Wednesday 28 August 2013

What I did on my holiday...

Had a great short break in Scotland last week. On Sunday I flew to Edinburgh, hired a car and drove to Loch Ness. Spent a day at the Loch with its black waters of mystery and then drove to the very top of Scotland, jumped on a ferry and went to Orkney. A few days on Orkney sampling the local cuisine, whisky tasting and visiting Neolithic sites. Then to Aviemore, Boat of Garten and the Spey Valley smokehouse (owned by Jethro Tull's Iain Anderson!) and then back to Edinburgh to enjoy the Fringe.

Saw -

Scroobius Pip - spoken word. Very good and he was actually very funny too, bought his book which he was kind enough to sign

Stewart Lee - funny, but not as funny as last year, still much funnier than most other comedians

Bristol Improv - got to support the locals! They improvised a noir story set in "Spaceland", highly amusing with a great cast

Shhhh! - Not bored of improv this one was an improvised silent film about a trapeze artist

Hannah Berry and Gareth Brookes talked about Adamtine & The Black Project respectively which was really good. Bought a copy of The Black Project and got both creators to sign their work

Jura Unbound event in the Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh Book Festival which saw a number of different comic themed events on stage, actors acting out a story, creating a story around 3 panels, live drawing with Paul Cornell and Emma Viecilli. Spent a happy drunken evening in there, chatted a lot with some of the creators and generally had a lot of fun. Missed out on a free whisky though as had no pen...

Lauren Beukes and Inaki Miranda - they talked about the Fables collaboration, stunning art and a great slide show whetted the appetite, bought a copy obviously

Bryan and Mary Talbot - Talked about their respective careers and their books Dotter of her father's eyes and a new one due out soon about suffragettes

Caitlin Moran started the evening of queuing where we went to 3 events in the same place but had to exit and queue in between with the queues stretching all around the book festival. She was highly amusing.

Hannah Berry interviewed Neil Gaiman about Sandman - Neil was effusive and so happy to talk about Sandman rather than Ocean at the end of the lane etc. Hannah did a great job despite the nerves and got a huge round of applause at the end.

The evening ended with a tribute to Iain Banks with Ian Rankin, Val Mcdiarmid and Ken Mcleod (and a surprise guest appearance by Neil Gaiman to tell a hilarious story of Iain climbing through a window during a police investigation in the Metropole during a convention. I have heard Iain tell this story too so it was nice to get the bystanders, in this case Neil, view of it) - we ended with a wee dram of Jura

The last show was Wyrd which had a very cool premise (immersive theatre at a séance) but sadly didn't live up to it losing the plot, and any illusion of collusion from the audience near the end. Some interesting ideas to take away though...

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