EdLog 2013 - go out and explore!

Three shows and a Pleasance press launch in and the Fringe has most definitely arrived. It felt like the festival crept up on us; having come to Edinburgh last Friday for our weekend of technical rehearsals, well before most companies, it was almost a surprise to see bars open and shows performing when we returned for further rehearsals on Wednesday.

And suddenly it’s upon us. Tree upon tree of flyers. Choice so vast and varied it seems impossible to know where to start. Best to start with what you know, right?

Wrong.

The Edinburgh Fringe is a treasure trove of creativity, spilling with ideas, talent and, I’ll be honest, the odd duff. But these duffs, too, are an important process – often allowing artists their first taste of performance on a grand scale, and providing an environment in which to grow.

Edinburgh is a place where audience members can take risks. Go and see the big name comedians, but also try something new – take a punt on those engaging young artists who flyered you on the Royal Mile and spoke so eloquently about their performance and ambition.

And performers can take advantage of the glorious community that surrounds them. We’ve met with young companies on the Royal Mile that are flyering every hour of the day, leaving them no time to learn from other shows and companies, a vital ingredient in the Edinburgh experience. In contrast, the New Wolsey Youth Theatre has been instructed to see at least two other shows a day by their mentor. Now that’s more like it!

I’ve heard two opening speeches, from Anthony Alderson at the Pleasance and Lorne Campbell at Northern Stage, which celebrated the unique community created by the festival. Which were humbled by the honour of people from all nations descending upon the city to engage in this spectacular feast. And which cited the importance of continuing to foster this atmosphere and provide opportunities for young artists in these difficult economic times.

Already at the festival I’ve been lucky enough to have seen I Could’ve Been Better by Idiot Child, The Little Soldiers by Theatre Re, Stuart, A Life Backwards by HighTide and Major Tom by Victoria Melody. I have hundreds more shows on my hit list at Northern Stage at St Stephen’s, Summerhall, Dancebase, Forest Fringe and Pleasance to name but a few.

For me, it’s exhilarating to be flooded by shows of all different styles and journeys.

August in Edinburgh is the month to go out and explore.

Roz

EdLog 2013 - In J.K. Rowling's Bed

HOW ARE YOU SETTLING IN?

Our flat perches on top of Black Medicine, Edinburgh’s finest coffee shop. How dangerously easy it is to tumble out of my ex-J.K. Rowling bed (more on that later) for a macchiato and a smoothie.

Ryen, my onstage husband, follows me down for a soup bowl of cappuccino. Every morning since being here in Edinburgh we have told each other that this really must be the last time, and still we tumble in, imbibe and tumble out. Talking of taking a tumble, it is physically impossible to fall out of my once-owned-by-J.K. Rowling bed, or should I say ISLAND! It’s massive; even extreme ‘starfishing’ will not allow you to reach the coastline of the mattress.

NERVOUS NIGHTMARES

I have to say that I was totally freaked out the first night, as I lay there minding my own business and suddenly the bed began to move. I kid you not; I was convinced that someone was underneath it, pushing up my mattress with a murderous intent. Perhaps it was Machete Man (the mythical figure we imagined stalked Jawbone Walk through the Meadows). I prepared, choreographing my defensive moves with apt emotional breath. I was ready to leap from the bed to the light switch so that Machete Man could not grab my ankles… Turning the lights on is the best way of defeating intruders who hide under the bed. We all know that.

Poised on the bed, I leaped, ‘full stag’, off the bed for the switch, at least two metres up. But just as I was about to illuminate the room, mid-air I spotted a swirl of shadows all around me. I was suddenly frozen, held mid-air… Dementors! Dementors in my bedroom, Dementors in my nightmare?! They screeched, their mouths open ready to suck out my soul. I managed just in time to rip out one of the twisted metal poles that adorns the corners of my/JK’s bed and do a quick expelliarmus. Thank goodness I had paid attention in class and all was well. Perhaps this has happened before; perhaps she too had a nervous Edinburgh stormy-night-nightmare fuelled by too much coffee at the Elephant cafe…

HOW ARE YOU FEELING?

It is so exciting being here and before it all starts… You feel the pressure build, as if the storm is about to break. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to know that in a few days’ time the city will breathe creativity, the streets will be teeming and we, Gecko, will be part of that. I am so in awe of my colleagues. They are not only some of the greatest performers and technicians but they have hearts that swell with love and generosity and booze. I feel blessed to have the chance to be with them for this whole magical month, to be bought drinks by each and every one of them : )

WEATHER SERVICE

Before I go I must tell you about this service that Ryen and I are offering. It seems that whenever we leave the house the heavens open and we get drenched, only for it then to miraculously dry up as soon as we reach our destination. Today for example, wised up to this, I put on my mac. Ryen assured me the mac was not needed. Ryen had checked the weather forecast; Ryen said no rain, perhaps a few droplets. I opted for my poncho (not of the waterproof variety). We stepped out… golf balls of rain. Sodden, sodden poncho; SODDEN SODDING RYEN. So we will be broadcasting when we are about to go outside so that you know when not to… There will be a minimal charge. Terms and conditions apply.

Over and out.

– Georgina