Thursday, 16 August 2007

Off to Edinburgh

So, after a bit of Hollywood muscle tonight (I’m seeing The Bourne Ultimatum), I’ll be off to Edinburgh first thing tomorrow morning. My Fringe starts at 4pm, with Dai (Enough) at the Pleasance, a show about the lives of people in a Tel Aviv café in the moments before a suicide bomber kills them (all the characters are portrayed by one woman). Then I have another three shows that day (including a meeting with a transvestite, a tour a round an art gallery and something concerning a rabbit), and an average of 5 or 6 each day until I leave on Sunday 26th (for an nine hour train/bus journey, due to railway engineering works. Is it any wonder people fly?!). My International Festival kicks off on Saturday afternoon with John Tiffany’s production of The Bacchae at the King’s Theatre. Will this NTS production live up to Tiffany’s superlative, thrilling Blackwatch seen at last years festival (it finally gets a London run next year at the Barbican by the way)? Only time will tell.

I’m very excited as usual about the Festivals, so many interesting and varied shows to see (including several promising art exhibitions), plus that unique festival city vibrancy (and the general beauty of the city itself). It’s also lovely to be in a place where you can walk to most of the places you want to get to, no hour (plus) tube and bus journeys necessary. Although I do often get a cab home in the early hours when the stolid taxi driver will undoubtedly say ‘up for the festival, eh?’, and then tell me about the occasion he and his lady wife attended the Lady Boys of Bangkok show in the Meadows several years ago. It was great and ‘he doesn’t mind the festival all that much’.

I’ll try and post when I can about my experiences, but I don’t have a laptop or access to a computer up there, so it’ll just be if and when I manage to get to an internet café at a convenient time.

Otherwise I’ll do a retrospective when I get back!

UPDATE 23:00, 16/08/07: Very impressed with The Bourne Ultimatum. It’s a very stylish and surprisingly intelligent thriller (as far as action adventures go, obviously if you look too deeply it all falls apart), great action and extremely tense at moments. Matt Damon has great screen presence, with an icy Julia Stiles in a supporting role (I’ve seen both on the London stage, with Stiles making a big impression in Oleanna. Didn’t you just want to strangle her?). British director Paul Greengrass (also responsible for the powerful United 93) is a meticulous director, the scenes set in London are so real, with Farringdon and Waterloo correctly depicted (one of the characters is a Guardian journalist!). As opposed to some films that take great liberties with familiar locations, like 28 Weeks Later, which drove Londoners mad (walking from Greenwich to Wembley via the Jubilee Line! You can’t driver from there to there!). If I put Bourne against the other Hollywood blockbusters this summer (the decent Harry Potter, the middling Simpsons and the execrable Transformers to name but three) it wins hands down, it’s exciting and entertaining.

1 comment:

Sal said...

looking forward to your rettrospective - I didn't see anywhere near as much Fringe stuff as I'd have like,d andI'm v envious that you got a ticket to Bacchae