Overcoming injuries sustained in pursuit of the spirit of the Fringe
Thomas Meek's Festival blog
Waking up on the floor of my own room (the bed seemingly too much of a climb) to the all too recognisable noises of a rain-sodden Edinburgh morning, with dull memories of stand-up, biscuits and the Udderbelly Pasture trudging through my brain was not the brightest start to the day. But there's just something about the Festival though that just makes you want to keep going. For art, for money, for culture, for enlightenment, for a baked potato from The Tempting Tattie. And so, for at least four of the above, I made my way to the Pear Tree, with the promise of free comedy and a breaking sun.
Such industrious Fringe spirit seemed to have got hold of the prospective entertainment too, with the compère and organiser of this multi-act bill seemingly sucked in by a city slowing consuming itself. Missing shoes were a suggested possibility for the disappearance. I had my doubts.
Nevertheless, as seems to happen with these things, the show went on, with Jonathan May-Bowles taking hold of such duties as saying other performer's names and encouraging much whooping. And there was indeed much whooping, even from a slightly wet and sparse crowd.
Jo Burke showed off her pleasing whimsy, all cuteness hiding a sly edge. So too was the artist still known as Alex from Boots, a man who 'works in in medicine' but plays for laughs.
An unexpected moment of real Fringe brilliance was to come though, with the immersive storytelling of Rachel Rose Reid. A break from the comedy, her 10 minute folk tale was nowhere near long enough to fully appreciate a style of reason and confidence. A thoughtful trip to the full hour set at the Pleasance turned into a must. And from a shared lunch at the Mosque kitchens over the road, she's as nice as she is talented, which is always a good thing.
The rest of the day may have turned into a haze of drunken afternoon hecklers, Scottish hip-hop, failed attempts to impress professional comedians with jokes, before finishing the evening watching a drunk Pete Johansson talk about the pleasures of a larger lady, but that sleepy morning showed a Fringe sentiment still going strong. That DIY attitude - all entertainment over adversity and coffee over hangovers. And finding that hidden gem in the process.