Edinburgh Fringe: A Beginner’s Diary – DAY TWO

Day Two – 08/08/12

I awake with a start and drag myself out to see Richard Wiseman, since I’ve vaguely told the Skeptic Magazine that I’ll review some rationalist type things for them whilst I’m here. I arrive with two minutes to go before the show, and the doorman asks whether I’m here for Robert Wiseman. I find this HILARIOUS (it isn’t). Turns out the show is full up. MY FIRST EDINBURGH FAUX-PAS!

I debate going to see my friend Becky’s Crunch the News show, but decide to eat a pie instead. I am nothing as a friend if not faithful. The pie is billed as “award-winning”, but you soon learn to take these things with a pinch of salt at Edinburgh Fringe. I give it a robust 3/5 stars. Or should I say…a roCRUST 3/5 stars???

I’m here all week! Literally.

Control Alt Delete – The Funny Side of Computers
The computer geek in me just couldn’t resist. I keep an eye on the audience traipsing in, noting the inevitable nerd clichés: a man with long hair in a ponytail; a man in a Back to the Future tshirt; a man with an atomical structure tshirt. MY PEOPLE. Some of this was a bit techy for me, though; case in point, the biggest laugh of the show went to “they’ve got a Boolean variable where you could just use an IF statement!”. Still, a goodun if you’re a techie, especially if you have nostalgia about some of the older types of computers. The comedian – Dan Willis – seems horrified that the boy on the front row (15) can’t remember computers ever having tape decks. I don’t dare raise my hand to tell him that I (25) can’t either.


The best fact I learn is that the planet Sedna was originally named Xena: Warrior Princess, until this was changed. It still has a moon called Gabrielle, though. AMAAAAZING.

Gemma Arrowsmith: Defender of Earth
Oh hey, this is one of my FESTIVAL PICKS!! A one-woman show, with Gemma depicting exactly the type of middle-class, lost-generation everywoman that I identify with. She’s trying to get a new job outside of admin, spends a lot of time minimising Reddit, and goes to protests to look activisty but then feels like a fraud. OH HEY IS THIS SOUNDING A BIT FAMILIAR TO YOU, NATALIE, IS IT??? Anyway basically it’s lovely; funny sketches, concurrent despair and horror at the state of humanity, and a properly sci-fi Doctor Who vibe thrown in for good measure. Do ittttttttttt.

Genevieve Swallow is Sharing
Had this recommended to me. It was alright. Tales of woe from house shares across the ages.

The Beta Males: Space Race
Again, I should probably disclose that I know one of them, but it doesn’t really matter because he’s a massive bellend. Still, that aside, if you’re a fan of slick, well-tied together sketch comedy, more-than-occasional absurdity, and SPACE (COME ON WHO IS NOT A FAN OF SPACE, IT IS SPACE), then this is one for you. Things got a little chaotic towards the end; I have literally no idea what actually happened. But then, all things tend towards entropy, and the Betas are certainly no exception.

A bit of a gap in my notes here. I’ll try and piece things together…

I go to the Courtyard and have a pint with the aforementioned guy I met the night before offof twitter. It turns out he is a neuroscientist from Canada. We bond over our mutual dislike of eggs. We have both decided – I think – that we are going to have an Edinburgh fling, but can’t actually be bothered to do anything about it just yet. I spend a lot of time enthusing rather too loudly about old BBC idents. THIS IS MY PATENTED PULLING TACTIC. IT WORKS EVERY TIME.

My friend Gemma – and the very nice, very filthy, producer lady who’s putting on children’s theatre with her – drag me off to see Company of Wolves, a modern-age reimagining of the Red Riding Hood myth. The concept is strong; all female sexuality and self-destructiveness. The execution…not so much. We sit on picnic blankets and a bard strums at us. Also, I’ve run out of phone battery, so I’m getting antsy. WHERE MY TWITTER FOLKS AT YO???

For an hour and a half after this I get completely lost, due to lack of Google Maps, and end up wandering from one side of Edinburgh to the other looking for my friends. I guess I find them. I guess we go to a bar.

Shows seen: 5
Celebrities spotted: 1; thought I saw Phil Jupitus, turned out it was just a fat man with a hat.
Haggis count: 0


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