My Edinburgh: Peter Duncan
Wednesday 26 August 2009
I went to Glastonbury festival for the first time recently, in a bid to go back to my childhood hippiedom, but the Edinburgh festival is like Glastonbury times twenty. The amount of things to see is just overwhelming. I want to be like every other punter and go and see everything, but I also want to concentrate on my show. I'm the new boy here and I need to earn my spurs.
Daft and Dangerous is a kind of biopic. I grew up as a showbiz gypsy child and started my career in Laurence Olivier's Old Vic company, so it goes through my life with some camp musical theatre, a Blue Peter spoof, a big Scouts event and it ends with a tribute to Danny La Rue. He used to pass his old dresses on to my mother, who was a singer.
When I'm not doing the show I'm out flyering with my family, trying to get people to choose my show over the other 2000. We're all staying in a student flat in New Town – me, my wife, my three daughters and my 17-year-old son: it's our summer holiday. In a funny way it feels like going back to my childhood when I'd go round places like Scarborough, pasting up posters with my parents.
When I get a moment I'm looking forward to going down to the renovated docks and I'm hoping to go biking with the local speedway team, too. I've also found time to build a Blue Peter memorial garden in the Pleasance Courtyard. It was on a whim: I'd heard that the BBC were going to make the Blue Peter garden virtual – which seems bizarre in this new age of sustainability – so this is my response. As for shows, I'm hoping to catch my old friend Peter Straker in Early Long Island Iced Tea.
Edinburgh during the Fringe is like Rome in its golden age: everywhere's a meeting place and the sheer vibrancy of human endeavour is all around you. The roads being dug up and the rubbish not being collected just adds to the anarchy of it. All human emotions are here.
Peter Duncan's 'Daft and Dangerous', Pleasance Courtyard (0131-556 6550) to 31 August
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