I am in Edinburgh, supposedly on holiday, performing virtually every day of the Festival. I cannot quite believe I wrote that opening sentence. We had a holiday booked with sun and sea in mind, but an invitation to perform at the Fringe was irresistible and the orthodox vacation was cancelled. To my relief the alternative holiday is already proving to be far more fun than a beach.
Crucially we have our bikes in Edinburgh. I recommend bikes for all Edinburgh festival-goers. They make all parts of this mesmerising city even more accessible. We are staying in the New Town, an area of course that is not new at all. My one-man show is near the university on the other side of the city. Each morning I cycle for 20 minutes through the centre to George Square. After the show we cycle to other venues, but also escape from the Festival and go for walks in the nearby hills. The views of the city on those hills are as exhilarating as some of the performances.
I have attended political party conferences for more than 20 years and after terrible lapses have learnt the art of pacing myself during long-running events. Part of the art is escaping from them occasionally. Walking on those hills is a pause amidst the glorious intoxicating frenzy of the Festival, and a time to clear the mind when performing a slightly different improvised show each day for more than three weeks.
Steve Richards presents Rock N Roll Politics, Assembly, George Square, 12.30pm (0131 623 3030) to 26 August, not 13, 21
Steve Richards' Must See:
For obvious reasons I admire columnists and journalists performing one man shows so I recommend Sarfraz Manzoor's The Boss Rules at Assembly Rooms and Virginia Ironside's Growing Old Disgracefully at Gilded Balloon.