|There’s no platform quite like a long distance train to reflect on the nature of the human race. And on my trip to Edinburgh I indeed had time to observe and reflect – I can’t believe that individuals could possibly be so blissfully unaware that they’re surrounded by people. I had the unfortunate privilege, along with the rest of the E-carriage, of the getting-to-know-you conversation happening five rows down from me. It seems that two South African girls were desperately trying to make an impression on the two English blokes sitting across the table from them. Not sure what they were trying to achieve, but ending off the conversation, upon arrival in Edinburgh, with “call me, we’re just here to have a good time, no strings attached. Seriously” must surely have left an unquestionable impression on the lads’ minds!
It’s really strange how whenever I arrive in Edinburgh my heart lightens and I start to relax. It’s almost as if the air is different – and I know I’ve said this before, but it’s got some kind of intangible substance that’s very-old world, but somehow has a measure of the present to balance it. I once watched a travel show on Edinburgh and when the presenter said that “walking the streets of the city it’s almost as if the ghosts of the past are walking alongside you” I thought – you know what, that’s exactly what it is, I just couldn’t describe it before then.
So, we arrived at the station and went in search of our hostel – much more difficult than one would have thought and once again seemingly based on the assumption that visitors have vast intellects and very advanced ESP! Unfortunately, both Nic and I had left our ESP enhancers at home and so turned to the only alternative open to us – trail and error – which is fortunately a skill in which Nicole has advanced ability – and it all turned out rather nicely in the end as it was actually a “summer hostel” – meaning university dorms, and so we each had our own room – very nice… (especially considering that last year I shared with twenty-odd others, amongst them at least four heavy snorers!! Having arrived late we just had a nice walk around the town, browsed some reviews and then went to bed as we were both pretty much exhausted!
Next morning it was up bright and early and off to the ticket office to get started – and what decisions to make…
Eventually we settled for:
· Jerry Springer – the Opera (against my better judgement)
· Rock Stars
· Deep Throat
· Six Woman with Brain Death
· Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens
Jerry Springer had fantastic reviews, and I guess they must have been written by Jerry Springer fans, or people exceptionally high on drugs – possibly the same ones that wrote the script!?! It started off with a “crowd warmer” who gets the “crowd” going – of course the crowd is made up of many trailer type people who would do anything to get on the show – and what an assorted crowd they were! Then on comes Jerry (and admittedly a great impersonator too) and the “crowd” loves him and the show continues, and most of it was ok-ish – along the lines of a Jerry Springer show only the actors, of course, are singing. Then just before the interval, as if sensing the audience’s complete lack of absorption, one of the “guests” stabs Jerry and then suddenly the “crowd warmer” is back on stage, but he’s actually the devil and is about to put Jerry through the show of his life. My memory fades at the mediocrity of it all, but I vaguely recall an appearance by members of a singing and dancing Klu Klux Clan, who were there to take care of a black man with a diaper wetting fetish – and that’s about it. Hmmm, well I guess that’s what you get when you go to the Fringe – and you need to take the good with the bad. Luckily for us, our luck improved from there, excluding, of course, the fact that we somehow managed to get the end-time of one of the shows wrong and accidentally double booked… Oops! So, we dumped Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, for the completely unjustifiable and unquestionably correct reason that it was showing at a theatre across town and Rock Stars was only up the road. Instead we let some guy talk us into going to see “Txt in the City”, which had amongst its cast a guy from “Who’s line is it anyway?” His name eludes me, but he’s the tall one with grey hair. Anyone? Anyway, so along the lines of “who’s line”, but with the twist that you text in ideas on topics… some hysterical scenarios, I can tell you!!! Then we popped upstairs for Rock Stars, which was put on by this group called Boom Chicago, who are American but based out of Amsterdam(? – maybe something to do with the drug laws…?) Well, it was absolutely brilliant – each member of the cast picks someone in the audience and bases their character for the “rock group” on something that that person said, or how they acted – particularly funny as one guy in the audience said that his favourite cartoon character was Winnie the Pooh – how on earth do you make Winnie into a rock star!?! Anyway, the poor guy did well and the show was hysterical!!
Wandered round, got some dinner and enjoyed everything going on, then headed off for our midnight show – called Deep Throat – yes, that would be what you think it’s about… It was basically a show about the life of Linda Lovelace, who apparently died in a car accident earlier this year. It was a bit of a bizarre enactment, with the actress portraying Linda prancing around in roller skates as the subservient hooker / porn star – I guess because that’s they way she chose to portray her earlier self later on in her life. It was a really interesting look at a woman and a film that I’d obviously heard about, but never really thought about, I guess. She was a woman that seemingly embraced hard-core and sometimes brutal sex, and then moved on to become an active and prominent feminist.
Joe Bob Briggs summed it up quite well when he wrote: “Lovelace may be the only American celebrity to publish four best-selling autobiographies. The first two celebrate free uninhibited sex as the most liberating form of human expression since man learned to speak. The last two describe pornography as a felony assault against women, a menace to the future of civilization and the very essence of evil. In this one desperately unhappy woman we have both the yin and the yang of the sexual revolution played out before our eyes.”
An entertaining, yet at the same time a little distasteful look at the movie that revolutionised the porn industry.
So, after an exhausting day, we headed for bed (which, thanks to Nicole, was wonderfully free of Olympic Class snorers) and got up early to make the best of our second and last day – some serious shopping had been called for and the need could not be repressed! So Princes Street it was, and a merry time we had too! Then we wandered back into the old town to see “Six Woman with Brain Death” – which actually starred eight woman and the point of which still eludes me (perhaps having something to do with my own brain death?) and so I’ll move quickly on… :b
After a quick pint it was time to make our way to the train station to get our “Flying Scotsman” home. I had a really great time and would just like to yell IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO THE EDFRINGE BEFORE - - - GO!!!