Kemble’s Blackbird

On August 19, 2012, Ivan and I left at 1:15 pm.  Lil Dave was going on a tour with his Uncle MacDave who lives in Edinburgh.  He’s doing a show at the Fringe Festival.

We had lunch at a great place called Italiano on the Mound.  Ivan and I both got tuna, egg mayo and anchovies on a baguette which was quite tasty.  I also tried the local soft drink called Irn Bru. 

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It was a bit odd tasting and tasted like orange soda. 

Our first show was Sarah Jones: Does Not Play Well With Others.  Sarah is an Australian ventriloquist.  Sarah Jones is just starting out it seems… I did see her lips move.  She was funny, but I’ve definitely seen better ventriloquists like Ron Lucas or Paul Zerdin who’ve been around for a very long time.

We went to the post office to mail postcards and packages.  Unfortunately, their system was down so we couldn’t send the packages then.

It was time for another Fringe show.  This time it was Kemble’s Riot.  This play is about a man named Kemble and his sister during the Renaissance period.  They’re both actors and are enjoying success at one of the theatres.  Unfortunately, a fire occurs and burns down the theatre .  There’s two actors in the audience who talk during the play. 

Kemble and his sister decide to gather people to help out financially and build a beautiful new theatre.  The theatre raises the amount of the theatre tickets.  There’s a man on the right side of us who’s outraged of the new ticket price while the lady right behind us says they have to charge since they built this lovely theatre.  The angry man gathers supporters of people in the audience.  The man says “What do we want?” The new supporters chant “Old Prices”  The man says “When do we want it?” The audience replies “NOW”.  Our side was getting annoyed.  Ivan said the man should shut up.  The lady gets us to start clapping and say “We love you Kemble.  We do.”

This was an interesting play to see how people can be swayed when a group of supporters or rioters gathers.  Kemble is cocky and will not back down and lower the prices since he has lots of debt towards the theatre.  Towards the end, the group goes to Kemble’s house to protest.  Our side has now joined the rioters. 

Ivan and I went back to the post office to send off our packages.  

It started raining really hard and we wanted to go somewhere to relax.  So, we went to our favorite café Hunt & Darton for some tea. 

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I love this quirky little café.  The owners remembered us and wondered what word we were doing for our project (project will be done after our trip ends). 

Next, we went to an office for a site-specific play.  We each got a visitor’s badge and told that Ray would be with us shortly.  A few minutes later, it was time to head to the lunch room in the office.  It was filthy with trash strewn around everywhere like it was a boy’s college dorm room.  There weren’t two seats available in the front, but there was one and Ivan said I should sit there.  I would rather sit by him, but it’s always nice to be close to the action – plus, I’m really short so it’s easier to see in the front row.

The play we saw is called Blackbird.  It’s about a girl who goes to see the man who raped her 10 years ago when she was 12 years old.  You start to feel like the girl Una is bugging him about his life when he just wants to forget about it.  The man, Ray,  served time in jail for his crime.  He has somebody and she knows about his crime.

You find out that the two were actually in love.  They went away to a city nearby and the man goes out to buy some candy.  He doesn’t come back right away and Una thinks that he abandoned her there since their situation wasn’t a good one.  She tries to find him around town and tells people that she was looking for her dad and describing him.  She ends up calling her parents because she thinks he’s abandoned her.  We find out that he didn’t leave her and that it was a big misunderstanding. 

This was a very powerful play which you felt really awkward at times since you felt the tension. 

At one point, you hear somebody come to find Ray.  It turns out to be a young girl in a school outfit.  Your heart seems to stop when you realize it’s a school girl and he might be doing it again.  The girl is his wife’s daughter.  The girl keeps wanting to stay with him while he finishes up, but he keeps telling her to leave.  Una thinks that he might be doing it all over again.  What an amazing play.  Very well done with some great acting. The fact that the play was set in an office, and we were literally sat in an office, made it even more powerful. It was almost as if it was real, as there was no stage,  and no theatre lighting – it was as if we were voyeurs on a real situation.

We went to the Henderson’s Bistro for dinner.  It was really bad service and the food wasn’t very good at all.  The waiter was rude and he forgot to bring the wine.  Also, the wine was written as lentil and potato on the board.. but they didn’t have that and just brought us a tomato & aubergine soup.  If they ran out of the soup of the day, they should have changed it on the board. The soup came with some sorry excuse for a pate. 

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We also had the vegetarian haggis which didn’t have much flavor.  I had the smallest salad ever which had weird lettuce (the kind that looks like branches of a tree – no idea of the name).  I would definitely try to avoid this place.

It was time for our last show at The Famous Spiegeltent.  The show La Clique Royal was in a tent.  It looked like the Spiegeltent in Las Vegas for the show Absinthe.  I bet Absinthe copied this Spiegeltent in Edinburgh.  The Queen of England (or at least a guy dressed as her) introduced the acts – She was really funny. Other acts included a hot guy doing acrobatics, a burlesque who showed her tits and milk squirted out of them (too funny and unexpected) and Michelangelo the Balkan Elvis.  It was a very fun and entertaining show.

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