Edinburgh Festival Fringe: In the autumn of 1936, 200 men from Jarrow in Tyneside, accompanied by their MP “Red” Ellen Wilkinson, walked the length of England to Westminster to present a petition requesting a new steelworks in their economically devastated town.
Gilded Balloon at the Museum (Venue 64)
Eighty years later, bluff broadcaster Stuart Maconie retraced the route of the Jarrow March, noting the striking comparisons between 1936 and 2016 (Tory government re-elected with increased majority, Labour party in disarray, wary relationship with Europe), producing a blog, a book and now an illustrated talk about his experience.
This warm, witty show takes a far more circuitous route than the marchers, with anecdotal diversions into Nicholas Parsons’s advice for dealing with a dry throat, flirtatious Twitter spats with Michael Gove and Peter Mandelson’s ignorance of the mushy pea, leaving time for only the most whistlestop tour of Maconie’s friendly solo march, accompanied by a resolutely ordinary slideshow of various towns by night, some lovely civic buildings, quirky signage and a number of selfies, and some fairly superficial insights into the original march which clearly function as a teaser for his book.
Until 27 August. Today 7:30pm.