Edinburgh 4 – Book Launch, Iceland, Cambridge & Singles

I’m delighted that “Your Life in Theatre” is now out, the Edinburgh Brooke’s Bar croissants have been polished off, a pile of books have sold to creative colleagues and guests to the launch, and I’ve been signing.  A lovely way to mark the start of the next stage of my creative journey.  Thank you so many friends for being there.  Next launch London August 28th.

Then off to three shows. Firstly “Kate” in the Pleasance Bunker by the UK Icelandic company Lost Watch led by writer/director Agnes Porkelsdóttir Wild, Rianna Dearden and Olivia Hirst.  This was a fast paced family saga set when the English soldiers moved to be based in Iceland at the start of World War II – love lost and found and lost supported by some beautiful a cappella music.  So pleased to have caught this new young company with their second piece.  Good to catch up with the other two members of the company Anna Nicholson and Chris Woodley who have been giving me their top tips for the Fringe. Sell out houses and Iceland knitwear makes for a hot performance – but worth it.

A walk across town next to Greenside down by the Playhouse. One of those venues which has to rely on its productions and promotion to draw in an audience because there is no passing trade.  I shouldn’t have worried – we joined a large house along with members of the Pembroke Players as we “Occupied” the space in protest at an offensive and racist production of The Producers by the C.U.M.T.S. This comedy drama took a while to get going, but then crackled into life with some wonderful one-liners and some fun political parlour songs.  Sorry I can’t give you a name check on the artists…you guessed it, no programme.  In he end we were all throwing in slogans for a demonstration against battery chickens – they didn’t use my “give chickens more greenside” – oh well, I liked it.

And then back for a one man show from Boston “The Chronic Single’s Handbook” at the Space performed by Randy Ross who had come to see me at one of my Surgeries.   He explored his chronic search for love and connection in a 4 month travel journey to an appreciative audience through a series of “weird, short and depressing” encounters. I was pleased to learn after the performance that he has since grown richer in his love life that he achieved in his journey – I look forward to his next visit to Edinburgh with a Chronic man in love show.

Randy did a lovely thing at the end of the show – noticing another performer in the audience from a show he’s seen and liked, he invited them to elevator pitch their show, and then said how much he’d enjoyed it.   This camaraderie is what makes Edinburgh special.

And now I’m back in Brooke’s Bar, winding down in the warm before heading back to Suffolk and then Belfast.  Back in Edinburgh with more to report next Sunday.

I’ll try and bring the sun back with me.