Family: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word

It can be a drag getting Youngest to the Festival



I have little hope of getting Youngest Child to a show in the Festival, but I feel it’s my duty to try since she’s growing up in the city that hosts the world’s largest arts festival. Plus it’s the sort of thing other parents manage – offspring workshopping with illustrators at the book festival or learning circus skills on the Meadows. Cut to us and the most creative thing we’ve ever achieved is trailing through the White Company sale with an open bag of Wotsits.

But Youngest is all “park, beach, camping in Pentlands” with her friends, so I know better than to suggest Macbeth on motorcycles, musicals (“too much singing of the story”) or ballet (“not enough singing of the story”). And we often see the world’s most pierced woman on the bus anyway.

As for men (sorry if that’s gender prescriptive) in drag, good luck on your journey but I’m not shelling out to watch – I’ve seen enough of RuPaul’s Drag Race with Youngest, so unless your talents extend beyond squeezing into a sausage skin dress and miming to power ballads (my pals and I can manage that ourselves), you can sashay away.

However, Eldest and I are going to a Fringe highlights show, so I have another try. Would she like to come with us?


“It might be good.”


“Eldest is coming. It’s not just me. He’d like you to come. He misses you.”


“We could get chips on the way home.”


So it is that I feel like a proper parent with my offspring in a row as we take up our seats.

Two hours of multiple acts later, I’m thinking the only one I’d pay actual money to see is the comedian, and I fear Youngest is going to kill me.

“That was brilliant!” she says outside on the pavement. “The best thing you’ve ever taken me to.”

“Really? I thought it was just OK,” I say.

“Yeah, I thought that too,” says Eldest. “Maybe we’re just jaded, spoilt, seen it all before.”

“Yes, you are,” she says. “We should have got up and danced. Let’s go and see something else. This weekend. Those drag dancers with the fans were good.”

“OK.” I say. “Although I might be going camping in the Pentlands.” n