gallivanting about

One of the good bits about living where we do is that although we genuinely live in the countryside, we are not very far away from the bright lights when they beckon – as they do at this time of year, Festival time in Edinburgh. So this week I have been out four evenings out of five (if you include the climbing nights, as I do).

On Tuesday Handsome and I went to see Richard Thompson at the Queens Hall. I would go to see almost anyone at the Queens Hall; it is compact and strangely lovable with high backed blue-painted pew seats and a stage that is on the same level as the audience (if you’re downstairs) so that you really do feel like you can reach out and touch the performers. Even if you’re upstairs, as we were on Tuesday (having last minute tickets) you still could still just reach down over the balcony! I spent most of the concert standing up anyway, which was fine because those high backed, steeply raked seats meant that I wasn’t obstructing anyone’s view, and I could dance… and I was until I spotted a senior colleague sitting downstairs, and had a brief moment of wondering whether I was making too much of a fool of myself. It was a brief moment, I couldn’t keep my feet still enough to worry about it too much.

And then last night I went to see 2008: MacBeth, with The Girl’s mama, because she couldn’t find anyone else to go with and neither could I… we were both a bit disappointed in our partners and offspring I suspect. From the small and cozy Queens Hall to a huge multi-stage in a barn-like building at Ingleston, with an audience that must have been close to a thousand. It was amazing, overwhelming and magnificent – and somehow terrifically Shakespearian. Not (obviously) the gunfire, helicopters and soldiers, but the tragedy and the humanity.

I still don’t get the white rabbit ‘though. I’m sure The Girl’s mama is right and it’s a manifestation of madness, but even so? She reckoned it was all a bit Lynchian, I don’t think I have enough background to comment. The washing machine full of blood, on the other hand, was truly the stuff of nightmares and madness.

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