusions should be quashed sooner rather than later and the way I approach such shows is by trying to imagine at what point they decided it was worth taking it beyond an idea then into rehearsals and then eventually onto a stage. If I can work out at what point it felt like a worthwhile project then that ios how I approach my review.
Then again I don’t have to pay for my tickets-which for most shows are certainly not cheap- so I also have a responsibility to make sure that people don’t waste their time as well as their money.
Things which look like sure bet are the stage productions of Trainspotting and A Streetcar Named Desire alongside Warhol acolyte Penny Arcade’s stage show all on at Assembly. Ruraidh Murray’s Club at The Gilded Balloon is another I have high hopes for and Circa, Elixir and Christeene at Underbelly are all probably worth checking out also.
As far as the official festival goes I would definitely recommend either one of Anonhi’s two shows-formerly Antony of Antony and the Johnsons- at the Playhouse on the 17th and 18th August playing the new album Hopelessness, which is possibly the best anti-war/protest album ever: definitely of this millennium.
As usual I find the whole Fringe programme completely daunting, uninformative and more than a little dense. Hopefully once I have spoken to a few venue promoters and staff I will have a clearer idea what will and what won’t be worth seeing.
Meanwhile a month after the EU referendum when things are no clearer than they were in the national collective fog of June 24th it is good to know that the new government is off on its summer holidays. How many other people with less responsible jobs would be allowed to jet off on holiday less than two weeks into a new job? Yet that is exactly that our new unelected Prime Minister has done. Yet again a different set of rules for the elite!
Cruella May did however reassure us about the referendum result before taking herself off to the sun by stating ‘Brexit means Brexit’.
The thing is what does Brexit actually mean? (My spell-check isn’t recognising it by the way). As far as I am aware it is a totally made up word with a meaning which is nebulous and more than a little undefined; even those who were advocating and supporting it didn’t have a clue what it actually meant. Therefore ‘Brexit means Brexit’ actually means…well, fuck all really.
I’ll leave you with that!

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