The final weekend!
Saturday was a fairly quick exit from the shop after a good day, to see The Year of the Hare at the Pleasance Dome 200 yards away. A burnt out office worker on the way to a meeting injures a wild hare and ends up taking it to a nearby hotel to recover. And then it gets strange! Excellent little production based on a Finnish novel, with a Scottish cast. The ending was inspired, as the actor left the theatre and a video projected on a screen apparently followed him down the stairs and out of the building…
After that it was across to Space at Surgeons Hall and an impulse decision to watch The Bastard Queen. This was a post-apocalyptic play set in a world with only 4 people left alive! It was well acted but had no real ending. And, as end of the world scenarios go, one full of students is to be avoided if at all possible!
Sunday was quite packed. After a coffee and a croissant at Cult Coffee it was off to see Edmund the Learned Pig at Summerhall. It was a play about a failing circus which needed a killer act to revive it’s fortunes but only got a talking pig! Well done, and good fun but the ending was a bit confused, possibly as it seemed to have a strange happy ending tacked on to appeal to children more. And the actors all signed it for the hard of hearing live as they spoke! Some of the audience were very appreciative of this. <Shakes both hands in the air for the effort the cast made to make the performance more inclusive!>
After that it was a stroll across to the Roxy and up two flights of stairs for The Bookbinder’s Tale, a one man show from NZ about the bookbinding trade and the perils of not doing a good job! Very well done.
Lunch at the Dovecot but no time to see their exhibition as we decided to go to Sweet at the Apex in the Grassmarket and a humorous play about deception and fraud in post war British botany, The Rhum Plants was performed by 4 people all wearing identical suits of thermal underwear/union suits and differently coloured hiking socks. Um, quite odd but a free tot of rum from it’s sponsors (a rum producer) before it began helped the enjoyment! It was based on a true story about plant collecting on Rhum and apparently we have a book about it at home if I want to know more!
The bank holiday crowds were all becoming a bit much so we ran away (well, took the bus!) to Portobello and a refreshing walk along the sands and prom. Then back in to town eventually and a nice evening meal at a small Turkish restaurant on Leith Walk – Cafe Pera, I think it’s called. During this, I discovered there was a late evening theatre production at Adam House called Mwathirika. We decided to go and hurried there to get there in time…
Mwathirika was an Indonesian puppet play based on the failed coup in 1965 and subsequent anti-Communist purges, etc. that lead to President Suharto gaining power, which he would retain for 30+ years… Very well done, and the Indonesian Ambassador to the UK agreed! (He and his party got seats in the middle of the front row. We had to sit at the end. Very good sightlines anyway!)
It’s all almost over; some venues have transformed back into normalcy already – Space closed up at the end of Saturday night… There are shows I’d quite like to see but neither of us are feeling particularly well today so we’re calling our Fringe & Festival a day and swearing to plan it all better next year!
Once my thoughts have settled, I may do a brief resume of the performances that have stuck with me. A couple are already fading away!