Sweet Venues – Grassmarket
This a most unusual piece indeed. For a start, Tim Honnef was not the guy sat at the desk when the audience walked into the room. Instead, a young, excitable blonde-haired German named Jonny Muller was sat ready to launch into the autobiographical narrative that Tim Honnef had left for him on a table. Apparently, a week previously Tim had approached Jonny in the street & asked him (& other erstwhile narrators) to read the script for him.
Tim’s effort at the fringe in 2012
So we are plunged into the romantically-neurotic world of Tim Honnef, a Dutch with an excellent command of the nuances of the English language, whose poetry is of a fine level & whose dramatic bent is of a top notch. I like the way the script is divided between personal musings, bits of poetry, & certain speeches given to the audience to read out. I’m not so sure about the randomess of his narrotor selection, however. Jonny Muller was likeable, but too fast, whose avalanche of words buried any chance my thought processes had of truly engaging with Hoffner’s script. THREE STARS.
Reviewer : Damo Bullen
Edinburgh International Book Festival
On the day I received my first Mumble mission for The International Book festival, I went from the Lady Boys of Bangkok to the mind of a Murderer. Stuart MacBride is a best selling author of some very disturbing material indeed. I was really looking forward to receiving an insight into what makes a writer want to disturb so many. What struck me,was just how straight he was. I was waiting with anticipation for him to reveal the workings of the darkness that inspired such fiction. In the hour that we spent together we got a reading of a children’s novel that he had written called Skeleton Bob. A tale about actor Sam Neil farting in an elevator, but no real insight into the mind that created such twisted fiction.
When question time came, the questions that the audience posed were mainly about the characters he had created in his novels. I was eager to ask if the reason he wrote such grotesque fiction, was because of the latent unresolved murderer he had within him Alas, our hour with this novelist was up and the question never got asked. But it was very entertaining. Not for everyone but fine within its field.
Ian Brown & David Greig
Edinburgh Book Festival
Chaired by the evergreen Ruth Wishart, I spent a delightful hour with two of Scotland’s most innovative theatrical giants, Ian Brown & David Greig, immersed in the history of the modern Scottish play. After Brown gave a brief but fascinating insight into Scottish theatre, showing how it did not die after the reformation, but instead gained strength, we were transported to the formation of Greig’s company, Suspect Culture, in 1993.
The two men seem to be good friends, & have given open discussions before. Today, They showed how contemporary Scots language is permeating the natural muse of the Scottish playwright, mentioning in particular the forthcoming James plays put on by the EIF this August.
The question & answer session didn’t exactly draw much of a response from the audience, which was fine actually as it allowed us to listen to more dialogue from these two experts in their field. I particularly enjoyed the idea they promulgated that Scottish theater is looking to Europe, rather than inward into a coloquial fringe.
Reviewer : Damo Bullen
The Loft at Summerhall
Every fifteen minutes from 14:00 to 15:45 then 18:00 to 19:45
Van Winkle and Dan Gorman have prepared a delight for the senses in this original and fun one on one fringe experience. In a short but sweet private transcendental fifteen minutes, you are treated to poetry, music and imagery rolled into one. Not enough shows dare to do something a little different which is what I think the fringe should be all about!
Timed perfectly for a break in between shows or if you want to make a day of it at Summerhall, where there are also some free art exhibitions, other shows and a great bar, there should be no reason why you wouldn’t want to add to your festival experience with a quick burst of artistic loveliness from this pair, who create a fun inventive experience. Imaginative and well worth fifteen minutes of your time.
Reviewer : Antoinette Thirgood
Grammy Award nominated David Sedaris is a very pop[ular, highly respected American humurist, comedian & author, whose respect is reflected in the packed out response to his week long soiree at the Edinburgh fringe. His shows involves his reading of several pieces of writing which highlight his view on the little things in life, like buying his longt-term partner a special valentine’s gift, & the visit of his sisters to his East Sussex home. At every turn he injects his highly-tuned comedic mind , in a fluid, lyric conversational style, which has compelled me to pick up one of his books & read him for myself.
Despite not being so well known in Britain, he is sold-out, like a badly kept secret. However, those in on the secret I believe woudl liek to keep him for themselves, for his amiable warmth exudes a great level of intimacy, making every one in teh audience feel like they know him, or at least one want to know him. I reccomend to any with a literary bent to lend this guy an earbyDamian Bullen
Peter Hook – Remembering Joy Division
Scottish Power Studio Theatre
10 August 8.30PM
Excellent session of anecdotes from ex Joy Division and New Order bassist, Peter Hook and chaired by Scotland’s own best selling crime writer and music aficionado Ian Rankin.
This sell out date with one of the godfathers of the post-punk is a complete joy for fans of his music and those simply just to get inside the head of one of the pioneers of the scene. Hook is promoting his new book “Unknown Pleasures”. Rankin guides Hook onto a variety of interesting subjects such as rise and fall of Manchester’s infamous Hacienda, how Joy Division got the biggest tax fine of any English band, the legendary gig at Lesser Trade Hall in 1976 with the Sex Pistols which spark the Manchester punk explosion to how he got his first bass guitar amped up “..me and Bernard wired the guitars to my grans radiogram ..and blew it up”. The conversation turns to Ian Curtis and how his untimely death affected band himself and the rest of the band.
Peter comes across and a warm and funny and intelligent raconteur with a truly interesting life story to share; his battle with alcohol, his bitterness about the reforming of New Order, being famous at such a young age and the wild partying, being a suspect in the Yorkshire Ripper hunt and antic of Tony Wilson (Head of Joy Divisions record label, Factory records). It’s a rip-roaring session with some time at the end for the assembled fans to ask they own questions. If the book is as good as his chat here tonight its going to be a cracking read.