Overzealous? Yes! (Or; Experience the Fringe, or Else!)Posted: August 15, 2010
I’m sure you have noticed…I enjoy attending events at the Fringe. And the International. And the book fest…even though an unusual lack of planning has meant that I am not attending any book events this year. Well, apart from one, maybe.
Anyway, I like to go to these things, comedy shows, music gigs, theatre pieces…if it looks good and there is more than moths in my purse, I’ll give it a go. And for the most part, this has lead to excellent nights out and joyous discoveries of performers whose shows I return to year after year. (Well, I’ve only lived in Edinburgh for three, but you know what I mean…)
There has only been one disaster, we went to see a show at the Thistle Hotel, called “Gilbert, or Death by Obituary”. This is the description…and I take massive issue with the use of the word “skilfully [sic]”.
How can an obituary writer find self-fulfilment when he lives in a town where nobody dies? When he’s befriended by a lonely old woman, we learn of the three worst deaths of his life in this multi-character black comedy skilfully performed by one actor.
Anywho, the guy was scary, thought shouting the lines was the same as expressing an emotion, was visibly annoyed that only 11 people turned out to see his show…all of which I could live with…until he got an erection. Now, this wasn’t part of the show. It just happened. But it did make a performance I already wasn’t enjoying 100 million times more awkward. And I couldn’t leave. Couldn’t. Because there were only 11 of us and for two to leave that tiny crowd would have been insufferably rude.
So, there you go, the story of Gilbert, the obituary and his erection. That was a bit of a tangent, what I meant to discuss was how I am overzealous about the Fringe. Why wouldn’t you want to go see these world class performers? Why, oh why wouldn’t you want to exploit a series of fun, interesting, cultural, intense events going on in your immediate vicinity for a whole month?
But it seems I am in the minority. The amount of people (from Edinburgh and surrounding environs, or who have lived here for quite a while) who tell me they ignore the whole damn thing is shocking! Actually shocking! They “don’t bother”. It’s a hassle. The sheer volume of people on the streets renders it irritating. “I just never get around to looking at the brochure.”
SERIOUSLY PEOPLE?? This makes no sense to me. But I am beginning to think that my attitude to the Fringe makes no sense to them. So, it seems, we are at am impasse.
I do think that growing up in the bog-end of nowhere has shaped my reactions. When I was a young’un we lived 30 minutes away from any form of fun. And even then, the fun was limited to the cinema. Which parents had to be begged to take us to. The nearest nightclub (that would let in 16 year olds, hello misspent youth) was an hour away by bus. Now, when I say misspent youth, it wasn’t really. Our parents all knew where we going, there was just literally nothing else for teenagers to do. And at the end of the night, the bus driver dropped us straight to our door—handy! The gigs that did go on were held in Dublin…which was a fair bit away. Now, I’m not bemoaning my sad teenage years, they were amazing in general. This has all converged to create a culturally greedy girl. Oh well. Such is life.
So what do you think? Would you ignore the Fringe? The International? The book fest? Am I really just an overzealous country bumpkin?