At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we saw 18 performances in 8 days. There was no room for writing. Lots of inspiration though.
Hunger, a play by Brit Chris Bush, was superb. A black woman and a white woman who work together and become lovers took on race, class, relationships, and food in a series of scenes that alternated between past and present. The playwright is white, and it gave me a lot to think about in the novel I am writing that takes on race and white privilege. The two actors were amazing, with quick changes from scenes of intense emotion to light humor and back. The best show we saw.
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart was performed in a long, high-ceilinged room that appeared to be a law library at the University of Edinburgh. The actors moved among the audience, jumping up on our tables, and involving us as makers of snow. We tore up napkins before the show, and threw the scraps into the air on cue. The main character is a professor who studied Scottish folklore and songs, and the parody of academia was on point. There was a scene in hell that went on a bit long, but perhaps that was the point. Bob and I gave it second place overall, and first place for direction – very imaginative.
I won’t catalogue all 18 performances. I got a kick out of seeing the Tattoo, kind of a Scottish Super Bowl halftime show, and I recognized the Scottish dancing from P.E. classes at Shaker Heights High.
I saw the daughter of a college friend play Miss Darcy in a gender-swapped Austen take-off called Prejudice and Pride, set in Tennessee, with a fabulous evangelist character in a hot pink suit standing in for the priggish Mr. Collins. We saw amazing circus acrobatics close up, a show called Famous Puppet Deaths (predictable endings), and some wonderful Finnish clowns (not in whiteface) being hotel receptionists.
Being in a city that gives itself over to the arts for a month was lovely. (There was also a book festival and an art festival. I even saw a sign for a festival on infectious disease!?!) We walked everywhere, and enjoyed the cool weather, though it was unusually sunny the first few days.
Back home, I worked for a few hours on the revisions to my memoir, then took Callie for a walk. She got a very bad cut on her foot, and I called the Emergency Vet (it was Sunday) and got some advice, then took her to the regular vet on Monday. She got a stick up her leg, a very deep cut. Ow. She can’t run for two weeks, which is hard for her.
So the writing gets interrupted. I’m back to work in 8 days, so I hope to get a bit more done before things start up again on September 1.