My festival: Harry Josephine Giles

Neurotic drones, well-timed hugs and the best spot in the Pentlands...

Harry Josephine Giles. Picture: Contributed
Harry Josephine Giles. Picture: Contributed

I only have time to see one show in Edinburgh. Why should I go to yours?

It’s the only show in which a military drone descends to earth to tell you about her life, and she’s a neurotic queen clad tip to toe in shining silver. It’s part of the Made in Scotland showcase, and The Scotsman said it was “a state of the nation address from a frayed electronic mind flying high above that nation and looking for a place to hit.” Thanks!

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Now I think of it, I’ve got time to see two. What else should I definitely go to?

Lara Kramer’s Native Girl Syndrome, because it’s past time Scotland faced up to the realities of settler-colonisation and ongoing indigenous resurgence.

What are the best and worst things that have happened to you at the Edinburgh Festival?

The best thing was a very well-timed and gentle hug from a fellow artist, just when I was about to break down, even when we’re technically “competing” for audience in the same venue and time slot. The worst thing is being ruthlessly exploited for the whole month by a vicious market built for the rentier.

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Please describe where you’re living this month.

In my own flat, on Easter Road. I mutter bitterly “I live here” at least once a day.

What’s your favourite place in the city and why?

The spot in the Pentlands where Maiden’s Cleugh and Phantom Cleugh meet, above Glencorse, where you feel held by all the hills at once.

Who do you most like spending time with at the Festival?

My boifriend, who I miss every night.

Where can I find you at 9am, 9pm and 2am?

9am: In bed;

9pm: having a wired post-show production meeting where my amazing producer and I thrash out plans for taking over the world and maybe greet a bit.

2am: in bed. Who has time to do anything else but sleep?

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I still sleep with the same Mr Tickle teddy bear I’ve had since I was one year old.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Read a book. This year I’m on a mission to read every novel I can find written by a trans person with a trans lead character. I’ve found around 90 so far, most published in last five years. It’s been very healing.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?

Cleanse, tone, moisturise. Then read a book.

Thanks for the interview! I’d like to buy you a drink. Where are we going and what are we drinking?

Is this a sex thing? If this is a sex thing we’re going for a pint at the Regent. If it’s a friend thing I’d just prefer a cup of tea at my flat. If it’s a business thing, coffee at Twelve Triangles, and you’re buying me a cake too.

Drone: Harry Josephine Giles, Rob Jones, Neil Simpson and Jamie Wardrop. Summerhall (Venue 26) Until tomorrow.