Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Edward has the last word ... for now ...

Image by Dora Petherbridge

So that’s it for another year. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe comes to a close. As always it’s been emotional and I’m officially festival fatigued. I had high hopes to blog more during this year’s run but alas the daily grind of reviewing and the rush of seeing many shows left me with not enough hours in the day. I will endeavour to post a few belated festival posts, as I have seen some fantastic and fabulously cultural stuff that I really want to write about. I’ve said this before but the festival really is a wonderful opportunity to remind oneself that culture is alive and well in the 21st century. Indeed it has been humbling to have had the opportunity to take part in a festival that at its core celebrates art and performance on a level playing field – from the street level up (with street performers and the like) to the theatres of the top venues. The variety of the programme itself is a reminder that talent comes in many forms.

Amnesty International art exhibition in C Venues. Image by Dora Petherbridge

In the meantime, in something which is becoming somewhat of a tradition around here, Edward Petherbridge shares these words. Given he’s something of a ‘fringe veteran’ perhaps it is fitting that he should have the last word on the festival. For now at least ...

'I very much liked the ‘Festival Food’ post. It felt like an evocative elegy for the Edinburgh Festival and I wish I could have chatted (no more) to the lady with the Chanel bag.

I remember one Festival wind up - in both senses of the phrase - it was on the last night of the 1978 Festival Fringe when my wife and I had been playing in Trevor Nunn's production of Three Sisters. We were having a drink after the fireworks in the Festival Club on George Street. Most of the cast were there, Trevor was with us and Ian (McKellen, who played Andre) - when two rain coated men came up to the table and one said, “It's midnight. The Festival's over. Finish your drinks.”

I recall an Edinburgh actress telling me she remembered a woman on a bus the day after one Festival saying complacently to her shopping companion, “Oh it's nice to have the city to ourselves again!”

Being a veteran of four Festivals, I certainly remember being on the Royal Mile and thinking - if I see one more juggler or stilt walker ... but there was the extraordinary day about 12 years ago when there was a band from Russia playing. Suddenly they struck up a Russian march I had only ever heard in the last act of our Three Sisters in that poignant off stage music as the soldiers leave the town at the end of the play.

Thank you for stirring the sediment – that is partly what blogs are for, that and topping up the drinks - not finishing them because 'the Festival is over.’

Here's a small selection of Dora's snapshots from the Fringe.

Image by Dora Petherbridge

Image by Dora Petherbridge

And finally ...

The E4 Udderbelly - a venue literally in the shape of a giant purple cow! Image by Dora Petherbridge


  1. Thank you Ruth, Dora and Edward for your combined efforts in this splendid valedictory Fringe post.

    This annual cultural feast, and the diversity and depth of talent it represents, is indeed edifying and heartwarming.


  2. Hello Ruth, hello Kathleen,

    It has certainly been a very festive August brimming with lots of "fabulously cultural stuff" as Ruth says. Kathleen I'm glad you like the collaborative effort!

    Dora xx

  3. Thank you Kathleen for your lovely comment! xx