Taking Edinburgh home with me (but leaving the rain)

Last night I made a list of the theatre shows I have seen in Edinburgh this month, as this adventure draws to a close.  Tomorrow it is home time.

I’ve counted 19, 11 of which were free.  And I’m going to try and squeeze in one more freebie this afternoon.  I think I have the smallest total of all the dolls, but it is still A LOT. I don’t think I usually see that many in a year.  What a treat.

I’ve been trying to think what I should say about it all.  Is it too much?  Is it economically unjust? Is it self-indulgent?  It feels too soon to be able to have processed any of it.  Instead I’m going to offer you a taste of the best things I am taking away with me, the things that have enriched me this past month:

Ali McGregor has made me want to be a better singer and Camille O’Sullivan convinced me to be braver in telling stories through songs.  Mark Thomas has made me want to work on my articulation and, together with Tony Benn, has stirred back to life certain political convictions.  All the plays I have seen about war (A Solder’s Song, Soldiers’ Wives, Captain Ferguson’s Balloon Warfare) have cemented a visceral hatred of violence and the lack of imagination that drives it. The poet Harry Baker has impressed me by being so young and brilliant and entirely himself.  The three Dutch boys clowning and slapsticking their way through 3 shows a day of Nothing is Really Difficult  have brought joy to my soul with their mad flyering techniques and amazing accents.  The two girls known as RashDash theatre company have resurrected my optimism for emerging theatre, with their raw energy and creativity, and loud commitment to things that matter (this I echo).  Their production of Ugly Sisters (Cinderella told by the underdogs) was a highlight.  I am grateful for the simple beauty of Waiting for Stanley, the adrenalin-party that was Rhythmic Circus, the sustained strength and whimsical intentionality of Mess, and I think I’m going to love the ukulele playing in Formby later.

Those crazy Dutch boys

(I also blogged in more depth about Mark Thomas and Camille O’Sullivan earlier).

So there’s a month of talking up some good theatre.  I’m looking forward to re-engaging with the rest of life now.


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