I only have time to see one show in Edinburgh. Why should I go to yours?
You shouldn’t. If you’re just blowing into town to see one thing I don’t think it’s really for you. I’m aiming for a better grade of idiot.
Now I think of it, I’ve got time to see two. What else should I definitely go to?
Play Royal Mile roulette. Go and see the first thing you get flyered for. Just commit to it. There are so many good shows up here but seeing something uniquely terrible is just as good, even better. In 2004, my university theatre company did a production of Richard III but with a number of clever twists. We used the adaptation that Ian McKellen had done for his film version, but we didn’t have the ability to use the quick cuts that were necessary to move that version along. So to make up for this we played pop music in between the scenes. The director chose to only use songs with the word son/sun in the title, as a clever reference to ‘this son of York’ you see. Great stuff. So you had ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by the Beatles, ‘Black Hole Sun’ by Soundgarden, that kind of thing. Oh, and the entire production was themed around The Godfather, for no discernible reason, and was only an hour long, so made very little sense. Somewhere in Edinburgh there’s something like this going on, and you have the opportunity to seek it out. Do so, you’ll still be enjoying the memory of that stolen hour 15 years later.
A wild man with a menacing look in his eye and brandishing a kebab accosted me in Leith. I thought he was about to physically educate me on the shortcomings of the English. But in fact he just wanted to say how much he enjoyed my show.
Please describe where you’re living this month.
Classic Edinburgh town house. You could hold a barn dance in the bedrooms but the kitchen is smaller than an aeroplane toilet.
What’s your favourite place in the city and why?
North Bridge as the sun comes up and the whole place inexplicably smells like Weetabix. I like looking across the city and thinking about how much I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid. That young boy would be so disappointed by what’s happened. All he ever wanted was a desk in an office.
Who do you most like spending time with at the festival?
I have a Westie called Geoff, he’s my preferred company at all times. He likes the Meadows very much. Being a Scotsman himself, he feels more at home here than in Essex I think, he’s never seen so many Westies in his life. There’s a cracking little cafe on the Meadows and in the morning it’s just like a dog day care centre, we all just drink coffee and watch the dogs have a nice time. Geoff’s got very good festival etiquette, he doesn’t tell you about reviews and he rarely ever gossips about other dogs.
I’m allergic to bananas. They make my tongue itch. I’m not sure that’s that surprising. It’s quite stupid though.
Where can I find you at 9am, 9pm and 2am?
Bed, Bed, Glasgow.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Let Geoff out for a wee.
What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
Let Geoff out for a wee.
Thanks for the interview! I’d like to buy you a drink. Where are we going and what are we drinking?
Somewhere quiet, for a whisky. I’ll let you choose, but make it a good one.
SMILE, Just The Tonic at The Tron, 5pm until 25 August