Edinburgh: Day the second.

Orpheum, To Loges

Derelict building image via

I’m running more than a little behind on responding to shows, but still wanted to, so here’s how it’s going to work. We’re all going to pretend you’re reading this late on Wednesday. Maybe if you go to bed before midnight, you’ve clicked on the link the next morning. I want you to think carefully about where you were, what you were doing, and briefly insert the experience of reading this into that memory. There. Fixed.


I went to see some shows today, shall we* talk about them? Let’s.

After the End (by Dennis Kelly) Direct from Dundee

Probably the wrong time of day to see this kind of thing, really. Bit, y’know, swear-y and rape-y. Not really 1pm kind of thing. When I was more into proper plays Dennis Kelly was one of my favourite writers. Still is, I mean, but I think this is a quite tough piece to play. Especially to 3 people at 1 in the afternoon. The performances were a bit broad brushstrokes, it would fill a studio theatre, but was a little too much for an oversized crate. Still, the actress playing Louise was quite interesting, and it reminded me what a fascinating triple-layer piece of thinking the play is. It’s about gender in two ways, as well as the literal, in-front-of-you content. And no one comes out of it clean. Chewy, is what I’d call it.

Also, after googling to remind myself of the character names, I have signed up to wikipedia to start expanding on their records of plays and playwrights. WATCH OUT.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik

I think I may be the tin-woman, because I’m pretty certain anyone with a heart would have been swept away by this piece. And I wasn’t. It’s very good, with some lovely puppetry (I wanted there to be more) and quite clever projection. But I was a bit, a tiny bit bored of watching, not seeing, being with it. I’m usually a sucker for things about flooding, too. Sorry. Someone please find me a Wizard.

7 Day Drunk Bryony Kimmings

I have a text from @MeganfVaughan that says ‘if Bryony Kimmings asks you if you’re single, say NO’ (you can tell it’s Meg because of the capitals). Turned out to be bloody brilliant advice. I know I’m supposed to play along with stuff as a good audience member, but being non-consensually groped by a stranger is not something I’d be OK with. Ethically concerning stuff, with not much opportunity to opt out. That is a small bit, though. And the rest of it was very funny, and interesting, though as someone who’s never really had much more than a passing and casual acquaintance with alcohol I think couldn’t connect with some of the deeper understanding that would have helped me stay thinking about the piece after I left. Amazing jumpsuits, though. And she’s gorgeous.

30 Cecil Street – Dan Canham

This was an accident of an attendance. Hopped in at the end of a queue at Forest Fringe just as there was one seat left. The best accident I’ve ever had. 30 Cecil Street is a dance in a building that no longer lives. It stands, sure, but the only thing in it the echoey memories of the people who once inhabited it. I have to admit I’ve never really been to see any dance. Have always assumed it required a vocabulary that I don’t have. Which is stupid, really, especially as I always tell people who say the same about theatre ‘well you understand stories, don’t you?’. Have realised that the dance answer to that is ‘well, you have a body, don’t you?’.

Scored by the memories, footsteps, and voices that once filled a now rotting theatre in Limerick, Callahan and his shadow move through space and time and conjures out of nowhere the whole feeling of a place. That kind of place, the kind of place that people gather, throng, not every day, but eventually. Like blood returning to a heart muscle. Callahan leaps and sweats and pulses and dances for a whole lost community. I’m carrying this piece with me. Like a lavender head that you’ve snapped off a bush and occasionally crush in your hand and breathe in. Heady.

See it if you can. So far, that and Oh Fuck Moment (now with Fringe First award) are my top tips.

*by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’, unless you comment. Why don’t you comment? It doesn’t have to be about the shows or anything, just tell me about your day if you like.

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2 Responses to “Edinburgh: Day the second.”

  1. duncan s August 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    30 Cecil street had me in floods of tears when i saw it in Bristol. so beautiful. I would say that a lot of dance does (sadly) demand some vocabulary. but you’re right, this piece was beyond that need.

  2. Hannah Nicklin August 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Completely. Want to take EVERYONE IN THE WORLD to it. Gorgeous.

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