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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Adam Smith and Edinburgh memories

As a massive comedy geek of many years I can’t believe this is my first full Edinburgh Fringe.  I’ve been before, of course, and wandering down the Royal Mile yesterday (I accidentally ended up in the queue for the tattoo – it was horrendous) I was reminded of my first time up here.


I was on a family holiday in Northumberland and I’d come up for the day with my younger brother to see our favourite sketch-group The Penny Dreadfuls in Aeneas Faversham. It was my first time up here and we were really lost. We ended up on the Royal Mile when we should have been at the Pleasance Courtyard (I know) and as it got closer to the start time I was getting more and more stressed. Jonathan was being both infuriatingly unhelpful and calm (the worst combination) and I hit the roof when he looked up at a statue and said ‘Oh look, Adam Smith!’ 


‘Adam Smith, Katie! He founded the free market’ (Have I mentioned before that my brother is a huge dork? Well he is)

‘Jonathan, this show starts in ten minutes and I have no idea where we are and we’re probably going to miss it and NOBODY EVEN KNOWS OR CARES WHO ADAM SMITH IS’.

Bang on cue, two Japanese tourists appear from nowhere: ‘Oohhh, Adam Smith!’

(We got to the show on time and it was incredible and I am now less of a cow to my brother … mostly… *disables blog comment facility*)

Ooh I'm a statue and nobody cares


I literally don’t know what I was doing for these CLEARLY WASTED YEARS. It was during Uni so I was probably working, and I was busy having a boyfriend for once and, I don't know, making other bad decisions and I went to Zambia one summer to work in a school and that cost some money but then again look how I have casually referenced my charity work so all worth it in the end right?


I’d planned another day up again, with Jonathan, to see Laura Solon’s ‘The Owl of Steven’ (amongst other shows) but then got an interview for my Absolute Dream Job working for Pozzitive Television. Gambling a day of seeing comedy for the chance to actually work in comedy I got a train back to London hoping it wasn't a wasted £70. (And nailed the interview with my dork-credentials...ahem). Dad took the ticket and fell asleep during the show, much to my brother’s annoyance. At this point I’d like to point out that this isn’t a reflection on Laura Solon. My Dad has also fallen asleep during:

  • ‘Fly Away Home’ – 1996.  At the emotional bit with the birds at the end.
  •  My University graduation (‘What?! It was really hot in there!’ Mum: ‘I can’t believe you fell asleep next to John Stapleton, how embarrassing’. (I could do a separate post on my parents and their priorities but I won’t)
  • A drive from Newcastle to London on the A1. This would have been ok except for the fact that he was at the wheel at the time.


At Pozzitive we were filming Milton Jones’s tour DVD ‘Lion Whisperer’. Between the pre-production and the filming and the editing I couldn’t take any time off during August at all, which was a bit disappointing. Milton later asked if I’d been able to get to the festival at all to which I replied ‘Er, no, and I’m really pissed off about it because …’ then I remembered why and tried to style it out before admitting it was actually his fault. He’s such a nice guy that he actually apologised. But there are far worse reasons for missing a comedy festival than ‘I was working on some other comedy’.


Another busy August (weirdly) but managed to get 3 days off work, stayed in a Travelodge and saw about 13 shows. There was a lot of racing around but it was the best time ever. Highlights were Tim Key and Max and Ivan: Con Artists, who I am an embarrassingly big fan of despite knowing them. It’s awkward, I mean I’ve already booked for 3 shows of theirs this year and I have to dial down the adoration when I see them. If you haven’t seen them live you are totally missing out.


Arranged to take a month off work to come up to do the press, etc, for James Cary’s The God Particle , but then about a week before Marcus Brigstocke asked me if I’d like to help on his new improv show Unavailable for Comment . Er, yes please. I had planned just to rinse my savings buying over-priced van food and seeing shows (best investment ever) but with two jobs up here I can relax on that score and try and see as much as possible. Working on UFC means I also have an Underbelly pass,  which is useful, so I’m averaging about 3 shows a day in between 'work' (for 'work' read emails, blogging, er... you know, some other things). I'm seeing so much I feel like I’m making up for what I’ll call the ‘Wilderness years’.

Not like anyone cares, but if I get a second I'm going to write up some thoughts on the Edinburgh shows I’ve seen so far and some trends I've noticed... 

PREVIEW: Contains nudity and Les Mis and fake corpsing. Not all at once. OH YOU GUYS - STICK TO THE SCRIPT - WHAT ARE WE LIKE?! 

Contractually obliged now to remind you that The God Particle is on at Just the Tonic, Bristo Square at 12noon every day until the 25th August (not 13th

We've been creating a bit of a buzz, and look I can prove it with science because we made a 'buzz blog'

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