Oh good heavens. We’re into the last week. The home stretch. How on earth did that happen? The show is going as well as any producer could dream. Thomas’ performance is growing with every show. The audience comes out audibly sobbing. We’re sold out. We are getting rave reviews. I can tape a microphone wire to a living body in a nano second. I can turn heavy woollen trousers inside out and hang them in less time than that. Get Ins and Get Outs hold no terror. With the fierceness of a lioness protecting her young I felt able to roar to a locked toilet door ‘last call for Wireless Operator’ (to the shock of the younger members of the Pleasance venue technical team) after I heard the hand drier being put on for the fifth time as we held the show for this one audience member. Fifth time. What was she doing with all that hot air? Isn’t that what your trousers are for? To dry your hands?
Edinburgh has read the blog and confounded me. Two days on the trot of sunshine. Although the previous few days were sodden beyond a sodden. Edinburgh has a kind of rain that is really wet and a mizzle that is very mizzly. It mizzles and is dreich. That sentence pleases me.
I’ve got really good at the hire bike thing. Although, this evening I was pinned in by the Silent Disco who had lined up without me noticing, holding hands to sing ‘We are Family’ in a spirit of off key camaraderie. It’s sort of infectious in its looniness. I almost felt the need to sing ‘I Want to Break Free’ back at them (sorry) otherwise I was worried I may still have been there, trapped by the umpteenth rendition of ‘YMCA’. Still, after I was released, I managed to get home with shopping on the front and a heavy rugsack on my back and nobody shouted at me. Success! I negotiated several coaches, the castle and all the potholes without stopping. I only nearly fell off at one red light. I’m thinking I may get a bike….
And then I remember out there, strangely, there is a world beyond the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Oh wait a minute. I’ve been corrected. It’s official. The world outside has stopped and won’t start again until we all return. If return we can as LNER, in their wisdom, has decided that the last weekend of the largest arts festival in the world, perhaps the universe, (yes LNER! 2 million visitors and counting, all of whom need to get home again….) that this weekend, of all 52 possibilities in the year, is the weekend to advise people not to travel the East Coast route by train. And … Kings. Cross. Will. Be. Closed. Really.
That would almost be the same as if the city council of Edinburgh had decided to close off so many city roads during the festival that they snarled up the city completely, exhaust fumes hanging heavy in jams not going anywhere and denying taxi drivers their most lucrative few weeks as they struggle to reach clients and complete journeys. Almost as if they did that and then despite absolutely everyone agreeing that it was a mistake, nobody rectifying it. Oh wait another moment. That is exactly what’s happened. #justsaying.
However, what does run like a well oiled and very cheery piece of machinery is The Pleasance. I am astonished and delighted by The Pleasance and its extraordinary team. How it’s put together by what is actually a very small group of people and then run by a huge number of people – and how they still make it feel as if you are part of an intimate family set up – is a mystery. It continues to be a joy to be part of The Pleasance. They continue to offer support and solutions. They are beyond good humoured. And a special shout out for lovely Grace in Arts Industry Reception who yesterday soldiered on despite losing her voice (did you see what I did there?), her desk covered by a multitude of green post it notes with various options of response to a range of questions. As in: It’s sold out. I can get you a house seat. Yes. You’ll have to pay. No, I’ve lost my voice etc
Oh. That pigeon…. Got to fly (!) sorry…