Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Chocolate Ocelot's Fringe - Wednesday

Robert Langdon has now had a stone pyramid and a gold capstone in his possession for over 100 pages, but has failed to even unwrap the bloody capstone yet, let alone stick it on top of the pyramid. The padding in this story is a work of genius. He has just been whisked from Building A to Building B by a Negro Ex Machina, so am expecting him to end up in yet another historical DC building any chapter now.

Try to style hair like many of the young women we have seen, with parting starting just over one ear and fringe draped massively over forehead. Turns out I do not have sufficient length and weight of hair for this to work, and wisps are soon fluttering all over face. Fortunately lip gloss, the most adhesive substance known to woman, collects most of the loose hair by helpfully affixing it to my mouth.

Leave flat, down Tokyo Steps and cross Grassmarket. An early morning leafleteer spots our diagonal move away from him and plots an intercept course. Clever young devil. First flier of the day collected. Herself cowers behind me while I take the leafletty hit for her.

Off to Zoo, south of the Pleasance to see 2010: A Space Oddity. Turns out that Gavin Robertson out of Thunderbirds FAB is in it, so am expecting good two-man physical theatre. Show is a sort of 2001/2010 parody, with bits of Solaris and some amusing googly voiced aliens. Not as strong as his earlier stuff though, which is a pity. Don’t think anything could have topped Fantastical Voyage, which we saw at the Pleasance about 10 years ago. Years have not been kind to Gavin - once curly dark hair is short and receding, and big tum looks especially unappetising in cheap fancy dress silver spacesuit.

Have lunch in Auld Jock’s Pie Shop on Grassmarket. Very nice steak pie. Actually, it is more of a Gravy Pie, with Special Guest Star: Bits Of Steak. But most tasty nonetheless.'s_pie_shoppe-12178344

Spot a picture of our ‘forgotten man’ from the BBC showcase night – he is David O’Doherty – no wonder I couldn’t remember his name. A comedian having a name like that at the Fringe is like being called like Jason O’Byrne or Brendan O’Oirish. Ten a penny. Actually he was quite good, now I remember him – did good little musical sketches with the aid of a Casio keyboard.

Have just noticed vast, black, thick hairs growing out of back of right hand. Damn them. Need to laser the little bastards out of existence sometime. In the meantime, a painful five minutes with the tweezers is required.

Next, off to the GRV on Guthrie Street - a secretive little venue which we’ve never been to before. Herself has cunningly planned three shows in the exact same room, one after another. So we only have to spend 20 minutes hanging around between each one. Genius.

First up is a live Collings and Herrin podcast, which I’ve listened to once or twice before. Richard Herring is very funny as ever, and away from a structured stand-up routine, is completely filthy and naughty, which is good. Andrew Collins is… what? A straight man? A feed for Richard Herring? Or just the guy who sets up the laptops for the podcast? I dunno. Trying to remember what else he’s done, and all I can come up with is a bunch of them poxy list programmes on Channels 4 and 5. Tch.

Man, podcasts are a piece of. No wonder the internet’s lousy with them. I could do one easy. If I wanted. And had a willing stooge like Andrew Collins. And knew how to do all the fiddly bits on the computer. Prospective podcast stooges partners, contact me via the usual channels, please.

Oh yes – Herring told us again about the time he was wanked off by an Edwardian ventriloquist’s dummy operated by Stewart Lee.

They both turn out to be nice chaps, so we summoned up the nerve to chat to them in the bar after the show. Didn’t buy any of Herring’s DVDs though, coz I couldn’t remember which ones I’ve already seen and am haunted by the memory of the DVD of him berating a middle-aged couple so horribly that they stood up and left . Not his finest hour. Herself dug out her timetable – a reliable conversation piece, and compared it to another woman’s timetable. Geeks of the Fringe unite.

Show #2 at the GRV is the Oompah Brass band, who we last saw at the Scala a few months ago for a Steampunk event. Highly entertaining – they do a fine Bohemian Rhapsody.

Show #3 is Bane, as recommended by Dr Foot last year. One man playing all the parts in a hard-boiled spoof, with another chap providing a live musical soundtrack on the guitar. Bruce Bane is played a young chap called Joe Bone, if you can believe that. He has a very expressive face and does some great American voices. Takes me ages to place his standard Bane-voice as that of Christian Slater. There’s also a Bane 2, which we must see some time.

We finish our stint in the GRV, and nip back to the flat for a nibble. I have fifteen minutes to eat a hissingly hot microwaved shepherds pie. Mmmm. And Ouch.

Then to the undercroft (undercrypt?) beneath St Augustine’s church to see Bowels, which turns out to be a small cast doing a parody of Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. All the cast are female apart from the central chap, whose plumy Edwardian English accent periodically slips back to his presumably native Frankie Boylesque Scottish tones. There is a great bit when a ‘magnificent beast’ of a dinosaur marauds across the stage and into the audience, played by a young lady in a sweet fluffy green dino outfit. Delightful, as Herself would say.

We carry on down George IV Street to the Gilded Balloon, for to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, which Herself has been most looking forward to. Excellent as ever, though is a pity that he - sorry – they don’t do more of the Dr Who stuff as seen on YouTube. Hang around near the loos after the show for about ten minutes and are rewarded by the sight of slightly sweaty sock-puppeteer Kev Sutherland emerging from the gents. He is a very friendly chap, and surprisingly English. He thinks I’m Australian, which I get very occasionally; no idea why. We sing his praises and speak much of Dr Who, Torchwood and Life On Mars. Turns out that he is indeed the same Kev Sutherland who ran the Bristol Comic Con. He also did comic strips for the Red Dwarf comic and is currently working on the Beano, which is most cool. He is still most sweaty, so bids us a goodnight. Result.

Is now too late to see our last show of the night – Carnival Of Souls, which am quite glad of. Getting too old for these late nights.

Nip outside Gilded Balloon to get a late night crepe. The trick with crepes is to eat them quick, coz when they cool down, they look, feel, and presumably taste, like cold dead flesh.

Skip back to flat, swimming upstream against the tide of exiting tattooists and struggle to open the useless front door with its rubbish rattling loose lock. An intrigued/suspicious young military policeman comes down Tokyo Steps towards us and asks if we need a hand. We decline, but he hangs around anyway, watching us, as if we’re a couple of terrorists laden down with a plastic bag full of explosive semi-skimmed milk and highland shorties. I bridle at his military nosiness. It’s a bit like a scene from Inglourious Basterds.

Rubbish bags must be put out tonight, as flat is beginning to smell strongly of shepherds pie. Edinburgh continues to inexplicably smell of Weetabix. No idea why.

Apples continue to rot on kitchen table. Is degenerating into a war of attrition between Herself and I.

Shows seen: 6 (but should have been 7)
Flyers collected: 4


Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (and Kev F the comic artist) said...

It was good to meet you both, only just found your blog. Sorry I couldn't talk for longer and was so sweaty and antisocial. Thanks for coming, see you again sometime I hope. - Kev F & the Socks

The Chocolate Ocelot said...

Hi Kev, Hi Socks :)

Was lovely to meet you and you weren't at all anti-social :) Looking forward to seeing you again sometime.