Up early from my fine apartments in the Ramsey Gardens and a brisk morning walk, passing of Boswell’s close, upon the Royal Mile and to the Presbyterian Church of St. Augustine wherein a pretty Polish wench served unto me a freshly baked bread roll of bacon and the eggs whereupon I dallied in the pleasant gardens of the noble church and took of my breakfast and checketh upon my emails.
Then unto the underbelly by way of the terrace that graces the curve of the fine street that descendeth to the grassmarket to see of the players performing of a tale of dark revenge against a noble family that hath by poor judgement caused to a poor and desperate girl, played prettily by a handsome young wench, a great grief. They talk of an evil place wherein the grief was caused, by name of Beeston and I would greatly fear to go unto that place. After to the University to see of a comik piece upon the political parties that do vex the publick so. The player there, one Forde by name, claimeth knowledge of the politicks of the world by virtue of having tarried in Nottingham. Know I well the politicks of that miserable city and know I well that it never was so noted for its humour nor yet for the quality of its civic principles. And Forde doth well reflect this aspect of the most unfortunate place. Me thinks it may of sounded with wit upon the tavern table, with sack and claret there partaken off, but it transfereth not well to the comik stage. Even doth Forde mock the great Galloway, saying of him that he sayeth of Forde that he be a supporter of great wars and haveth gore upon his hands. But this not be wit, for tis true TIS THEIR FUCKINGETH FAULT. Yet say I this, I do yet concede that he maketh one or two quips of the Miliband that were of quality: yet may the mob not yet get to the thinking that time for jesting of this most despairing fellow is long past the hour. It sufficed me for a lazy hour but left me believingeth this Forde to be but a provincial player seeking his greater fortune withouteth those witty skills to so doeth. And then to the Ushers hall to hear sweet music of the choirs praising to our Lorde I being mightily pleased and it lifteth my heart and thought I that amongst those noble singers of such sweet harmonies there be but not one single soul that would have supporteth the wars of the player Forde.
And so to bed.
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Up early for breakfast in the gardens of St. Augustine’s church, on the hill just beneath the castle; best egg and bacon roll in the festival. Then to the underbelly to watch a one act play by the Beeston Rifles, an intense affair of class revenge by a harassed single girl, on benefits, looking after a mentally retarded adult, given to gibberish and wanking. Her revenge is directed towards the privileged rich teenagers who had killed her father in a road traffic accident. Excellent stuff with powerful performances by the young Yorkshire cast. That Beeston must a dark dark place.
Then to the University to catch a comedy routine about political parties by Matt Forde. Claims he cut his political teeth in the Nottingham Labour party. Happens that I know the Nottingham Labour party rather well and they were not particularly known for their sense of humour, or for that matter, their political principles. Both aspects are admirably reflected in this piece which might well have sounded hilarious over a glass of claret at the dinner table but does not transfer well to the stand-up routine. He even made a joke about George Galloway calling him an apologist for Blair and a supporter of the Iraq war. Both of which he is. And is happy to acknowledge. Such people should shudder whenever a bomb goes off in Baghdad. It’s their fault. As Galloway rightly says the blood of those bombs is on their hands ITS THEIR FUCKING FAULT. It’s not the fault of the millions who marched to oppose Blair’s war. Having said that he did make one or two good jokes about Ed Miliband. They were jokes rather than satire, but good nonetheless, although some labour activists might well feel that given Miliband’s catastrophic performance that it’s time to stop the jokes and get serious about getting rid of him. Main impression of Forde was that of a mediocre DJ trying to make it as a serious comedian. Well that was my impression anyway.
A long couple of hours after Forde, sitting in the Grassmarket drinking Scottish beer (Deuchars) reading my book and watching the world go by beneath the rocky cliffs of the castle. Then in the evening to Ushers Hall for a performance by The sixteen, a choral group singing religious works from the 16th to the 21st century, astonishing soaring and uplifting stuff. Surely the triumph of the Festival. Afterwards to a cosy Edinburgh pub to plan the programme for tomorrow. A fairly typical day and one of the reasons I come back to the Festival year after year after year.