All the fun of the (Edinburgh) Festival

I’ve been away, a month’s vacation: Rome, Sicily, Edinburgh, then my favourite patches in England  – the Lake District, Cheshire, London and Birkhamsted.

I’ll leave the tourist pics for later.  For now, the Edinburgh Festivals: Fringe, International, Book and Military Tattoo
simultaneously.  I love Edinburgh and am lucky to have dear friends to stay with. At Festival time, Edinburgh heaves. 4,600 shows in the Fringe alone. 2km radius of venues, hubs, box offices, talent spruiking their shows, plus two venues of non-stop free shows.  We managed to (just) miss two shows, moving from one venue to the next. There’s no shuttle buses, so its a case of race or pace…or taxi. Try crossing the High Street!     And it rained – the tail end of a
cyclone off USA that swept across UK (who’d have thought?).

We shared fun family’n’friends times, as well as making new friends. Some highlights:

Inala (a particular excitement because my nephew, Oliver, is one of the percussionists);
A highly polished, exciting production of music, Mombazo and movement.

Inala – meaning abundance of goodwill – is a muscular and beautiful blend of South African and Western cultures in an exhilarating celebration of the rainbow nation.
Choreographer Mark Baldwin unites Zulu traditions of song and dance with Western classical ballet, contemporary dance and music in one breathtaking performance. This unique collaboration brings together a stellar company including current and former dancers from The Royal Ballet and Rambert with music performed live by Grammy Award®-winning South
African choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Connected the Musical – a production by my dear friend, Craig Christie. Hitting all the right spots –  on cyber bullying.

Dylan Thomas – Return Journey.  I love Dylan Thomas. A demanding script, beautifully delivered by Bob Kingdom. My jaw hung open as I held onto every word.

In conversation with Judith Kerr and her son , author Matthew Kneale.  Part of the Book festival program, I didn’t know of 90 year old Judith Kerr, but learned that her books and illustrations have educated generations of UK children.  She is articulate, animated and a delight to listen to.

Show Pony.   What a hoot!  Letty and Lucy are front-and-back ends of the one pink show pony.  They’re very funny, silly, excellent timing (not just in those dressage steps).  I really hope these two gals bring Show Pony to Melbourne
International Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe.  Our audiences would love them.

Jimeoin – Is it? A good friend, Jimeoin remains up there with the best of stand-up comedians.  Always, his use of stage space, timing, observational humour brings new and old audiences back for more. He’s “laugh out loud”.

Camille O’Sullivan. I’m a big fan of this chanteuse, having been to several of her concerts at the Melbourne International Festival.   Her performances can be almost exhausting  (Jacques Brel, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan).
On this occasion I was “a wee bit disappointed”.  Not in Camille, but the sound level.  She was pumped up to the heights of a rock band. It was too loud to the point of distraction from the performance. And Camille is theatre!

I Celidh-ed! (If there is such a verb) For me, this Scottish folk dancing, in  too high boots, inside one of several Festival
Spiegeltents, reached the point of “too much fun”.    So much fun!  I’ll dance at any occasion, but to see everyone up on the dancefloor, progressive dancing was a joy to be part of.  The Director did talk to us about bringing to Melbourne
International Comedy Festival. Hope so.  I know that they would love it here – and dance ’til dawn.

Some fun photos of times shared and a mere  smidgeon of the many Edinburgh Festival hubs

E38            E39               E41               E44
The Pleasance   The Gilded Cage   The Gilded Balloon     Assembly Halls

        E49                                    E50                E48
With Craig Christie & cast                With Musicians           Out and about…
“Connected the Musical”                      from  “Inala”