Edinburgh Round-up

For what it’s worth…


Puppetry of the Penis – After the guys had taken their clothes off: “I really hope no one in the audience is thinking ‘So where are the puppets'”


Switch Triptych – From the Riot Group who stirred controversy with their ‘Anti-war’ Pugalist Specialist. Set in a telephone exchange, circa 1919, and circling themes of modernity, corporatism and mechanisisation. Excellent stuff

The Exonerated – Made from the real testimony of six people wrongfully convicted, sent to death row and later exonerated. If it is possible for something to be extremely moving and also cheap – in the sense of too easy – this is it.

Shane Koyczan – Performance poet. A-maz-ing. A cross between ani difranco and leonard cohen.


Dick Taverne, ‘Science and Society’ – Promoting his new book ‘The March of Unreason’, Dick rails agains the rising tide of irrationality and emphasises the fundamental entanglement of science and democracy. Fair nuff, but i think he’s a little unfair to those who buy into things he views as nonsense. Getting the proper scientific low-down on a topic is reserved for a privilaged view – privilaged in terms of time, and in terms of education/enculturation. Dick might have time to read 2,400 page reports on climate change, but most of us don’t. To say “We know this is nonsense, this-and-that many respectable scientific authorities say it is” is insufficient for those of us trying to make sense of things without the privilages of time and position that enable us to look into it fully, and it’s also profoundly undemocratic, since his injunction to believe the scientific establishment basically amounts to the same old mantra of “Leave it to the chief, trust authority, don’t think for yourself”. Oh and he also said that organic farming is a con, pesticide residues are harmless (so why do people get Parkinson’s Disease?) and that no one in the developing world opposed globalisation. What, no one?!

Give up! Start Over! (In the darkest of times i think of Richard Nixon) – A sweaty, physical, cut-up of speeches by richard nixon, Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation and ‘Reality TV – An Inside’s Guide’. This is an intense work-out/meditation on the construction of reality and celebrity in our television culture. Left my head so full i had to sit and do nothing for about the next three hours. Just blew me away. “Be yourself. Or the most easily typecast version of yourself” “Your fifteen minutes – or point two megabytes -of fame” “In the language of intimacy”

Poppycock! – passed the time

A thousand natural shocksGive up! Start over! was so good i went to the other show by the same group, which seemed to have less center to it, and hence (at points) descended into the kind of avant-garde theatre it would be just impossible to paraody

Rob Newmnan , Apocalypso Now – Bill Hicks meets chomsky. Good god this man is funny and clever. Perhaps the second best thing i saw after Give up! Start over!. “If you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear – or, as it is also known, everyone who is worried about being persecuted should be perscuted” “I’m not saying it was the cause for war, just a cause for war – part of a nexus of loosely connected interacting causal forces. That’s my new catchphrase”

Radioshow – showing sometime on radio four in the 11pm comedy slot. Was funny

Er…that’s it for shows. I drunk a load of booze and black coffee too. Edinburgh is way cool – it’s like the Berlin of the UK, I could definitely live there.

2 replies on “Edinburgh Round-up”

isn’t Edinburgh lovely? Kirsty’s moving up in a few weeks so I’m definitely gonna take the chance for frequent visits

still have Festival envy but will just have to make the effort myself in the future 😉

was cool to see you the other w/end & am muchly grateful for Bright Eyes, his stuff’s fantastic!

Someone at work sent round some excerpts from the festival, these were amongst them…

The dodo died. Then Dodi died, Di died and Dando died. Dido must be sh*tting herself.
Colin & Fergus at the Pleasance

Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a winner and a loser at the same time.
Demetri Martin at the Assembly Rooms

I enjoy using the comedy technique of self-deprecation – but I’m not very good at it.
Arnold Brown at The Stand

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