Sunday, 28 August 2016

How good are the tips on the "11 Happy Hints" page

As the post bag reveals "Very important!"

Yes Crows for a pose is one of the most visited pages on this site and as we approach the 25,000 hits I chuckle and think back to how good a turkey looks with a tammy.

I trust you enjoy the 1980's humour, and nobody has really been saving up two decades of egg cartons as detailed in the "protect and survive manual.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

O is for Hoolet by Ishbel McFarlane, ***** Scottish Storytelling centre, Royal Mile 7pm August 21st-29th www.oisforhoolet #HooletFringe

Great night, thought provoking and entertaining. Watching the spark of creativity ignite into a bonfire on the stage at the Scottish Storytelling centre was superb as Ishbel worked her way through her characters and subject. In this age of skype, you close your eyes and you'd think Professor David Crystal has been beamed in from his home in North Wales, and is on a big screen above the stage. Dr Johann Unger makes a similar appearance as award winning Ishbel displays her full talents as an actress and a mimic. Roles for young Ishbel provide additional insight into the writer while infant Ishbel provides the eloquent backdrop to the story.

The story is Scots. The story is the Scots language. The story is, I'm telling you it is official. Scots is a language, just ask the English ambassador who interviewed Mary Queen of Scots, (a transcribe of which is kept at Prestonfield Golf Club where Mary played her golf back in the day).

Through the marvellous construction of this piece the audience are taken on a journey. A journey many of us have never contemplated. If Americans can do the 500 mile camino in a week, Paris in a day,  who am I to deny them the chance to a linguistic doctorate in 75 minutes. After listening to Ishbel's engaging play, they're perfectly entitled to a badge of honour.

There's an energy that Ishbel brings to the stage, an energy that burns brightly through her writing and ignites our interest in her subject matter. It becomes our subject matter and it becomes our evening's discussion. It is transcribed into texts, emails and reviews the next day. It is the Fringe at its best. New writing invigorating our lives. New performers painting with new patterns. T-in-the-park has left Kinross, the grass has gone and all those balls kicked into the long grass long ago (Pre-T) by politicians are now revealed. A wee shout from the field.

I'll transcribe for you, 'Ye can let the grass grow but our longue will ne'er die. C'mon, lets drink to the Scots mither tongue."

Obviously that's my interpretation, that's my thought processes and that's what I loved about the show. i found fires in my imagination had cleared away the debris and revealed a past. Suddenly, I was 9 years of age. I was taken back to America, 1972 where for 2 years my Dad was a diplomat in Washington DC. Our grade 5 teacher used to give us spelling tests. 20 words every day.  I used to write Aluminum and then in the next column Aluminium. Every day there would be 3 words that were spelt differently in Maryland, USA, and I knew they were so I told my teacher that I would spell them this way in America but not in Scotland. Mr Stein laughed, but I didn't think he got it. I was trying to tell him he needed to tell the rest of the class. I was the same when they asked us to stand for the pledge of allegiance. I just said no. My parents were called in and a diplomatic mission required to absolve me from the crime. I was apparently excused on religious grounds.

This is why O is for Hoolet is such a fantastic show for everyone. We have told over 30 of our friends that they will find themselves alive after the show. Check the pulse and look in the mirror. It will remove creases from foreheads and those famous crows feet from around the eyes. The sun will shine brighter and you will find enlightenment. If only I had social media, it would be 1000's of friends.

Its no surprise to see the fireworks in the sky as we walk up the Royal Mile, Ishbel's show is a great reason to celebrate. Treat yourself to an evening out, go down the Royal Mile and see it, its on every night, but be aware, the clock is ticking and the last show is August 29th 2016.

If the Scottish Education minister is reading, O is for Hoolet is education and touring Scottish schools, colleges and Universities doing workshops would be a great way to inspire a nation. Eh, here's an idea, make it happen!

Our Five star fringe award.... if you only go to one show......make sure it is......O is for Hoolet!

Congratulations Ishbel McFarlane,

PS - I hope like Eddie Izzard did two years ago you re tweet it and Deadbeat gets 5000 hits in 25 minutes....!!


Monday, 1 August 2016

#Harrytheplay @kingsheadthtr 25/7/16

A trip to the Kings Head theatre to see Harry is a mere 800 mile round trip, but in the comfort of East coast trains, London buses and then the luxurious theatre itself one feels totally pampered.

The excitement grows as Harry begins and the cast of Caitlin and Sophie bounce around in their first year accommodation like Bambi on ice, in stereo. The rhythm of the play is sharp and fast, the voices rising to fever pitch as they clatter into each other in perfect unison. Its like dining out and savouring perfect fusion cooking, this is no deep fried mars bar this is sublime. The salmon has....wait I digress, I'm salivating over the play not the meal.

The action is superb and the humour perfectly timed. The girls are having a ball and its only the first 1D album. They have nothing in common except a certain little prince of pop, with a head like a mop, and the face of a pixie. Clearly I'm not 17 but I can see that they are. They are in love. They share a special bond, they share Harry and they share him with 100 million others!

The play allows them to age all the way through the album releases until they graduate and I cant divulge where the journey takes them but the world of fandom isnt all frivolous girlie smiles and screams. There is laughter aplenty but there's a sinister twitch. There's a sense of danger, the elephant wanders into the room and suddenly it's taking centre stage.

Watch it you'll love it - Harry is playing at the Kings Head theatre Tuesday 9th August @ 7pm and Tuesday 16th August 2016.

#Harrytheplay - Enjoy