Edinburgh festival delivers a good innings
Steve Cramer's Festival Blog
This article is from 2009.
I seem to have touched a nerve with my last blog. Today, I received an (admittedly second hand) report that it had been said of me that I was clearly a narrow minded little Scotlander for speaking ill of London. The actor friend on the receiving end of these strong words says she informed the speaker that I was not Scottish, but to no avail, for listening isn’t an occupation much encouraged in London.
Let me then espouse the virtues of this great international festival of which we’re in the midst, not just for the record, but for the passion I feel. This year alone, one could point to shows from all around the world to please the eye and stimulate the mind. A single example of many comes to mind: The Dandelion’s Story, from Korea, was a delight to watch, a dogshit show in the best possible sense of that term, following as it does a piece of doggy do through its transition to a daffodil. One would hope for another life in Britain for this delightful family piece, though no doubt the Health and Safety Nazis would raise objections to a show for children that elevated the object in question to loveable hero. One hopes against hope, though, for a spasm of spiritual largesse and imagination from the Ministry of No Fun.
So too, the many accents and languages heard in the venues and bars of Edinburgh are an inspiration. Just the other day on the bus I heard a young man speaking Afrikaans on his mobile, a language normally only heard in the UK on the lips of England test cricketers.
Which brings me to a slightly sore point. As at the end of the 2005 Ashes series, my mobile phone has become unusable from the sheer traffic. It would seem that I’m the only Australian known to most of Britain’s population if the number of messages, from the gently patronising “Better luck next time” to the less observant of decorum “Didn’t we *%%&£* stuff you?” is anything to judge by. I’m beginning to wonder if my number hasn’t been mixed up with that of Gloaters Anonymous, such is the volume of calls, to the point where the “No space for new messages” symbol is a frequent visitor. People who had formerly treated the LBW law as of such complexity that it might have been written by Derrida have suddenly become very knowledgeable about the game, and keen to share their wisdom. So, just so I can switch my phone back on and get back to the fringe, let me say well won England. Having just beaten South Africa’s first eleven in the RSA we didn’t expect to lose to their seconds, so good work.