Ready to go on

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Train to Edinburgh

Once again, I am on the train from Kings X to the north, passing through Newcastle on the way to Edinburgh. Touring is often like this. If things were organised properly you would hardly have to travel between venues but, as theatres are booked randomly and only when they have a week available, you find yourself crisscrossing the country, often from top to bottom. We have done Brighton to Leeds to Newcastle to Bath to Edinburgh, and next week we are in Southampton. If you enjoy travelling, as I do, it is actually good fun. Especially by train.

The weather is lovely in London this morning, clear blue skies with a slight chill in the air, but , according to the weather forecast, we are heading towards cloud and almost certain rain. That's a shame because cities are never at their best in the rain. You dash from one sheltered place to another without having time to really get to know the streets. I like to walk a city to get to know it. Not so much fun in the rain. This does, however, give me the chance to visit all the museums and art galleries in Edinburgh this week, if I can find time between the long leisurely lunches that I am planning to have with my lovely wife, who is with me this week. We are, unbelievably, booked in to go to Tom Kichin's restaurant on Thursday. Unbelievably because it has a Michelin star, is one of the best restaurants in Scotland, is offering a set three course lunch for only £23 and he was featured on Master Chef last week, the day before we rang to try and get a table, and we (I say we, I mean 'she' meaning my wife who had to hang on the phone for half an hour) managed to book The last table available this month! I will, of course, report back.

It is many years since I have been to Edinburgh with my wife. (I know I sound like some old fart keeping referring to her that way but if I use her name in a blog she will kill me - she might do that anyway just for talking about her - she's not like me. She is private and would claim that, unlike me, she has a life!) Anyway, as I was saying, the last time we went to Edinburgh to gether (we did a lot of gethering in those days) and to stay, was when I and my fellow revueers were performing Radio Active at the Calley Cinema, just down the road from the King's Theatre, where we are performing this week. It was a barn of a place and I remember we got in to trouble with the Fringe Committee because we were the first show to charge £5 a ticket, an unspoken barrier which, once breached, would open the floodgates, they feared. All these years later tickets are still sold at a very competitive price at the Fringe so I don't think we had a very detrimental affect. We virtually sold out for the whole run in this 2,000 seater cinema and may hold the record for the most profitable show ever at Edinburgh. Remember this was 1984 and I got paid a lot at the end of the three weeks. Most people save up to pay for the cost of Edinburgh, sometimes thousands of pounds, and certainly don't make a profit. We were raking it in. We returned a month later and did a week at the King's which also sold out. Ah, heady days, when a Radio 4 hit could sell out theatres? The only show that does that now is 'Sorry I Haven't A Clue'.

Anyway, my wife reminds me that, despite the earnings, she still stayed in a tent on a camp site with her Dad and our 14 month old baby when she visited for a few days. And she was pregnant with our second child. Well, there just wasn't room for them all in my luxury suite.

Actually, the time before that, when she was the stage manager for a show called 'The Road To Riyahd' which had my friend David Jackson Young in it, she was pregnant with our first child. I was really angry that they had sent her to Glasgow by train to pick up a Revox reel-to-reel tape player. She was five foot and heavily pregnant, yet had to carry this massive thing on her own. Not the baby, the Revox. She told me to stop making such a fuss. Typical.    

I'm relieved she's not keeping up the tradition and is pregnant this time. At least I hope she's not? Although, now I think about it, my daughter had a dream the other night that my wife had told her she was pregnant. Don't worry though, as you will know from my previous blogs, I don't believe in all that omen/dreams/magic stuff and, according to the dream, the baby's not mine; it's some bloke's called Tim. My daughter really must stop eating cheese late at night.



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