A Postcard from the Edinburgh Festival

29 Aug

Despite being a student in Edinburgh for four whole years, my experience of the festival was pretty much non-existent. Until now! In previous years, the sheer volume of things to see and do simply put me off. I would look at the Fringe guide and my head would spin. ‘What should I go see?’ I cried. ‘And who will go with me?’ But now I am a grown up and I do grown up things like going to the cinema by myself as well as arty-farty talks and lectures. So I returned to Edinburgh, and it’s festival, resolute that I would SEE STUFF. And see stuff I did.

One of my first ports of call was the Aisle 16 show, Aisle 16 R Kool! Being somewhat of a fan, I was already convinced that this group of poets was  cool, but I very much enjoyed being further swayed. The wonderful John Osborne, Tim Clare and Luke Wright battled it out to win the audience vote for coolness, although Clare actually attempted to disprove his cool credentials with his brilliant tirade against The Hipster. Wright’s story about a Supermodel (and one very evil spot) was equally vehement, but he made up for it with his quite touching poem ‘Weekday Dad.’

My personal favourite however, was John Osborne, a man whom The Scotsman quite accurately referred to as a bit of  ‘a soft-boiled sweet heart.’ I enjoyed his warm and amusing poems about failed surprise parties and lottery losers so much and was lucky enough to get a ticket to his sold out solo-show, John Peel’s Shed. Part memoir, part cultural history, Osborne traced the story of his relationship to radio which revolved around John Peel and a collection of his records that Osborne won in a competition. Alternately moving and funny, the show inevitably made me want to read his book Radio Head: Up and Down the Dial of British Radio as well as switch back to FM and explore the radio waves for myself.

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