CMU Weekly Editor's Letter

CMU Weekly – Friday 19 Aug 2011

By | Published on Friday 19 August 2011

Andy Malt

I’m back from Edinburgh, did you miss me? Oh yes, I remember, the power of modern day communication meant that everything continued as normal. For you, anyway. I was in Edinburgh, which I think I already mentioned.

But I didn’t just go to Edinburgh to test the possibilities of remote working. No. I also went all the way up to Scotland to partake in the world’s biggest cultural festival. That’s the Edinburgh Festival. In just over a week, I saw many things, all of them good. Seriously, I saw not one dud, which I’m pretty pleased about.

I should point out now that I only saw comedy shows. I know I should have gone and seen some worthy theatre and some contemporary dance to properly get a feel for the festival. And I like both of those things. But I like comedy more, and when faced with a week in a city filled with pretty much all of the world’s best stand-ups, it was hard to even think about seeing anything else. Sorry.

Russell Kane, Richard Herring, Andrew Maxwell, and Glenn Wool were all excellent, and Josie Long’s show was an absolute delight. Tim Key was great, and was the only comedian I saw who had a filled bath (or even just a bath) on stage. Something to think about there, if you’re planning a show for next year. Alex Horne’s ‘Horne Section’ cabaret show was so good I went and saw it twice, meaning Horne’s human beatbox routine was stuck in my head for several days afterwards.

On the less well known side, Liam Mullone, Iain Stirling and Sean McLoughlin were all very good new-ish performers, and MJ Hibbett’s two-man rock opera ‘Moon Horse Vs The Mars Men Of Jupiter’ was one of my favourite shows of the week. It was actually the main song from ‘Moon Horse’ that eventually shook that Alex Horne beatbox out of my skull.

Booked onto the night train home on Tuesday, I thought I’d get one last show in, so I elected to see Robin Ince at Buffs Club, a very small room where he was performing material that didn’t fit into any of the various other shows he’s doing at the Fringe this year. As I say, it was a very small room, and despite getting there early, as advised, space was so tight by the time I got in that I was forced to sit next to Robin on the stage. It was an odd way to see a stand-up show I can tell you, though it was probably that experience that made me feel like I’d done the Edinburgh Fringe “properly”.

And so from there I went straight to Edinburgh Waverley railway station, commuting back to CMU’s London HQ overnight. I’m still not sure how great an idea that was. It turns out ‘sleeper train’ is quite a misleading name. It’s not so much that I was in a seat, rather than a bed. At the very least, you’d have thought they could have switched the lights off. And the man who carried on a phone conversation for the first 40 minutes (choice quote: “No, none of them are sleeping”) didn’t help, either. But I did make it home, and the city was still standing. Which was nice, because it wasn’t quite clear if that would be the case when I left.

If you’re heading up to Edinburgh any time this month, have fun. And be sure to pick up a copy of ThreeWeeks while you’re there.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU

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