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Edinburgh: Day 11 Aug 14

My second Saturday in Edinburgh was a day of three halves.

The shows I was going to were front-loaded, so by half four I’d seen Finger Mice, Jollyboat and Max and Iván Are… Holmes and Watson.

Holmes and Watson is extremely fun with Max and Iván turning in very physical performances to portray the full cast of characters. I’d seen earlier versions of the first half in preview in London and it was great to see how it had developed into the finished show, and to find out how it ended. My reward for following the instructions to fill the room from the front was to get picked on for audience interaction during one scene. It’s definitely the first time I’ve been propositioned for fellatio by a fictional character, but hopefully not the last.

In retrospect, when I bumped into a tired Iván in a bar at 3am, opening the conversation with “I believe you owe me a blow job” may have been a mistake.

Consulting my master spreadsheet, I discovered quite how much I’ve spent seeing shows so far. I need to cut down. I don’t have a problem: I can stop any time I like. But there are so many shows I need – er, want – to see. Still, I decided I wouldn’t buy tickets for any more paid shows this weekend.

For the second half of the day, I snoozed, pondered, pottered about online, ate sushi, contemplated, snoozed, wrote (well, thought about writing) and eventually ended up feeling a bit homesick.

The Edinburgh Fringe operates in a different time zone from the rest of the UK and so it seemed perfectly natural to cheer myself up by turning it into a proper Saturday night at 1am. My highlight of the evening was around four in the morning when a conversation went thus:

“Hi, I’m Will.”

“Oh, are you Will… Howells?”

“Er, yes.”

“Didn’t you write that song about Only Connect?” (There was a hyperlink in her sentence; I could hear it.)

“Yes, that was me.”

“I loved that. What’s that bit about cetaceans?”

That’s never happened to me before.

The third half of the day concluded as dawn broke. I left the bar at 5am BST – or midnight in Edinburgh Fringe Time.

What I learnt today: Telling people “I’m doing a stand-up show. It’s a six-hander (there are three of us in it)” just confuses them.

Recommended show: Max and Iván Are… Holmes and Watson

Obligatory plug: I’m in Three Man Roast, 2.35pm weekdays and Saturday 20th at Finnegan’s Wake on Victoria Street – free entry. Also at the Amused Moose Comedy Awards Showcase at the Pleasance Dome, 4pm on August 17th (book online).

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