We’re halfway! Or almost. It may be only one week into the Edinburgh Fringe, but on Sunday the third issue of Fest magazine will be sent to the printers, with only two further issues to go… and by Monday afternoon DorkyDad will have done five of his solo spoken word shows, with only four more shows left in the run.
There is plenty fun left to be had, (and hopefully the sun will make an appearance at some point too), but here are some of my highlights (and a couple of lowlights) so far.
Highlight: Fest writer cuts out the middlemen
This made me laugh. We wanted to do an interview with the wonderful Neil Gaiman for the Kids section of Fest. Stevie – the writer who was assigned the job – spent several days trying to track him down – through the Book Festival Press Office, then Neil’s publishers, then his PR, then his PA… They were all very friendly, but noncommittal because Neil was ‘travelling’. When her calls weren’t returned, she finally resorted to sending him a message on Twitter, and within an hour they’d got a time and venue set up. Seems he was in Edinburgh after all. Props to Stevie for tracking the man down, and props to Neil for responding so positively. You can read the interview here.
There’s really not a lot to be said about the rain, except that it is ever-present. It makes everything harder – flyering, queuing, getting DorkySon’s pram into any of the outdoor venues, finding somewhere to have lunch – and I hope it goes away soon.
Highlight: I pretend to be John Hegley, briefly
I was lucky enough to spend half an hour interviewing John Hegley, who is also in town with a show. We started chatting about social media, and I mentioned seeing that he’d joined Twitter a few days earlier, and was already up to 2500 followers. “Well yes,” he said. “But a friend set me up and I don’t really know how to use it. There’s something I want to say to all my Twitter followers today though. If I give you my password will you send it out for me?”
So he wrote what he wanted to say in my notebook (and, amazingly, it was exactly 140 characters long….), and then he wrote down his password. And when I came home, I logged into John Hegley’s Twitter account and sent a Tweet on his behalf.
I’m still scratching my head about that one. What an amazingly trusting, lovely man. You can read the interview here.
Okay, so the riots didn’t spread this far North. You can see the full extent of the Edinburgh riots here. (You really should watch that, it’ll make you laugh…) But the city is full of Londoners at this time of year, and it wasn’t much fun for them to sit several hundred miles away, watching the news footage on TV and wondering if they were going to have homes to go back to. Nearly a week on, and most comedians have incorporated something about the rioting into their show, but it still cast a shadow over proceedings for the opening weekend.
Highlight: Fest’s Kid critics cut everyone down to size
‘How cute!’ everyone said. ‘What a nice idea’ they cried. Yes, everyone thought it was a great idea to have children – aged between 5 and 10 – reviewing children’s shows for Fest… until they started to read the submissions.
“I did get bored as it was a bit too long.”
“One of the actors sometimes forgot their lines.”
“I only give the show one star.”
Personally, I think they’re some of the best reviews I’ve ever read of the festival. Completely honest, to the point, and BS free. The kids aren’t self-conscious, they don’t dress things up with long words, and they write for themselves rather than their audience. If there’s any justice, they’ll be back again next year.
Lowlight: Celeb Spotting
I’m not doing very well with this yet. I’ve seen Mark Watson walking up some steps in George Square, and Stewart Lee pushing a pram through the rain in Marchmont. Meanwhile my friends are putting pictures of themselves with John Malkovich up on Facebook. Must do better.
Sorry for the lack of blog posts at the mo. Hopefully that gives you some idea why. Normal service will be resumed in September.