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Scottee: Edinburgh Diary 2008

I'm on another horrid Virgin train journey - Sarah Jane at Euston reception was as unhelpful as she could be, but I managed to find a train towards the north, surrounded by drunk Scot's & actors on mobiles - It can only be the Edinburgh Fringe! Last year I kept you in the know about my festival activities and this year is no different. 

This year I'm performing with the wonderful Pustra / Vile-een in 'And the Devil may drag you under' - I'm excited, nervous, scared but most of all glad to get out of the big smoke for a few weeks! 

Is the British theatre scene in decline? Has it all been done before? And is the fringe a commercial shambles? We shall see.

First Night
Once settled in the 5 year olds bedroom I'm sleeping in - I'm off to the theatre. 

First night nerves always creep up on you even if you've rehearsed your material to death. Curtain up and away we go - Pustra / Vile-een get the show going with a highly camp vaudeville, Des O'Connor is host and I get the chance to see the other acts including New Yorkers SXIP (who can play the flute, harmonica, piano & the tampon - strange but true) & Greg Walloc - a stand up storyteller who opens his show with "Hi, I'm Greg, I'm Gay and Disabled AND I live in Harlem!"

The show is a hit but we run over our time. It's first night so drinks are in order, I schmooze wth Jonny Woo & Pam Ann, talk wigs and lashes and its a late arrival to my cot at 5am. Terrible.

Day two
I dragged myself out of bed and pretended my hangover isn't present - It's all a bit unorganized which I wasn't expecting 
I was told 2 hours before the show that I was pulled from the line up that night. 

Regardless of the bruised ego - Pam Ann's show was amazing.

I meet the cast after the show for a drink at the Spiegal tent and we stumble on a side show hosted by Magician Paul Zenon, he introduces Kitty on Keys from San Francisco - at first glimpse she's bound to do something burlesque - so I switch off. A piano comes out and she starts to sing songs about her pussy, mildly amusing but nothing to write home about - as her performance goes on i become more and more aware of a 'kindergarden' tone in her voice - I mutter to Vile-een 'it's like watching an X-rated Sesame Street' she agrees and we wait for Kitty outside the side show. Later we find out she's in a childens show...should this be allowed? Would you take your child?

Strange. But True. Again.

Day Three (is the magic number)
Im back on the bill. Don't ask.
Sunday. It's a busy one. I've been booked to open the Bongo Club and after our show Pustra, Vile-een, Natti (a singer song writer from NY) & I are performing the Assembly Supper Club. 

P/V and I have been rehearsing our new number. Its filthy, i don't think i can even describe it without getting arrested.

Bongo club was amazing. I opened the show with a sad song which is always high risk but it worked, they went with it.
Then a dash in a cab to George Sq Theatre for our show and a new number. Dirty.

Then to the assembly for our revue. It was defiantly a Sunday crowd so not many whoops but a gentleman with a press pass runs up to me after the show and says 'thank you, really, thank you' which makes it all better.

An early night.

Day Four.
It's Lunch with Jonny Woo in the grassmarket - there are only about 15 people in the restaurant so we grab a table, the waitress tells us 'it may be a while - we're really busy' we laugh out loud and realize she was sincere. We talk work, wigs (again) & how he almost died, the basis for his show 'International Woman of Mister E'.

I drop into the local fancy dress stores and buy most of what's on offer.

I hot-foot it over the meadows, have a shower and meet Jonny before his show. I saw his show at Soho Theatre in London but I'm eager to see what's changed, gone and who's coming to see it.

Loved the show, bright, bold and a great crowd.

Tonight was a big night for me, I had some producers in the audience and i really needed both of my performances to go well... and they did. 

The crowd were very reactive and Pustra / Vileen once again pulled it out the bag and stole the show.

Reviews on 'The Devil may drag you under' haven't been good ** - from The Scotsman & 'Pornographic rubbish' from (I wasn't performing on both of the nights the reviewers came) 

Although Broadway Baby called me 'mediocre' which is going on my website as soon as i get home.

There's a clear divide in the cast - which I've not experienced before. One minute tempers are frayed and 
the next people are planning Breakfasts. 

One more show to go.

Day Six - Curtain Down
A lazy day of eating and hangover recovery but we soon bounce back and decide to take a bus tour around the town and go on Edinburgh's infamous ghost tours - which I wont be doing again in a hurry. Scary.

We're knackered so its home for a disco nap and no sooner does our head hit the pillow, we are having to put the slap on again. 

Curtain is about to come up and 5 people are in the audience but we stumble through it!

We head home and I pack up shop.

Edinburgh is always a great experience even if everything goes tits up. I've made great new friends Pustra / Vile-een and look forward to meeting them in London. Steer clear of the Royal Mile if your keen to avoid the drama school drop outs, head to the Spiegal Tent for some top notch cabaret and buy your booze before 6.30pm - This town closes before it even gets going!