Well, since Andrew wasn’t sending any cards from the Edinburgh Festival, there was only one thing for Phil to do: join him.
Phil’s first proper visit. Andrew already had a slew of shows under his belt by the time he arrived. But it’s all very well seeing loads of shows back to back but when is there time to write about them? If the show’s any good the Whingers want to celebrate in the bar afterwards.
And Phil still hasn’t quite got his head round Scotland’s licensing laws. Entering a supermarket at 9am and asking if it was possible to buy alcohol he received a pitying look from the woman on the till and a negative response. “What time can you buy it?” Phil persisted. Compounding his indignity later by returning to the same store to purchase a couple of bottles only to be served by the very same woman on the till. Pitiful.
Everything’s about timing on the fringe and the Whingers had to leave an overrunning and rather painful show to arrive in time for Idle Motion‘s The Seagull Effect and it was a decision well made.
A multimedia piece with dance, story telling, physical theatre and personal recollections of Britain’s 1987 storms doesn’t really sound very Whingerish. But the fringe is about recommendations and someone, though we have no recollection who, said this was a must and so it proved.
TSE consists of two intertwining stories – one about a couple rekindling a relationship on the night of the storm another about a woman trying to get to a job interview in Brighton – which are neatly segued together in a pleasingly inventive and imaginative fashion.
Images of world events, storms and seagulls are projected onto all sorts of different objects, white umbrellas, clothes, newspapers, plastic sheeting and the show pelts along on the back of these brilliantly achieved images. With quick get-outs on shows being essential on the Edinburgh Fringe Phil was sure that no rain would be forthcoming but he was wrong: we did, with one of show’s many clever and witty stunts
There was also plenty of humour especially from the likeable chirpy head girl type narrator Grace Chapman and the seemingly very young company worked with the discipline of a far more established troupe.
And if it sometimes makes a bit of a meal of its rather tenuous philosophical point, the shortcomings are far outweighed by its style and its sincerity.
The whole thing turned out to be very Whingers indeed. Quite, quite remarkable. Who would have thought?
Caveat emptor: these are, of course, merely trivial opinions.