I bloody love the North. There's such a generally friendly vibe in Northern parts which seems to get lost amongst the stressed out commuters on the tubes of London. In Durham you can't even buy a tube of toothpaste in Boots without having a long chat with shop assistant who calls you 'pet' more times than Cheryl on the X Factor ('That'll be a YES from me pet.' What a babe) So spending two weeks even further North in Edinburgh was perfect - a bit of acclimatising from 'pet' to 'aye' & 'ye' & I was sorted.
A friend of mine from London also escaped the circle & district line to pop up to university in Leeds. She's been in Edinburgh for the whole of August putting on 'King Arthur' with a group of chums & so I maxed & relaxed with her & the cast while I was there. Being in the festival meant she could get complimentary tickets to loads of performances and being a seriously fab friend, she got me loads of free tickets to see things. So as a result, I saw quite frankly every manner of fringe-y spectacle under the sun. Ideal.
I saw - lots of improv (The improvised soap opera, improvised musical, improvised comedy), plays (happy, sad, creepy, strange, funny), musicals (la la la) and the completely inexplicable. 'Naive Dance Masterclass' for example - completely inexplicable...let's just say a man in a dressing gown befriends a fake rabbit called Tony who's in the police force, impregnates a street hulla hoopist who gives birth to a rabbit puppet. The dressing gown did not stay on for the whole play. He boogied around in tight back panties which were then removed. Naked, wearing a feather headdress, he danced in his own style of 'naive dance' to recreate 'air, water & flesh'. Did I mention his booty shaking? Yes, that was quite something.
'A Clockwork Orange' Definitely the most homo-erotic, sweaty & intense piece of theatre I've seen in a long time...
'The Lift' An English man, Irishman & a Jew get trapped in a lift. Three men, one box. It was great.
'A Resounding Tinkle' A suburban couple is sent the wrong sized elephant. Oh, and their uncle forgot to tell them about his sex change. It was most bizarre. Don't ignore the massive elephant in the room!
'Technodelic Comedy Show' Described as the next generation of entertainment from Japan, this was literally amazing. An interactive show that integrated electronic music (kind of needed ear plugs if I'm honest), comedy & dancers into a fantastical experience using video projection & optical illusion. I bloody loved it.
'Flamenco! Flamenco!' was a man called Ricardo Garcia playing guitar in such an incredible way. As he played, a male & a female Spanish couple danced. It was completely mesmorising & I bought Ricardo's cd the moment I left.
'And the Birds fell from the Sky' This was properly creepy. I went into a weird box room & put on some goggles & earphones. I was a person in this messed up film...at one point I was in a car with freaky clowns who were drinking vodka & spraying it on my face (I actually got sprayed as there must have been someone creating the effects while I was blindfolded). It ended with me handing over a bloody envelope & being given a mutated birds foot. Oh, & I was taken outside in a wheelchair at one point. All VERY strange & creepy I must say.
And many many more......