Edinburgh Retrospective

I’m holding an Edinburgh Festival Fringe retrospective. No PR, no invites, no celebrities, no press night. Audience of one. Just me. Sitting at my computer, in my soon to be vacated Edinburgh digs, reminiscing.

Actually vacated is a good word for it. Edinburgh has been vacated! The Royal Mile has reopened to traffic, no signs of posters or rogue flyers anywhere. No more colour coded lineards around the necks of improbably dressed and rather large ladies. No more street performers – good or bad. It’s all gone. Down the sink hole or back where it all came from. Most of it to London I’m afraid.

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no more buns

Buns baked: In exces of 700
Domestic Goddi remaining: 1

Hello. Helen here. Welcome to our farewell blog.

I’m sipping a black tea and munching on some beautiful florentines – a gift from our great stage manager Amy. How did she know I adore florentines?

Well, we had our final show today. A full house with my dad sat at the front, nearly falling off his seat laughing at Rosie’s dried-up old teacher. Rosie has headed off southwards in today’s unusually pleasant weather. I’m all packed up, ready to leave tomorrow morning. It feels very strange to be leaving this place. Continue reading

What A Night…

080808.jpgWhere else in the world do you get the chance in the space of a few hours to see the legendary theatre director Ken Campbell, a team of 1st class Musical Theatre performers presenting a Crop Circle Musical, see a top flight very English lighting technician deliver a rap celebration of Chicago Shakespeare Company, cheer a dance-off between top Korean dancers and a company of young British actors, and feel part of a world of performers and technicians who have just created 38 productions, 500+ performances, 3 theatres, and enough 4&5**** column inches to help launch many careers and new works.  Well Musical Theatre at George Square of course.  The party was hosted by the University of Edinburgh Festivals Office for all of us, and it was quite a party.  This morning it is a tribute to all involved that the place looked spotless, the box office opened on time, and the crash tests of Dr Bunhead started on time at 10am.  Continue reading

The end is nigh

The true grind of three weeks is starting to kick in. Generally a successful week with high points including an Avalon party with a free bar (Champagne that normally costs £7 a glass; I’ll have three please!).

Countdown continued to be a pleasure and finished in a tightly fought final between Stephen Grant and Alex Horne. Alex won out (maybe because he’s been on actual real Countdown on the telly and everything) and Stephen was a worthy and fitting second. Fitting because the show he brought to Edinburgh this year is called ‘Second’ and is about how he always comes second.

Yesterday I made the ill-advised decision to do the Leeds festival. Woke at 9am after four hours sleep, gruelling train, gig to 2000 people then tense journey back by the skin of my teeth.  Then last night the gig was horrid. I’d so nearly made it through the festival unscathed and then all the bastards turned up at once. No goodwill, no spirit. This was replaced by anger and a hen-do. I think it might have been playable had I not been on my last legs. I fell asleep with my trousers on, face down in my bed, knees on the floor. A broken man.

After a sleep and a shower felt much better, but I’m approaching tonight’s gig with trepidation. It can’t be worse. It can’t. One more of them and I will start taking hostages until the mood changes positive. Or as positive as it can be in a hostage situation.

Homeward train on Tuesday, all that remains between now and then is the last Monday of the fringe, an arch excercise in pointlessness which I will spend, as tradition dictates, pissed.

If I can only see 4 more shows…

Two more days and everyone is asking me what they should see before the end of the Festival – so I thought I’d just share my 4 tips for the future – pieces which reveal something about the creative artist and the power and potential of Musical Theatre.  Whilst I am so glad to have enjoyed almost every one of our 38 shows, over the next two days its time to push a few blog readers in some particular directions they may not have thought about. Continue reading

No Book Award – MTM Judges unexpected decision

How strange – I posted this blog two days ago writing eloquently about the lack of a Book Award this year, and now I see the blog appears blank.  You’ll never know what I felt when I learned of the decision – sorry.   However I do have one coda to add. I’ve just seen SPITFIRE GRILL presented by the RSAMD students written by Fred Alley and James Valcq.  Continue reading

The last push – to give joy to damp audiences

The hard work for all those involved with the Fringe is to sustain the level of energy needed every day, every performance right to the end. We have four days left here, and it’s the perfect time for shows that are doing quite well to pack-the-place and shows which have been struggling to make a mark to pull in the final holiday crowd.  Continue reading

Aarsian Chronicles episode three


Dear Blogfans, it's been a while since I last put index to qwerty and it's for a reason.
There's a show on up here called Who Writes This Crap (Joel Stickley and Luke Wright, Underbelly),
which I haven't had the chance to see, but I've read the blurb, the reviews, the flyers, the flyers, the flyers, the.
And fair play, we're all doing it.   Continue reading