Every year I tell myself that next year, next year I will take the month of August off and ‘do’ the festival. It’s finally happened, although the only reason I have August off is because I have no work ergo, no money to ‘do’ anything.

So just how do you do Edinburgh Festival on a budget of £2.50?

Well, it helps to have friends in the Ludus Baroque Orchestra. Wendi and Ollie do a couple of gigs with this orchestra every festival in the lovely Canongate Kirk. Last night was Handel’s The Triumph of Time and Truth. The very gifted Sophie Bevan was brilliant as Beauty and Alexander McCall Smith as a sponsor of Ludus was in the front row. I saw a smattering of the Edinburgh’s great and good; including one David Bishop. I’m pretty sure he used the intervals to write.

I was fascinated though by the chap sitting next to me, although thankfully we were separated by a low wooden pew partition. He had the creepiest hands; long, thin and bleached. Hands which never stopped moving though they boasted no dexterity. Dirt under his thumbnails and long pinky nails. They worried through the entire performance, at imaginary lose threads on his cheap grey suit, rubbing paint chips on the pew, circling his own wrists. He could be perfectly cast as Bram Stoker’s Renfield, or from my favourite nursery rhyme, which I always want to call Ode to a Paedophile:

I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

Handel
Dr Fell
Advertisements