We arrived safely at Morton hall camp site and set ourselves up. A steep site, but very pleasantly situated. On Tuesday we caught the bus to Edinburgh which was really straight forward and headed to the Pleasance area as we had tickets to collect going via the Royal Mile. We were completely overwhelmed by the number of flyers that we were confronted with and didn’t really know how to decide what to go to. However as we had tickets to collect at The Pleasance we decided to start there. We decided on tickets for the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing the Complete history of Comedy. This was a fantastic hour with three actors who we’re running around manically covering from Stone Age up to modern time, taking in the pythons on the way.
We then found our way to one of my personal favourites which was by Semi-Toned, a men’s accapella group from Exeter University. They were fantastic, singing a wide range of music of multiple styles. They were singing on the smallest stage imaginable but I thought they were fantastic.
We then went back to the Pleasance and caught Ian Smith a comedian who was witty and amusing.
The main event on the Tuesday was that we had tickets for Tim Vine. He was as you imagine, full of life with all of his one liners. Turns out that he likes a few odd songs as well which wasn’t my favourite part of the show, but good clean fun.
Wednesday we were back in to Edinburgh with particular intent to see our friend Katie with her performance with the Underground Clown Company. Fantastic poetry with a good handful of silliness. The poems were all written and performed by the company and they should be proud of their achievements at the fringe.
We then decided to go and see Durham Revue with their comedy show. This wasn’t entirely to my taste, but some of the sketches were amusing.
Thursday saw Roger and I head off to different shows. I wanted to see Sochi 2014, which was a piece of theatre that presented the LGBT human rights abuses in the run up to this years Olympics in a very provoking manner. It was very well done and very thought provoking and challenging. Certainly presented a contrast to all of the comedy we’d seen so far.
We then went to see Matt Forde, a political comedian who was very amusing and had some really good impressions of many of our notable politicians. Certainly amused me.
My comedy highlight was Paul Merton and his Improv Chums. They played to a sell out crowd and were fantastic. They played out suggestions from the crowd in a very amusing way together with a number of other games that they played. I was amazed at how quick they were and played off each other in their improv. I laughed so much that I cried several times, but it was very funny.
One of the items that we’d seen in the programme was a performance of Sunshine on Leith which has become one of our favourite films. We decided that Friday was the day for this and headed out, on several buses, to a school outside of the city. When we got there we were surprised that it was sold out, but decided to stay and see if we could sneak in. Fortunately we were lucky and did get in, and how pleased we were to do so. It was a fantastic production by Captivate Theatre and whilst we already knew the story it was brilliant. I have to admit to crying through much of the second half. Absolutely brill.
We got back into Edinburgh and caught a free show before our evening commitment. This was a musical comedian called Ben Champion. We were welcomed to a show with witty songs, all delivered with a personal twist to his audience and some strange behaviour from some audience members who seemed to be just passing through.
Friday night we found ourselves at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This was one of Roger’s ambitions and off we went. The crowds were international and the evening made us feel very British. We saw marching bands from around the world, some with the expected pipes and drums, others with traditional concert bands and most surprisingly with steel drums. We were treated to dancers from around the world with a healthy dose of traditional Scottish dancing and sailors. It was all magnificent and finished off with beautiful fireworks.
The castle was illuminated beautifully in the background which made for a magnificent evening. It was particularly special to finish the evening singing Auld Lyne syne with the whole audience linking hands. Special.
On Saturday we decided to give the fringe a miss feeling that we’d experienced it and that we fancied a walk. It was a glorious day so we decided to climb Arthur’s Seat. We had a beautiful, but windy, walk up to the top where it was quite crowded. We spent a short time at the top before heading down to a more shaded spot for a sit down. It was beautiful.
Sunday was a rainy day so we decided on a lazy reading day. It was lovely and we didn’t leave the site. The weather got worse as the day and night progressed and after a very stormy night got up to a slightly damaged awning. We carried out a hasty de-camp and headed to the local garden centre for breakfast before heading down to Birkenhead to see Roger’s mum. A lovely week In Edinburgh finishing off our three and a half weeks in Scotland. It’s been great and I’ll miss it. The Scottish people have been fantastically friendly and it’s been such a great experience. Fantastic.