Monday, August 13, 2007

I know that my absence from blogging for a while without notice might seem a little odd coming, as it does, in the middle of the largest arts festival in the world. However, I am beginning to wonder about my reasons for blogging and the fact that, honestly, I do not have anything of much interest to say about Scotland anymore. I think it comes from the fact that I have been here so long now that those things that might seem interesting or odd are now just apart of my daily life. I mean I called some woman a "wee wifie" just the other day. So, really my interaction with Scotland has now come to the point that things that may be interesting slide by because it does not peak my interest any more. In any case, I am still thinking about what would be interesting to put up here but there is an arts festival going on so I might as well talk about that.

For the first week of the festival, I was not very interested. I was just not in the mood to do it. The flyer people descended on Bristo Square and I was getting handed "festival bunk" left and right. Other than the fantastic burger stand next to Teviot, I was just not interested. That changed on Sunday when my Irish friend who is living in Glasgow came to Edinburgh to take in some of the festival.

After picking up tickets for various shows, We went to see Not in My Name! - The Trial of Niccolo Machiavelli, which is a one man show about the life and career of Niccolo Machiavelli. The premise is that he is brought forward in time from his death bed to see how his work is regarded. In the end, he detests his legacy which has nothing to do with his actual life's work. The anti-American screed at the end, while not mentioning America by name, was a bit disappointing but I know where the sentiment comes from even if I cannot wholly agree with it. Doing a one person show, as I have said before, is extremely hard work and I comment the actor for pulling it off so convincingly.

After this, we went to the bar to have a drink before figuring out what to do next. Well, we were just in time to see a free show in the bar by some Australians. It was a farce about a Marixist take-over of the Festival Fringe with some marixist theory and the fringe thrown in for a good laugh. We ended up staying for another drink (the whole point of paying these people to entertain us in the bar). Otherwise, it was a farce with almost no props and no shame. Just how I like my live entertainment.

The next show was the The Tommy Sheridan Chat Show (if you do not know who Tommy Sheridan is look here). They had a tanning bed lights on stage which just made me sweat the entire time I was in there. They were running a bit late so his opening monologue was cut a bit short but that was alright. He had a few guests who were very funny (including his wife who was more funny than he was). The first was an African-American stand-up comedian who was very interesting to hear talk about seeing the real working class Scotland. His second guest I had seen on TV the previous day a friend's place. On the TV, he was very quiet and demure (it was a football show) but here he was going a mile a minute and was fantastically funny. His third guest was his wife who could give as good as she takes.

Today, I went to a show called Yellow Hands who are from Germany. They make musical instruments out of just about anything. I did not know that you could make guitars out of so many things (a chair guitar, a wheelbarrow bass, etc., etc.). They played a bunch of old favorites and things that you would recognize rather than their own composition which is good when you are trying to introduce yourself to the crowd. Otherwise, it was a fantastic and funny show.

I am going to another show tomorrow with a friend. I will try to tell you how it goes.

posted by Chris  #9:41 PM | 0 comments |