I've only been in Scotland a couple days now but I am finding that because I am experiencing so much in so many moments, it feels like I have been here a week or more.
Friday started well. (That sounds a little ominous but actually Friday ended well as well!!) I grabbed a last minute ticket for an Improv show early in the morning, then went to fill in the time at Parliament House before the show started.
Parliament House was absolutely beautiful, and although you can only explore the main hall, it was a nice step back in time and a place that has been modernized so that the space continues to be used today.
After my quick jaunt there I set off for the improv show 'Aaaand now for something completely different'. Holy shit! The guys from Racing Minds who created and starred in this show put on some of the best improv I've ever seen. I'm a sucker for characters, but even more so I adore when the players are so hooked into each other's vibe that you're privy to this intense, hilarious, wacky connection where silliness and slapstick run wild.
I think I enjoy witnessing players eyes bright with laughter, close to tears, just as much as a rollicking good comic adventure.
The show is the perfect blend of audience participation/ recognition, jamming on game and storytelling. The guys are clearly having a ball and wickedly talented and reading through their bio's and lauded reviews and awards just confirms that they're deserving of all recognition that comes their way.
Which makes their show a hard act to follow.
After the show I headed down to the Underbelly to catch 'Austentatious', and improv show that riffs on Jane Austen as a genre. (And features the same musical improviser Dylan Townley.)
It was great, but it was also something that technically I was able to recognize and pick apart. And I'm not entirely sure why. I had just come from a show where I suspended disbelief and was taken on this hilarious epic laugh a minute journey, so I was definitely in the mood to keep doing that.
I'm sure non improvisors are blown away by Austentatious, and that's not to say I didn't love it. But it didn't transport me and that's where packing in shows in a Fringe or Festival setting can be detrimental. You start comparing shows against the other and not even realize you're doing it. At any other time I'm certain his show would stand alone as a memorable hit for me.
Austentatious was a solid genre piece and you could see the players have fun in the show. Did they relish their roles with such careless abandon that I'd just seen Raving Minds do? No. But it was still very sweet. And yet, I feel like I walked out without much of an impression of what happened in the show.
The day before I had walked through George Square and noticed a poutine food hut, so after the show while the rain continued to pour down I knew what had to be the next thing on the agenda.
Then it was back to the hostel for me as I had pulled my back and needed a couple hours rest before the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. And that is a separate post all of its own....