The second day started much as the first. I had planned to go to Assembly George Street and buy a ticket for I, Elizabeth at 11:50. However, upon discovering the Scotsman had free Assembly tickets, I ended up queuing for nearly two hours instead (which thankfully was just about enough time to work out what to get – everyone else seemed to just stand in line to queue, whilst I frantically read every artist’s blurb and cross-referenced times/prices…). Free tickets for I, Elizabeth, Tripod vs the Dragon, Underneath the Lintel, and Simon Callow were the result, though Callow clashes with the Edinburgh/London roller derby match on Saturday – will gift the Callow tickets to my sister 🙂
As I now had I, Elizabeth tickets for Saturday and had anyway got to its start time, I wrote off the morning and went and had lunch. My first act of the day was therefore Ronnie Golden, teaching us about various musical guitarists from Robert Johnson to Status Quo, via anecdotes, lessons and songs from his own time in a band, the pre-new wave Fabulous Poodles. I’ve never been able to play the guitar – my hands get confused, which is odd given I play violin and piano okay (not to mention Guitar Hero, which I won’t) – and am always impressed by guitarists, so this was both interesting and entertaining.
From there, I headed to the Pleasance. I arrived around 3.15pm, and noticed Sadie Hasler started at 3.30pm. The ticket queue was quite in evidence, but I joined it anyway. The person in front of me (she’s in Wolf at the Caves, go along!) was also queuing for Sadie and so bought my ticket – I paid her back – which meant we made it in time to the Cellar. Sadie only appeared on stage as herself for about three seconds at the end – apart from that, she took on the mantle of various women in history, if not their actual personalities. Fanny Craddock or Marie Curie lecturing, Iris Murdoch trying to read from The Sea, The Sea on gnatty dressers (or was that gnats), Myra Hindley writing haikus, or Sylvia Plath writing letters to Ted asking if they could go bowling; all were very much immediately there, in focus (ooh, that reminds me about the lighting in Death of a Theatre Critic I forgot to mention, like a switch), and my only punishment as the only man on the front row was to shoulder the gender’s blame for getting women pregnant sometimes, phew. Excellent stuff.
My first actual pre-bought ticketed event, Laura Solon was the second act so far to include an owl, hooray. I’d like to state for the record I chose option A at the beginning for narrator, just on account of the special owl narrator T-shirt if nothing else, even if nearly everyone else went for B and thus had the audience’s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure privileges withdrawn. Laura told a humourous and engaging story, playing all parts, and even got in some Barclays brothers references – so going on the current Private Eye she should look out for lawyers’ letters in the post.
With apologies to the comedy agent employee in the queue who knew Tom but I’m not actually sure got in to see the show, I enjoyed but was not taken by Tom Wrigglesworth‘s show on his wedding day traumas. The end, as he immediately said after, did seem to lack something, and other things just didn’t seem to mesh with me. I can’t really complain, as someone gave me their ticket for free a few minutes before it began.
On to Tim Vine. There’s nothing like a good pun show, and this was nothing like… no, of course it was, and from BNAG to torches to the title of this post, I exited with another laughter headache.
Lastly, after a walk all the way across town (these were booked, too, it’s not like I didn’t plan this!), I found myself in the queue for Mark Watson. The show started half an hour late, but that gave me plenty of time to chat to Sally in the queue about her Masters on representation in museums (or something, I told her how forgetful I am, don’t you worry). As the audience filled in, Mark had a Word document open in which he “spoke” to the audience by writing sentences, which I thought was quite nice. It would have been better if he’d actually moved Word’s right margin so that the words went all the way across the screen 😉 Mark was very funny, his comedy seemed the most personal of anything I’d seen so far, talking about his worries last year and how he’s got over them.
The overrunning meant I missed the last bus, but I eventually made it home to write this. Incidentally, most acts so far look different to their posters. They generally look better in real life, so I’m not sure what the reason is for this.