the one that’s not about knitting

Published August 7, 2014 by Jackie

It’s Edinburgh, and it’s August! Does that say it all?

My dear friend Moira and I started planning our August at the end of March, when we booked the first six pairs of tickets for the International Festival, and it’s finally right here, right now (okay actually starting Saturday but the Fringe is upon us, the nightly Tattoo fireworks have started, and our first four, no FIVE! shows are under our respective belts).

For a while, I never bothered with Fringe or Festival, although I did see lots of Fringe comedy in my early 20s, it was mostly because my younger brother would visit. Now I say go with the flow, it’s fighting it that causes you heartache.

Now, I gauge my August by how many tickets get bought for the International Festival, as against the number of Fringe performances we see. Perhaps we should further differentiate between Fringe and DanceBase? But I also get quite defensive now of the Fringe, and constantly remind people that “it’s not just comedy, you know!” I suppose comedy is hot right now. Ach well, each to their own.

We don’t usually get too heavy with International Festival, mainly looking at dance and theatre productions, rather than opera and classical music, tho I’m not averse, just nothing takes my fancy this year. But I’m particularly looking forward to seeing The James Plays over three consecutive nights. Follow the link and you’ll see why.

(Just a quick aside here for people who think the International Festival is not for them… three tickets for The James Plays, ok it was a deal, but they were £12 EACH for almost 3 hours of world class theatre EACH NIGHT. Average Fringe prices this year seem to be around £15 for ONE throwaway hour ~ draw your own conclusion ~ nb I do not include DanceBase in this sweeping generalisation)

But last weekend was one of those crazy weekends that Edinburgh throws at you every now and then. Friday evening spent in a very hot and steamy Coburg House at their Open Studio private view, followed by a very marvellous meal at The Vintage in Leith. Just somewhere we’d stumbled on, and they had a table. The fish n’chips was superb, but the star of the show was a very wonderful Comte Brulee that Lesley had on her charcuterie platter, and I ordered as an alternative, with oatcakes (make that home-made oatcakes) instead of a cheeseboard later.

Then DanceBase, on a wet and miserable Saturday, proved to be a little oasis of calm in a frenetic city. We started with marvellous TakiMaori at noon, felt welcomed into their family, even if they got scary enough to make a small child cry at one point. We then headed downtown for Ruby Wax in the Assembly Rooms, where all around was peoplepeoplepeople and crazy and very wet. Ruby’s show, which ended with some blissful meditation for a couple of minutes was worth it tho.

Back to DanceBase for KuraKurawan, beautiful, serene Taiwanese dance, followed by the very entertaining Swing, deserving of all the acclaim it has gathered, both here and in Dublin last year. Great observational humour and loads of characters from just two cast-members, who pretty much danced non-stop for the hour too… And finally, not pre-booked but still available, the absolute star of our evening was Salon Mika. The most exhilarating end to an exhausting day, I can do no better than point you to the DanceBase page that has a big red button with Buy Now on it!

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