TIM FitzHigham cheats death - twice - and Danielle Ward discusses the bachelor pads of Fringe living.
Tim FitzHigham - ‘Great, I can’t even get shot properly!’
Yesterday I survived an assassination attempt. It’s not my first and, as I’m writing this, you can tell it wasn’t my last.
Late night last year I was walking back to my car (parked on one of Edinburgh’s very deprived estates) and a man with a hood and scarf covering his face pulled a gun on me and demanded my money. I’d had a really bad show, a row with my wife (unusual but these things happen) and was on a lot of prescription medication due to all the various injuries my show had clocked up.
I was in a very bad mood and being held up at gunpoint was the straw that broke the camel’s back. All my anger came out, I looked him directly in the eye and said: “Just pull the trigger, go on, shoot me, I’ve had enough today and I’m quite ready to go.”
There was a tremendous silence. The man’s eyes widened: “Take it easy pal, I only want your money.” I had really lost my temper now (very rare but it does happen) and said: “I said shoot me, get on with it and stop faffing about.” He looked at me and started to back away: “You’re a nutter, you are.”
“I am not, I just can’t stand people who make promises they in no way intend to keep.” (Probably a sentiment I’d wanted to convey to the wife).
He started to walk away from me fast, turned and said: “You should take it easy pal.” I turned to my car and to no-one in particular said: “Great, I can’t even get shot properly today!”
Driving away I melted into the steering wheel with the words “you are a complete arse Tim!” I had been inconceivably lucky not to have been shot and killed. It was a really stupid thing to do and I can’t recommend not doing it enough, but that’s what had happened.
So it was this year, when paying a parking meter at the same estate (I don’t park there at night any more – I’m not stupid), that people on the second-storey balcony started pelting me with blocks of wood and stones. I simply sighed. Calm under fire is the hallmark of the British gentleman. Lethal projectiles, perhaps, but not being held up at gunpoint: the throwers were shouting that I should die for being gay (I’m not; a natty dresser perhaps, but I’d happily get killed to protect the right of people to have the freedom of choice).
I figured staying near the parking meter was my best chance at cover until their wood and stone ammunition ran out (I suspect there are cavemen who adopted a similar approach). When it seemed they’d finished I wandered back calmly to the car, popped the ticket on the dashboard and went to work making people laugh. There are many more assassination attempts to come this month I’m sure, I just hope that future ones are confined to my reviewers and audiences. Hopefully they won’t use blocks of wood.
• Tim FitzHigham: Stop the Pigeon, is at Pleasance Courtyard until 27 August, 7:30pm.
Danielle Ward - ‘The flat was disgusting, none of my clothes dried’
LOTS OF people ask what a performer looks forward to most about the Fringe. Well, for me this year it was having a flat to myself. Being in a committed relationship means I have to share my life with someone else (and our dog), BORING. But for most of August I’m back to my bachelor pad days of eating nothing but fishfinger sandwiches and watching awful horror films.
In the past I’ve always shared with comics. For 2005 to 2007 I lived with Josie Long and Isy Suttie. It was just like being in a episode of Sex and the City. I got to know those girls pretty well over those Augusts. Not least because one day our washing machine broke and I ended up scrubbing all our knickers in the bath, beating them with two wooden spoons. In 2008, I lived with Miriam Elia. Nothing happened.
After that I moved to the swanky New Town to live with Fringe heroes Lucy Porter and Richard Herring. Being proper grown-ups they’d make actual meals, whereas I managed to maintain a constant state of depression by living solely on Haribos and gin.
The last time I came to the Fringe in 2010 it was to play the bass in my musical Gutted. The flat was disgusting, none of my clothes dried and Thom Tuck had a party where some idiot drunk woman came into my bedroom at 5am thinking it was the toilet. She did not wee on my guitar. To my knowledge.
So please do come and see my show. You’ll be the only people I’ve had any contact with all day.
• Danielle Ward: Speakeasy/Playdead, is at Pleasance Dome until 27 August, 8:20pm.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east