Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Day 5

The day started grey and windy, but by midday, the wind had blown the clouds away and we had blue sky and warmth.

Orwell That Ends Well: The Musical

A young theatre group presenting an entertaining blend of two Orwell novels, 1984 and Animal Farm, as a musical. I studied Animal Farm at school but knew nothing about 1984. And after seeing this show, I don’t need to read the book!

Dan Willis: Live the Laugh

It’s not often you get life advice from a comedian but Dan Willis has been in the comedy business for 18 years and has some funny stories about life on the road. He also read a bunch of life coaching/ self-help books and is passing on the benefit of his learning. He is doing two or three shows a day during the Fringe so there is plenty of opportunity to catch him.

Flo & Joan: Alive on Stage

You might know Flo and Joan from their song about that horrible year, 2016. They performed to a packed room at the Pleasance (first of three shows we are seeing there today). Songs about lady crisps (no really, it’s a thing), cracker packing, sex robots and a poignant tribute to the children of Internet trolls.

Beautifully crafted songs with clever jokes and great harmonies. How can you not love them? Even initially dubious husband was laughing all the way through. Long may they find gorgeous melodies to convey their ascerbic wit!

Rosana Bosanac: Light Bulbs in Daylight

OK so this picture shows a nearly empty room. It was busier when the show started but we were eight people in total, including Rosanna, the comedian.

There was a lot in the show about biscuits (understandable from someone who doesn’t drink) and crappy soul-destroying office jobs. Despite the small crowd (“my average audience is four” – we were seven though), here is someone pursuing her dream. Respect.

Ed Gamble: Blizzard

Our second Pleasance gig, this one in the Above. Fast talking Ed covered puppies and kittens. But it wasn’t all sweetness and light. Auto immune diseases also get a mention.

The Tape Face Show

I remember when he was The Boy With Tape On His Face. Now grown up but still presenting a fairly unique silent physical comedy relying on mime and gesture to convey information. It feels like his show connects to an ancient form of clowning. It’s also street theatre gone high tech. With lots of audience participation. Let’s Twist Again….

Observations: Much respect for all the comedians and all the performers in general. All the free performers we’ve been to see, they have to feed and accommodate themselves in Edinburgh, all from the proceeds of the bucket that’s passed around at the end of the show. They are pursuing their dream of success as a comedian on a very tight budget. Even established comedians (people you’ve seen on tv) have taken out loans to finance their Edinburgh show. People are putting themselves into debt to entertain me. People are quitting regular salaried jobs to come to Edinburgh for a month in August. I appreciate that. And that’s why as a general rule we have put into the bucket for the free shows the same amount as we paid for ticketed events. And that’s why if we ever win millions on the lottery (we would have to start buying tickets first) we would for a year, covering the Free Fringe venue costs for start up comedians. According to the Blue Book of the Free Fringe, it costs ¬£28,000 to cover venue hire.

Health: vegetable lunch, and apple in the afternoon, but then countered with a coffee and two beers and pulled pork nachos. And not enough water. No wonder I have a headache. Or is it because I have been to six shows today?!

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