Ruth Jones's Summer Holiday
Ruth Jones, just back from the Edinburgh Fringe, writes
"Haste ye Back!" – you'll see that written a lot at Edinburgh airport. Not by benign graffiti artists, the Scottish Tourist Board I should imagine. It's a nice saying and yes I probably will haste me back next year. Because I've just spent three totally enjoyable days at the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
If you've never been then go. I can't recommend it highly enough. You can do it cheaply if you're clever – there are loads of free shows and two-for-one offers and you'll see a real mixture of brilliant and dreadful shows. In a beautiful city that never sleeps. For the month of August at least.
I saw fourteen shows. All an hour long which in my book is the perfect length for a bit of live entertainment. Any longer than an hour and my attention span and lower back start to go. Simultaneously. Oh and you can take your drinks in. What's not to love?
My personal favourite was comedy poet Tim Key. (I once worked with Tim in an episode of Saxondale – he played a man dressed as a squirrel trying to persuade Steve Coogan's character to sign up for a credit card...) He's compellingly laconic and left-field and does weird and wonderful things with a live bubble bath and a pack of laminated playing cards. Erotic ones. Just be warned if you sit in the front row wear a plastic shower curtain. And wellies.
I have to confess though I rather like the dreadful shows too. I was fascinated watching a play that shall remain nameless, where one of the actresses kept her mouth hanging open after every line she delivered. I don't think it was intentional. And I became mesmerised by it. The hanging jaw. I'd long since lost hope of actually understanding what the play was about so all I could do was watch the mouth. The spell was broken by a man collapsing in the audience. I do hope he was alright. I do hope he was faking. Just to escape the awfulness of the play.
It seems appropriate to end with a joke but as I don't do jokes here's a 2011 festival prize winning joke from Nick Helm "I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."
Ruth Jones's Summer Holiday is on BBC Two at 10pm, Monday 29th August.