My Edinburgh: Chris Addison

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The Independent Culture

Ah, Edinburgh. It's five years since I last did a one-man show there, but this is my eighth one.

Edinburgh, as many people will tell you, gets in your blood. This is mostly metaphorical, of course, although it is also true in the rather more practical form of cholesterol delivered via the astonishingly bad diet that takes all of three days to give the lie to your annually stated good intentions.

Some of the best times in my life have been at the Edinburgh Festival. In the years I've not performed I've avoided going because I knew that as soon as I stepped off the train at Waverley I'd feel that battery acid taste of adrenalin in my mouth and I would utterly regret not being a part of it. But there's something about not sitting in my lounge in late July, head in hands, saying to my wife, "It's ashes! It's ashes! I don't know how to make this show work, I'll be a laughing stock," which I find quite relaxing. And there's also much to be said for not receiving a breakdown of your ticket sales in mid-November showing that although you've sold 100 per cent of your tickets you still owe your promoter £8,000.

But as soon as I had a conversation with my agent about the possibility of coming this year, I could feel myself bouncing on the balls of my feet and biting my bottom lip. It will be different this time, of course: I'm only up for a couple of weeks and I'll be staying in a flat with my children, instead of sharing with Richard Herring.

You can't really get away from Edinburgh, you can only take a break. Every time you think you're out, they just keep pulling you back in. And thank goodness for that.

Chris Addison, Assembly Rooms, to 30 Aug (0131 623 3030)