I made a rule for myself this festival season – that I would choose what to go to depending entirely on gut feeling. The festivals are just too big to analyse everything then make reasoned decisions. So the only logic that is going into it is that once the wee day box in my diary gets full, I can’t go to anything else. I’m trying to be sensible just now, since I may have written the book festival events (from the 11th onwards) in extremely small writing.
I was really looking forward to Bullet Catch at the Traverse yesterday and it didn’t disappoint. This one-man (plus audience member) show by Rob Drummond explores the famous Bullet Catch magic trick. I loved the psychological and historical aspects as he related the story of a Bullet-Catch-gone-wrong in 1912. (I doubt I will go to another show this Fringe that talks so much about nihilism). Fascinating characters. The reason why I was thinking about the gut-feeling method of choosing shows is that really this isn’t something I ‘should’ have gone for – I’m not that interested in magic. But I’m glad I chose it – it was utterly compelling and I was glued to the action for the entire show. There’s a bit of my mind trying to figure out how everything was done though. I might have to go back and see it again.
A bonus to being at the Traverse at 12:45 was that I went over the road to eat my lunch in Festival Square and happened to see the UK double sculls win a gold medal! Excellent timing! Then I went back afterwards and there were Wagamama people handing out snacks. A good day for serendipity.
I took a wander into Pulp Fiction bookshop (where I’m performing on Monday) and ended up being there longer than I expected. You may want to know that they have the cheapest fruit tea in Edinburgh. This is useful information.
Since I’d then used most of the afternoon, my art festival visit was basically narrowed down to the Dieter Roth Diaries exhibition, which is at the Fruitmarket, conveniently just beside the station. I was looking forward to the exhibition, based on the very vivid posters of diary pages, but I found I wasn’t all that excited by all the diary pages and copybooks in the exhibition. The Flat Waste work (all his rubbish that was less than a cm thick, for a year) may have been more interesting when it was made in the 1970s than it is now. However, the Solo Scenes video diary (where he videoed himself for the last year of his life) was fascinating in its calmness. It’s the opposite of Big Brother – solitary, quiet and thoughtful. I’d recommend popping in just to see that. I love so much that the Fruitmarket is free. It means I can go in for everything and sometimes just find one or two pieces that I like – or a whole exhibition that surprises me. A great place.
I’m really looking forward to The Letter of Last Resort/Good with People at the Traverse tomorrow. And I’m debating finally going to see the Munch exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.