Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Youth Of Today

We went to Edinburgh yesterday for the Fringe. After the youth led rioting going on the previous nights in England, the contrast here in Scotland could not have been starker. Here was the total opposite. Gangs of young people roamed the streets doing nothing more threatening than handing you a flyer and lurching into a sales pitch for their unmissable shows that had already received five star reviews.

We were overwhelmed by a feeling of age as here were perhaps some of the stars of the future barely out of short trousers and sometimes still in them. The festival has a real sense of joie de vivre and happiness to lighten the worries of our life savings going downhill on the out of control roller coaster that has been the investment market of the past week.

Marion took one of the free hugs on offer but couldn't be persuaded to see the show that was being promoted. 

The sun shone on us for the day and we discovered that we had visited on a day in which many of the shows were on offer at half price. There is so much to see that I would advise you to go in the internet and book in advance (something we would have done if we had in internet connection in the caravan). Arriving ticketless resulted in queuing for an hour although we managed to find our first ticket while still in the queue as a very attractive young woman asked if we would like two tickets for her show.

It turned out to be Alison Thea-Skot who was delighted to discover that Marion had written down her show as one of the possibilities. We managed to buy tickets for three more performances and make it to Alison's gig "The Human Tuning Fork" in a venue known as the caves with seconds to spare. It was a very dingy and damp cellar but the show, a two handed comedy play, was harmless fun and a good way to start our initiation into the wonders of The Fringe. Alison played four characters including, in my favourite scene, a children's TV presenter (accompanied by a Pugsy type bear) roped into reporting on a hostage situation being part of the nearest TV crew to the crime scene- very funny. After the play we went to The Scotsman hotel and had a light lunch before having another look around the free shows and the sales pitches going on.

We saw Sheeps a sketch show performed by three very funny and very young men. As with all sketch shows there were some hits and some misses but I am happy to say that the hits won the day by a fair distance and the audience was in fits.

Immediately after Sheeps we watched Roisin Conarty do her stand up routine titled Destiny's Dickhead. This was more conventional comedy - very polished with plenty of laughs. 

Our final show of the day was Colin Hoult's inferno. In a packed bigger venue this was a highly original and different type of entertainment with Hoult morphing seamlessly between a number of weird and wonderful characters whilst accompanied by a young woman and one of the strangest straight men you are likely to see. It was all a bit too peculiar for my taste in humour and I'm not sure how much the rest of the audience liked it as the laughter was more muted than in the day's other sell out shows. But I am glad that we saw it as another dimension to what was on offer.

On a final note. Great to see "A League Of Their Own" being given a huge showcase at the Charity Shield in Wembley at the weekend. This is the show that was devised and developed by our son Paul and it's wonderful that it is already into its fourth series.

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