So Long, Farewell and As For You…

August 30, 2009

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The Story of Poor Nell

August 26, 2009

A moment has come. In writing this, I have ever tried to remain a light-hearted, charming and generous correspondent. Whenever I felt my pen (sounds so much better than keyboard or word processor…God, what will become of poetic imagery?) grew heavy with o’er weighty thoughts, I drew back at once: this is not a pulpit and I no preacher.

However, I can keep silent no longer. It has become irresistibly clear to me that no less an evil than the white slave trade is operating at Edinburgh. There is no other explanation for my encounter this morning with a fair waif I shall discreetly refer to as Nell, for fear that her dastardly masters may be reading this. Read more

Perhaps the End of the Beginning

August 24, 2009

Awoke to discover inexplicable red stains on underwear. Close examination confirmed that they were not sanguineous, thank God. Attempted to work out what I might have been up to last night, but my hangover pointed out that this was a foolish course of action., so abandoned it. Later pointed out to me by colleagues that I had turned 21 at midnight, so any hope of remembering what might have occurred was folly. What I’m going to do with the spoils of the night- a shoe, a wheelbarrow and a badger- remains to be seen.

 Already it seems that the Fringe is withering away: alack, how brief is its mortal span, knew it well Horatio, etc. Last week always a bit of a bugger as energy must be maintained onstage even as everything offstage acquires the most incredible sense of ennui: seen everything you want to, drunk the place dry, slept with everything within reach. On the other hand, the less frenetic pace does allow one to really savour the sights. Read more

Edinburgh Ailments, Human and Otherwise

August 21, 2009

Awaking with a hangover is a bad business. Awaking in expectation of a hangover and finding that one actually has the flu is a business to make the blood run colder than my Grandma Harriet’s bath water (a strange woman…but I digress). Essentially, feels as though road blocks have been set up in my head by totalitarian germs, only to encounter vicious resistance from my immune system which, rather like the IRA really, does more harm than good by simply blowing up any endangered bits of my brain. I think, therefore my head explodes.

This state of affairs has somewhat affected my performance in ‘The Play About Charlotte’ I fear, although I cover it smoothly by looking intensely thoughtful while in fact just praying for a power cut, a warm bed and a cyanide pill. Read more

The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

August 19, 2009

male-fairy.jpgAwoke feeling healthy, happy and refreshed. Should have known something was up.  In a fit of goodwill set off early for the Royal Mile in order to get some serious flyering done: support show, bring joy to world, hand out adorable kittens, etc.  Didn’t even have customary second double espresso, as felt so utterly at peace with the world. Read more

Relaxing with a Friend

August 15, 2009

Apologies to my devoted readers for the absence of an epistle from me for some time: an international conspiracy centred around my intransigent laptop has been keeping me from you. However, remove the black armbands and raise the mourning veils, I speak to you again.

Have been joined in Edinburgh by an old pal o’mine. A rum cove, I first encountered him in the opium dens of Golders Green, making a living rewriting Tolstoy, a practice he has since given up for ocelot dentistry. Spent yesterday showing him round the murkier corners of Auld Reekie, before ushering him into the theatre for the day’s performance of The Play about Charlotte. Read more

Tribulations of celebrity in Edinburgh

August 11, 2009

Tricky show today, as was distracted by utterly implacable death stare directed at me from baby on the front row. Infant’s commendable silence throughout performance did not make up for his evident desire to eviscerate me. Wee fella will clearly grow up to be a serial killer (in another country he might have aspired to be a dictator directing continent-wide genocides, but British education will doubtless stymie his development: what is Peter Mandelson going to do about it, that’s what I want to know).

Otherwise, things go well for The Play About Charlotte; reviews, interviews, Oh the high life!, etc. Admittedly, I have had some difficulty adapting to my newfound celebrity: the number of people I have had to graciously smile at, give my number to, kiss cheek of and so on is really getting quite tiresome. Their looks of adoring awe have been mistaken by many for blank mystification or alarm, but, rest assured my fans, I know the truth and can feel the love. Read more

And the flood came to Edinburgh

August 9, 2009

All is fuzzy. Stumbling over flat surfaces. The Edinburgh bubble gapes before me. Sleep deprived, self huddles in streets of Auld Reekie, desperately seeking coffee and cigarettes while ducking undercover around legions of enemy flyers.

However, the rain today proved some distraction. It fell while I and another cast member were holding our producer’s heels as he scrambled up one of the columns of the mile attempting to get our posters to a higher vantage point.  Much comment from passing crowds, generally complimentary- ‘Completely unsafe’, ‘Looks frankly cultish’, ‘Are they hiding the body?’, ‘Is Ronnie Biggs involved?’- if somewhat unaware of the considerable pain fellow actor and self were going through as our backs formed isosceles triangles. Our producer is a thin man, but he does wear very heavy shoes, the swine. Read more

Experiences of an Edinburgh veteran on the Royal Mile

August 8, 2009

840w4142.jpgFlyering. Oh  God, the flyering. Fringe actually started about 14 hours ago and am already thoroughly convinced by arguments for ethnic cleansing on the Royal Mile.  Anything to stop the flyering. You know it’s ridiculous when all you can do is flyer other flyerers and assorted tourists whose looks of benign puzzlement as a myriad of obscenely coloured hankies are pressed upon them are a dagger to the heart of a dogged publicist such as self.

On the other hand, process does afford some weighty insights into humanity. One lady, on being presented with one of the aforesaid documents, gazed calmly into my eyes and said ‘’I am not here.’’ Bowled over by the existential despair of her statement, I reeled away and sought spiritual reassurance in a nearby tavern. Read more

Experiences of an Edinburgh veteran on the Royal Mile

August 7, 2009


Arrived in Edinburgh yesterday.  Went directly to tech rehearsal. Was, as usual, driven to point of insanity by experience of standing completely still while lights of varying temperatures shone across my apparently un-cooperative features. Idly began composing opening chapters of a weighty novel concerning a poor Latvian bin liner’s attempts to deal with consciousness, brought about by freak radiation, in a post Communist society. Noticed a floating bit of fluff and completely forgot aforesaid chapters. In fit of creative despair, joined cast for festive drink.

Awoke this morning in agonies. Found rest of cast similarly blighted. Repeated application of coffee and nicotine failed to alleviate dilemna. Dress rehearsal accordingly somewhat limp, so went for long walk to regain composure. Edinburgh is a very beautiful place: it has immense elegance, which is all the more intriguing for the air of genteel decay. Even the rain seems pleasantly absent-minded, although the minute it clocks quite how utterly it can ruin one’s day it will doubtless turn nasty. A bit like my great-aunt Ermintrude. Read more

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