Chris Goode - The Adventures of Wound Man and Shirley
Performer on Edinburgh Fringe is like having a sexy dentist
This article is from 2011.
I’m getting ready for my 14th Fringe in 17 years and I’m thinking about what it might be like to have a sexy dentist.
A dentist who makes you think twice about brushing after meals because you quite like having an excuse to visit. You gaze up into their sexy eyes and listen to their sexy voice telling you to relax and the chair tips back and it’s all incredibly sexy and you open wide for them … And then they say, This won’t hurt, and suddenly you remember that, actually, it will hurt. It’ll hurt till you want to cry for your mum. But there’s nothing you can do now, you’re trapped in the tippy-back chair.
That’s what it’s like, the Edinbugh Fringe. A sexy, confusing, agonising dentist. And consequently, now that I’m old, the things I look forward to most about Edinburgh are all about escaping the hubbub. Walking down by the Water of Leith, say, or out to the Royal Botanic Garden to see whatever exhibition is on at Inverleith House.
Guiltily I think back to my first ever Fringe, as a wide-eyed optimistic 21-year-old, happy in the thick of it. I remember watching a young Phil Kay thumb-tack his beard to the ceiling; a forgetful but radiant Eartha Kitt doing James Joyce; my own play, though I got lost and missed the first 20 minutes.
But also I remember being in love that August and walking hand-in-hand down Princes Street and eating nectarines at daybreak and listening to a new band called Portishead and feeling like the fireworks were just for us. Festivals are always about escape: but an escape into a space where we’re better, maybe. Where we can live together more intensely, more exaltedly.
Never mind the pain. When that chair tips back, open wide.
The Adventures of Wound Man and Shirley, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 20–29 Aug, 12.10pm, £10 (£9).