Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The quiet before whatever will come

Responding to great popular demand (thanks, Adrian) I'm resuming the daily schedule of this Edinburgh diary. Here I am, in the city itself. After an uneventful journey I arrived at Haymarket station, where my showmate (and now flatmate) Cecilia came to escort me to our new temporary home. The flat makes a huge difference from the cesspit where I stayed last year, it's bright and feels very clean and fresh. We soon went to check out the venue and to verify that the posters and fliers had arrived as promised. The confirmation that they did came as soon as we entered the venue, given that the staff recognised us from the posters. We had a look at the room itself and I found confirmed all the drawbacks I remembered from watching shows there, above all the passage to the kitchen and the ladies toilet. Somebody from the stuff told us not to "take the piss" out of the people going to the ladies, which given my interest in idioms gave me a lot to think about. We also went to Fringe Central, where I met the always supportive Ivor Dembina, the first familiar face I have seen this year. He very honestly agreed with my analysis that last here I overstretched myself and I'm grateful to him for this. I have now come to terms with that recognition and I'm really looking forward to a festival in which I can feel more confident and relaxed. Or at least this is how I was feeling until I saw a HUGE poster of Frisky and Mannish, a duo that shared with me the stage of the Hackney Empire final two years ago. Now, I don't know why that should impress me, they were already big back then and as a cabaret act they are not somebody I can feel in competition with. But I couldn't help thinking that they probably don't have the problem of their room being crossed by the passage to the ladies toilet. For a moment I thought of Edinburgh as some sort of school reunion, where it's almost impossible not to compare achievements, disappointments and belly sizes. But it was just a moment. This year I feel that I have my strongest set so far and that I can both enjoy myself and demonstrate something to the others. If that requires a bit of staff-disapproved piss taking... well, let it flow.

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