Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"And where is this festival?" - German woman to Edinburgh tourist info guy

Dallas Ryan was a guy who used to do shows with me when I was a preteen. He was probably in his mid-20s (I just thought of him as 'old') and he did summer stock theater in my hometown. He was fantastic - a fabulous, flamboyant tenor from upstate New York who was charming and fun and didn't treat me like a kid. He used to wax lyrical about the Edinburgh Festival and how it was the pinnacle of all international arts gigs. I've wanted to go ever since.

I spent half of August in Edinburgh, and I'd go back in a heartbeat. It's a glorious city even in the doldrums of winter, and the energy explodes during the Festival. Anything goes. Attire, face paint, concepts, ideas - it's all there, swimming around together, clashing, creating.

Highlights: The Magnets, a five-part harmony and beatboxing group.
Five Guys Named Moe with Clarke Peters who is the grooviest man on the planet.
Baby Wants Candy, a hilarious improv group that created a musical just for us called "The Polar Bear Who Came For Dinner".

Fame-o-meter: Clarke Peters, of course, who hung out at a bar near the venue numerous times. That man exudes coolness. And McNulty was there one night, too. Some very fat man from the PG Tips tea advertisements and a few other British slebs I didn't know. And the many, many wonderful writers who graced the Book Festival.

Leading us neatly to...the best Edinburgh Bookfest I've attended. Excellent workshops, approachable authors, intelligent attendees. My new friend Francesca wrote a brilliant love letter to the Book Festival on her blog. We met thanks to Twitter. Oh, did I mention I went to my first Tweetup?

Nicola Morgan is a writer who gives (far too) much of her time to newbies and unpublished writers. Thanks to her I now have a dozen new Twitter writer friends. We had a great afternoon in the Charlotte Square sunshine. She's @nicolamorgan.

Back in Inverness now, and still buzzing...what a lucky person I am to have a freelance job that means I can be in places like Edinburgh in August.


Nicola Morgan said...

Hello! It was lovely to meet at our tweetup! Hope to see you again one day. Nx

Francesca said...

Heya - Thanks for the mention! It was so good to meet you :-) I'm already trying to imagine ways I can get myself back to the festival next year, mostly involving sci-fi transporters and the like, but you never know! it could happen! xo

Colin Galbraith said...

Glad you had such a fab time at the book fest. Of all the August festivals it's definitely the best!