Edinburgh Festival... Day One (The Shows)

August 25, 2011

Our first show was Dave Gorman at Assembly at the George Square Lecture Theatre, so after checking in we headed straight over there. We sat in the sun on the steps outside the venue and supped a couple of pints of Deuchars. We shouldn’t have bothered, it was served so cold you couldn’t taste anything, although maybe that was a blessing seeing as it came from a bar inside a shipping container and was served in a plastic cup. If you’re going to get beer in you at the festival there is very little room for beer snobbery. Luckily I’m not a beer snob, so I got some in me.

Down the street a little way some street entertainers were doing a show with tightrope walking and juggling and unicycling, amusing a crowd that had gathered in the corner of the square to watch. Across the road the sounds of other shows spilled out of tents in the Square. It was a nice introduction to the atmosphere of the festival.

While we hadn’t planned on it, we found ourselves very close to the front of the queue for the show, so after queueing for a short while we headed in and were rewarded with really good seats very close to the front of the theatre.

Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation” did exactly what it said on the tin: Dave Gorman stood up and did a powerpoint presentation. Of course, there was a bit more to it than that, it was basically an incredibly funny sequence of things that Dave had found interesting or amusing recently, all presented in brilliant fashion. The topic flowed from why people insist on calling him a jewish comedian, through mobile phone advertising and on to making a bit of trouble with Jim Davidson. Dave was energetic and amusing, in all it was a thoroughly brilliant hour of comedy and a great start to the festival. Also nice for it not to be ‘Dave Gorman has a wacky adventure and then tells you about it’, as he is sometimes accused of doing.

Following the show we grabbed another icy pint of beer and ‘debated’ what/where to eat. The ‘debate’ was finally settled with a rubbish but expensive slice of pizza and we headed up to the Pleasance Dome for the other show of the evening. “Arthur Smith’s Pissed Up Chat Show” was another show that did exactly what the name suggested. Arthur Smith hosts a chat show in which his guests are very drunk - certified at the beginning via a breathalyser test. Arthur himself hasn’t drunk since 2002 after almost dying from it, so it’s interesting to hear his take on booze mixed in with the drunken ramblings of his guests. Tonights guest was Julian Sands, who did a very good line in drunken recitation of Harold Pinter poems. It was another really great hour of laughing, but with a kind of serious message at its heart. It finished with a group sing song, and for some reason the lyrics were held aloft by a naked girl. Not sure how she was relevant, but that seems to be the way of things on the fringe.

Out of the gig, thinking about heading off to grab another drink, evidently having not learnt from the moral of the show, and were surprised by Walter appearing from nowhere. He was up for the weekend, and we’d suggested meeting up, but hadn’t been able to coordinate schedules enough. He’d changed plans while we were in the last show though, so we spent a nice half an hour talking to him and his friend, before parting and heading off into the night.

The final mission of the evening was simple: secure supplies for the flat. A Tesco was located and supplies were procured, we returned triumphant to make a quick bit of toast for supper. Our triumph was soon ended when we spent ten minutes trying to get the combination microwave/oven/grill to actually grill the bread before realising there was a toaster on the kitchen counter all along. Figuring that was probably a sign that the travelling all day had probably taken its toll, an end was called to proceedings. Day one at the fringe was done.

Miles travelled: at least a million
Shows: 2
Pints: 4
Meals: not enough
Naked people: 1

Next: Edinburgh Festival... Day Two

Previous: Edinburgh 2011.... Day One (The Journey)