Brian Ferguson: A month of mixed fortunes for Ayesha Hazarika

Ayesha Hazarika is still recovering from experiencing the agony and the ecstasy of the Fringe in quick succession.
Ayesha Hazarika has experienced a month of mixed fortunesAyesha Hazarika has experienced a month of mixed fortunes
Ayesha Hazarika has experienced a month of mixed fortunes

The former Labour Party adviser, now a weekly columnist in The Scotsman and TV newspaper reviewer, was understandably chuffed to get a four-star review in these pages with her debut Fringe show.

But she got so carried away in the rush to get the good news out to her Twitter followers that she took a tumble down an entire flight of stairs – which led to an unplanned visit to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

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An X-ray revealed nothing more than a swollen ankle and some badly bruised pride. Hazarika even managed to hobble around the ERI waiting room to entertain some unsuspecting patients.

• Better late than never for a visit to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, without which the full-on August experience never feels quite complete.

The event’s ambitions for the most unlikely musical covers this year extended to a Daft Punk medley courtesy of the 9th French Infantry Brigade and a grand finale, performed by the entire cast, of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

But one unannounced treat not in the official programme was a glorious Singin’ in the Rain routine, complete with multi-coloured umbrellas, from the Royal Marines, which is seemingly only performed when the audience is being drenched.

As the Tattoo narrator Alasdair Hutton told the crowd on my visit: “It’s that soft gentle rain which makes Scotland so attractive to visit.”

• The Royal College of Surgeons was the suitably grand venue for the annual meeting of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society – in the midst of the event’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

But not grand enough for new city council leader Adam McVey to break his famous self-imposed ban on wearing a tie.

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He was just 30 when he took on the job – a sobering thought for some in the audience who have been involved with the Fringe for even longer.

He may not like a flashy tie, but McVey was keen to flash his “Fringe alumni” credentials, explaining he spent three years in the street team looking after the hundreds of performers on the Royal Mile.

He said: “I was usually standing next to a man juggling in his pants on top of a unicycle.”