Thursday, August 07, 2008
Edinburgh Diary: Day Nine
The most invaluable purchase I have made during my time here has been the lovely £3 umbrella I bought in ‘£-Stretcher’ (my new favourite shop). The rain the past couple of days has been pretty relentless but I haven’t allowed it to dampen my spirits (hoho!) and I’ve been continuing to milk my Fringe experience for all it’s worth. (I’ve never been quite sure whether it’s correct to write ‘all its worth’ or ‘all it’s worth’… meh!)
Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen loads more shows. Des Bishop’s ‘Tongues’ was pretty good fun. He didn’t have me rolling in the aisles or anything but his canny observations on Irish culture and ‘shiny’ (as Eimear would say) personality won me over. I arrived for the gig a bit too early and decided to nip out to pick up a chocolate and raspberry muffin (I’ve been eating SO badly) just as Des was arriving. He ended up holding the door open for me even though, once I’d realised who it was, I tried to insist he enter first. No airs and graces about this chappie, I’m sure you’re glad to hear.
‘Circus Oz’ and ‘Feast of Flesh’ are two variety shows of Australian origins that are heavy on human acrobatics. Although, the latter is considerably more ‘adult’ with willies, boobies and bare bums on show throughout. ‘Circus Oz’ is on in the venue I’m working at and I actually got to be involved in one of the acts in a very small way. (I had to make sure that balls being juggled didn’t bounce off the stage. Maybe not very exciting but it was cool to be part of it.)
‘Feast of Flesh’ is in the vein of ‘La Clique’ but with less of an emphasis on spectacular stunts and more of an emphasis on eroticism. One scene, which I actually thought was pretty sexy, involves a woman starting off completely naked on a turntable before being completely wrapped in cling-film by two muscular men as she spins around. Hey, at least it’s slightly more dignified than doing porn!
Finally, I forked out £15 for a second-row seat at Camille O’ Sullivan’s ‘Dark Angel’ cabaret show but it was worth every last over-sized penny. The woman makes me want to use all manner of faggoty words like ‘mesmerising’ and ‘entrancing’ and she radiates this incredibly intense energy throughout her performance of songs by Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Jacques Brel. Each song is delivered so differently to the one before and the one after that I’m tempted to make some godawful pun about her being a ‘Camille-eon’ (oh look, I just did!)
Throughout the show, she swigs from a bottle of red wine and, at one point, breaks down in tears during ‘Look Mummy, No Hands.’ As she prowls along the front row, climbing on some patrons and snarling at others, she turns to one man and says, ‘You look scared. I’m scared too but, sure, that’s what it’s all about.” I’m not sure how much of her drunken, emotionally vulnerable persona is staged but I guess it doesn’t really matter when the performance is this good.
Right, I think I’ve enthused about Camille quite enough. I’ve discovered that the flat I’m staying in is around the pool from a 50m swimming pool. I’m sure that any of you that know me will realise that this is like all my Christmases come at once. I think I’ll head over for a quick splish splosh before work.