Fringe time again and Angela was on my back.
“I need you to take me somewhere different this year. Something with an atmosphere that’s rich and meaty, but with a magical focus to it. You can manage that can’t you? The city is teaming with venues and hundreds of shows filling them,” said Angela. She hung up and my head was free once more.
I decided that I better get on with it. There were only three weeks and the first shows had started. First I needed a programme. I found my sunglasses and walked down along the Water of Leith, near the art galleries, passing the weir to the West End.
Edinburgh was in its best cosmopolitan month and steps had to be taken to avoid the throng. I crossed into Lothian Road and skirted the castle, ascending up to the top of the Royal Mile. I avoided the scary impression of Mel Gibson in drag and the pipers then passed Deacon Brodie’s near the High Court. The end was in my sight as I collected show leaflets by the dozen on my way to the Fringe Festival centre.
I secured the brochure and went across the bridge to Café Royal and some sanity; only the most searching tourist finds this place. I now had a pint of Kilburn, a magnificent cheese platter and the brochure. Searching began.
The comedy shows seemed to be a main focus; rich and meaty. It took me to ‘J’ before the answer stared me in the eye; Jerry Sadowitz Britain’s Top Magician. I read on.
An aggressive stand-up, and accomplished close-up magician, Sadowitz made his name by bristling with anger, much of it vented at the right-on comedy circuit around him and the audiences who came to see it. He famously opened the Montreal comedy festival with the line “Hello, moose-fuckers” and was promptly knocked unconscious.
‘Great, that’ll sort Angela out. She seems to be a bit pruddy,’ I thought and ordered another Kilburn. In time, I made my way along George Street to the Assembly Rooms and bought tickets for next Saturday.
I texted Angela; Booked great magician for next Saturday. Need to get there early as front seats are essential.
Saturday came and I met Angela at The Dome. We love that place and again wondered at its excellent architecture. After a few drinks we left behind the Doric columns and walked the short distance to the Assembly Rooms. The queue for Jerry was already growing.
Even I was a bit taken back by Jerry’s entrance. In his black attire, he came forward, looked at everyone and announced, “I was at a gay bar today. Well I am in Edinburgh.”
A series of thought evoking foul and pseudo-racist rants preceded a magnificent performance of outstanding magic. More jokes ended the show.
I looked at Angela, who was seriously focused.
‘Oh hell,’ I thought.
“What did you think?” I said.
“Different,” said Angela. “Really fecking magic. No disappointment there.”