Edinburgh 12

My family come from Edinburgh. I used to live and work here. It really is not an especially wet city. It gets hot in summer. But every time we come for the Festival, it is like spending an entire month in an ice cold shower. Emily is developing trench foot.

Reviews continue to be generally very good. This one came out in Three Weeks printed edition yesterday, though it has not gone up on their website yet:

Medea ****

Euripides’ tragic tale of betrayal and alienation is expertly given a modern edge in this production from Fraser Cannon. An adapted script from Stella Duffy sees much of the language transformed to give more of a contemporary feel, whilst still retaining the essence of the original Greek story. Nadira Janikova in her portrayal of Medea manages to brilliantly capture the agony of being ostracised and abandonned for another woman, and her subsequent thirst for revenge that follows, in a performance that is truly absorbing. With a well presented chorus that uses music to help capture the burning torment of the “barbarian”, this is a production that is well worth watching, regardless of one’s interest (or not) in Greek tragedy.

Qualified rapture from Lyn Gardner, theatre critic of the Guardian who tweeted:

Stella Duffy’s version of Medea at Assembly is just terrific, although some of the acting a trifle under-powered

Which of course leaves one rather wanting to know more, and points up the limitations of Twitter as a medium of theatrical criticism (or intelligent human communication full stop).

In the interests of strict honesty I should also reference this bad review from the British Theatre Guide. Mr Fisher is of course absolutely entitled to his view of the production and acting. But I find his claim not to be able to understand the casts’ accents wildly improbable, and it leads me to wonder whether he is (ahem) not entirely in harmony with our multicultural society.

Finally it is a great pleasure to keep meeting so many blog readers after the show. It was good to see John yesterday. I do have a number of things I have to do and people I have to juggle once the show finishes, so I am sorry if I seem preoccupied, but it really does cheer me up more than you can imagine when readers come up and introduce themselves. I am only sorry that Nextus slipped away without me seeing what he (or indeed she) looked like!!


Let me add this shocking video of Edinburgh Riots, which I think Vronsky posted to an earlier comment thread.

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12 thoughts on “Edinburgh

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Quite a funny video. Not as funny as this one from CM in relation to Embra -‘ It gets hot in summer.”
    I am left speechless. Such a contradiction of my equally Edinburgh based reality leads one to supose that Craig has been hired by “Propaganda Scotland”. “Hot”? – you mean once a decade? (I remember 1976 had a month of ‘hot’ days.

    i also thought Donald Trump was being offered a lucky salvation by the resistance of the crofter. Has he checked how he is going to sell the Balmedie Sand Blasting experience to rich people. i sees white elephant before my eyes. Pity it has to be built to demonstrate it.

    Having just returned from the US, i am now wearing much the same clothes I wore on the coldest days there. Summer weather there is like wading through hot soup.
    Still it is nice to feel a bit more active. That bracing Scottish summer weather certainly stimulates the need to keep active.

  • John Goss

    Yes, I thought the video was 10 seconds of absolute terror, even the first time. As somebody wrote beneath “Don’t mess with this guy”.

  • John Goss

    What news channels does Philip Fisher watch if he thinks Medea “wreaks the kind of terrible revenge that can only happen in mythology”?

  • Nextus

    Don’t worry about the grumpy review. Opinions are like assholes: everybody’s got one, and some are full of shit. When critical reviews conflict, the best approach is to trim off the extremes and take a representative sample from the remainder.
    Craig, as it happens, my earthly form manifested again on Tuesday night (and indeed was sitting beside you watching the play). My online identity remains cloaked largely so that I can speak freely (and sometimes controversially) without repercussions in other domains. Thanks for being so hospitable, by the way – Nadira makes a delicious Shepherd’s Pie! I might see you all again in a few days’ time.

  • mary

    1976 was the scorcher. I remember it well. Sitting at the end of the garden in the shade, I saw smoke drifting up from the garage roof which was well alight. My dear departed husband had left a cigarette end in a pocket of a jacket which he had then hung up on a peg. He was trying to give up smoking but was having the odd crafty gasp.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Great, about all the well-deserved good reviews!

    Fisher’s silly and inaccurate review says more about him than it does about the performance – his prejudiced and inaccurate use of the term, “thick accents”, in particular. What’s he doing in Edinburgh, then? He should go back to Chipping Norton.
    Typical wanker. I’ve come across loads (believe me, loads, they are legion) of this particular type of talentless wanker in the clusters of people who circulate around the arts and they’re all exactly the same.
    He’s probably just envious!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    In the west of Scotland, the scorcher was 1975, not 1976; in July 1976, it rained and rained. Everyone seems to have forgotten this. Other scorchers: 1984, 1995, 2006. One every decade. The next one is due on 2017.
    And that’s it. The rest’s been varieties of shite.

  • ingo

    So glad to hear the reviews are improving and coming up to the standard of the actual performance they write about.
    Oh what fun over nextus. I knew Craig, but daren’t opened my mouth.
    Great to hear you are havin’ fun 🙁

    Norwich 1 Wigan 1, the Canaries first point, can only get better.

  • Craig W

    Every time friends visit from London it rains in Edinburgh. As it says in http://loveofscotland.blogspot.com/2011/08/festival-time.html:

    “Rain-swollen gutters, chewing gum and broken glass, drookit beggars by the cash machines, buses washing pavements at the pothole puddles, small herds of tourists in polyethene ponchos, a dripping mass of humanity drenched in rain of West Coast luxuriance; junkie-thin young Londoners in pork-pie hats or sandals, puffy with sleep-deprivation and sallow with booze; peeling comedy posters, collapsing masonry, a wonder the whole city does not dissolve in this rain… such is the now traditional wet first week of August and the spectacle granted to the citizens and festival-goers of Edinburgh.”

    Glad the play is getting better reviews. Last week has been a miserable one that has discouraged locals from going out and about.

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