I fell out of bed on Tuesday morning (late of course). I had 15 minutes to catch the train into the city and back in Edinburgh and then I had 15 minutes to find the venue.
Another important piece of advice that I can offer is that the big venues are all quite close to each other and if you know how to get from one to the other you basically mastered the festival geography.
Coming back to the beautiful people of the festival if ever you feel lost do not shy away from asking people they will help you. I am the living proof that you can make it because if a person with terrible geo skills still makes it to every performance then you can too (I believe in you).
After all the plays that I saw on that day, one stuck with me the most and I thought that instead of writing a little about many plays, I would rather give a full review about one. The piece that stayed with me after the festival is, I Am a Tree by the amazing Jamie Wood.
I Am a Tree: After just casually running into a King and taking a picture of a lifetime, (see my previous post) my nerves were all over the place. I spent the next hour running from food stand to food stand chatting, eating, and showing off my picture like a prize that I won at a fair. The hard-working People at the festival that are serving you many wondrous types of food are all up for a nice chat and loved my adventure story of how I captured this photo.
Enough of me and more about Jamie. The play was held in a little tent. You were invited in and felt like you were going to see a shaman in the woods. Chairs were spread around the place and there was no sign of a real stage. The idea of organised theatre was lost in this space and for me this felt amazing. There he stood in his colourful outfit and a bright smile and as I reached the front of the stage he came for a big hug. Everything was forgotten all the stress of the last couple of days. All that mattered was how we all reacted to being in this space. Jamie continued to walk around and talk to the bellies of different people and making us all laugh he broke the ice with his warmth.
The thing that really stayed with me with this performance was how Jamie included the audiences in this piece. As an audience we we’re invited on this journey together and discovered things about ourselves. Me being me I had to be in the middle point and when Jamie came around asking us for our most important question I piped up saying ‘who am I?’ This is where the magic of this play started. I was invited up to stage to perfume a dance with animal noises. First was a frantic bird then a calm elephant. Jamie took me in his arms and set down with me as other audience members came up to perform in my dance. The revelation for me was that the question `who am I?´ was answered. I am a frantic chicken that just needs to calm down a bit and become that strong independent elephant. Maybe it was a dance but this is the magic of Jamie’s work, take it as it comes. You can read into it or you just share a laugh with him.
I left the tent with a newly gained sense of calm and I was ready to pace myself for the rest of the festival but what I didn’t know at the that point was that I was going to have a life changing breakfast the next morning…