Edinburgh Festival 2018 – Day Four

So, our penultimate day, and it had a lot to live up to after the successes of yesterday.

The beauty of the Fringe is that there are a huge variety of shows on offer for all tastes. However, there were three particular themes that stood out this year: improv – you name it and they improvised it from Jane Austen to Doctor Who, Harry Potter and really any other genre you can think of. There is only so much improvisation a man can take. The other two themes wouldn’t have even registered on the scale when we came three years ago: Trump and Brexit. Musicals, plays and, of course, the inevitable improv featured amongst the offerings.

We, however, started our day with a bit of home grown culture – Alan Bennett’s Say Something Happened. This was in another tiny venue with, let’s face it, lots of older people in attendance. It was poignant, funny and well acted. A really enjoyable start to the day.

We had a reasonably long break between this and our next booking so we made our way to George Street where there was an old Bedford van showing short videos. The van, which was originally one of seven, had been created by the UK government to take out to companies to show films on improving manufacturing processes. Now “Audrey” is the only one remaining and goes to events such as this to earn her keep.

We saw a ten minute video which started with three minutes on the history and restoration of the van followed by a selection of videos from the Pathe archives. We saw films taken from festivals in the late sixties including the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park. Way out man!

Next up was an absolute delight. In a theatre nearby and where I thought we should have been last night was a piece to celebrate the 60th anniversary of that quintessentially British TV show Blue Peter.

The setting was a green room behind an awards ceremony where Blue Peter were to receive an award to mark the 60th anniversary. To this had been invited a selection of previous Blue Peter presenters: Peter Purves, Janet Ellis, Mark Curry, Peter Duncan and Tim Vincent. It was an affectionate look at the show and a chance to share reminiscences and a few classic clips including several of the great John Nokes. It was great fun and even attended by another 80’s childrens great, Wee Jimmy Krankie!

Our final Fringe show for this year was a parody on the musical Hamilton. The original looks at the life of Alexander Hamilton this, the life of that other poor boy made good, Lewis Hamilton! 

I’m not sure what you would have got out of it if you hadn’t either seen the original or had a passing interest in F1. Fortunately that wasn’t a problem we had and so the cast of Lewis, along with Nicole, Ron and Fernando worked incredibly well. 

It’s a parody but it wasn’t very kind to Lewis making insinuations that I’m sure he would vehemently deny but it was funny. The look of hurt on poor old Ron’s face as Lewis told him he was leaving him for Mercedes was great. Alonso was a larger than life figure just like he is in real life but his mantra “Racing and brand go hand in hand” was no parody, that’s just spot on for F1.

We fly back tomorrow and while we don’t have any shows planned we do have one more treat in store…