Wednesday, August 13, 2008

back to 'burgh

Up at 6:15, and out the door by 6:50, headed to Edinburgh. It’s a little tricky getting thirteen people to Scotland, but if you are prepared ye shall not fail. And as an Eagle Scout…well, you get the idea.

Everyone was a bit groggy with all their luggage, but we headed off, bumping our luggage wheels along the cobblestones until we got to South Kensington. There we took our last tube to Victoria (which is a great title for a movie: Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Tori Spelling star in….The Last Tube to Victoria) and then caught a bus to Stanstead airport. I fell asleep on this bus, which isn’t that interesting to report but I’m trying to help you relive every delightful moment of this travel day.

Once at Stanstead we waited in this giant line with a lot of angry British people. We killed time by pretending that Jaclyn was famous. We kept bugging her for autographs and pictures, and I kept saying I loved her in 27 Dresses and Grey’s Anatomy, which made her "angry" because that’s Katherine Heigl. Assisting her whole mysterious celebrity persona was her sunglasses and her outfit, which was the old lady outfit she wears in Flies in the Snuffbox, the show we’re performing in Scotland. There was no room in her luggage, so she wore it on the plane. Which was hilarious, especially at security when they kept peeling off more ragged skirts to frisk her.

The flight was fine. Joe and I sat next to an American named Eric, who was great company for the entire 60-minute flight. (This is another great movie title: Josh Hartnett in a spellbinding performance as…An American Named Eric.) He had been traveling Europe, but wanted to spend a few days at the festival. He promised to come see our show. Also, the three of us unwittingly stole some Ginger Ale.

Taxi to the Edinburgh Smart City Hostel, which is very nice and just off of the Royal Mile. I’ll definitely re-book for next year. Hostels are very hit and miss, and most of them are sort of trapped in the 90’s. But I like this one. It’s very modern, though built inside a 200 year old structure.

Because I like to gender segregate as much as possible, I sent the girls with a list of props for Snuffbox, and the boys went with me to Argos to pick up some set pieces. We bought a table and four chairs and carried them to the Rocket Venues, where we’re performing. When we showed up at the venue I ran into my old friend Carolyn Stone, which was a complete surprise. We have many funny memories and old jokes, all of which came up within the first ten minutes of talking. Also there was Kekoa Kaluhiokalani, who books the Rocket Venues and who I knew from BYU as well. He has been instrumental in getting us here, and he’s really great. The venue, incidentally, is amazing. We’re lucky to perform there.

On Kekoa’s recommendation, the boys and I had a curry and an encounter with an angry homeless man who claimed we kicked his dog. In reality, we just swatted it. But that was because it was trying to eat our curry. I’m just sayin.’

We flooded the Royal Mile tonight in costume, and everybody was great sports. We found a perfect spot by the old church and the actors accosted people on the street with fliers and performed little improvised Chekhovian shorts. Though the Royal Mile is full of actors doing this during the festival, some people were still genuinely surprised to see the students in costume, and many were delighted and several took pictures. Mostly old people, but we’ll take who we can get.