Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chance Encounters

An action-packed last day. And having pined yesterday for a stage and some thesps, I take it all back. Today I took part in Look Left Look Right’s fabulous You Once Said Yes. The piece, which stretches the idea of theatre to its very limits, is an hour-and-three-quarters of ‘chance’ encounters through the streets of Edinburgh. It sounds forced, potentiallly embarrassing, but you have to forget any inhibitions and just go for it (which is kind of reflected in the title). You never quite know where & when the next encounter’s coming from and somehow they feel quite natural: in a shop, a guy asking for money, another who’s lost... There are two or three more extrovert scenes which spice it up and keep you on your toes, and there’s a wonderful finale in a pub which I’ll keep secret, but suffice it to say it was my favourite experience of the Festival. Would this work in China? Ha, we’ll see.
Leaving Planet Eaeth
On top of that, met Gary & Pat for lunch; took in a concert, Tubular Bells For Two (two Aussie multi-instrumentalists performing, note for note, Mike Oldfield's album which I confess to having a soft spot for – and it was excellent, a real guilty pleasure); and finally Cui Yang and I took part in Grid Iron’s Leaving Planet Earth – a humungously ambitious ‘play’ which involved being bussed out 30kms to a state-of-the-art climbing centre, transformed into a kind of immigration station for us 300 or so travellers who were about to start life on a new planet, a kind of twin Earth. I won’t go into all the details here, but it was good, not entirely convincing, but impressive in its scale and detail.   

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