The festival doesn’t really get going until about lunchtime so we filled the morning with, firstly, a trip to The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to see the Roy Litchenstein exhibit. They also had an exhibit of one of my other favourite artists, MC Escher, but we had seen the same one when we were in Rome last year so we passed on that.
Running alongside the main festival is also a book festival so I deposited Helen there before going to a hotel over the road where they were holding a record fair. It has been years, probably decades, since I last visited such a thing and I had imagined a number of rooms full of ancient vinyl but this was tiny. However, they did have some records that I hadn’t seen for a while. Who could resist Mike Rutherford’s underrated “Small Creeps Day”?
A quick stop for lunch and then a walk down the Royal Mile. This is where the real festival action is. It was stuffed full of visitors and people promoting their shows pushing flyers into your hand. Some also give a detailed explanation of just why you should see it.
Having a fistful of flyers we stepped aside to consider what we wanted and what we had time for. In the end we plumped for Departures, a musical set on a railway platform. We were let into the theatre right on time which I thought was strange as they left no time for us to get seated but the reason for this quickly became clear when the actors came on and purchased railway tickets from the “ticket office” while we filed in. It was well done and very enjoyable and was a lucky pick given the random nature of its selection.
Similarly our next show was something we had seen advertised on a street hoarding and so could have been hit or miss. It was described as Stomp meets Animal from the Muppets and that was probably doing it a disservice.
Fills Monkey are two French drummers and boy could they drum. They had two kits and plenty of props – I had never seem drums played with tennis balls before, for example. It was funny and high energy and they got a well deserved standing ovation at the end.
One of the things you need to consider with the festival is the logistics. While Edinburgh is a compact and walkable city things can still be on the other side of town from each other. This was the issue we had this evening where our dinner reservation which sandwiched two shows and was a mile and a half away. The up side of this was that by the end of the day I had more than doubled my daily steps target and we had walked over 10 miles!
Our final stop was to see Marcus Brigstocke who we have seen a couple of times before and knew him to be good. Through a luck of timing we ended up on the front row which was a mixed blessing given that the show included cheese and nudity! He was, however, incredibly funny. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so loud. It was a really great end to the day.
Oh and the weather today continued to be great!