ED2010 Columns ED2010 Comedy ED2010 Week3 Edition

But First Janey Godley

By | Published on Tuesday 31 August 2010

Janey Godley

Our third guest editor of 2010, Janey Godley, wants you to do something daring as the Fringe reaches its conclusion.

Ironically it is Week Three as I write for ThreeWeeks. “Why isn’t it called FourWeeks?” I hear you say, after all, that’s how long the Edinburgh Fringe actually lasts, to which my answer is – who knows? [Well, officially the Fringe is a three week festival!]

Anyway, we comedians, performers, actors, singers and ne’er-do-wells are all breathing a sigh of resigned tiredness as we run into the home stretch. We have spent the budget on taxis, we have eaten our body weight in dinky doughnuts and we are all seriously considering strapping a canoe to our backs come September to avoid the credit card bills, but it’s
all in the name of our art. That’s what coming to the Fringe is all about.

Throwing caution to the wind, and getting our serious comedy chops out for a whole month, we tried hard to ignore the thousand seater venue that sucked up five thousand comedy punters a night into its grand arched doorway at The McEwan Hall, and we stood in the rain flyering the crowds going in and coming out, hoping that even if folk like the boys off the telly they might… just might… take a chance on seeing a Scottish funny woman who hasn’t been on the telly.

That’s what the Fringe has become; a place to see people off the telly, not a place to catch a really interesting/unusual/daring play in a basement or a real duff piece of overblown musical theatre that made you so angry you buttoned your duffel coat up all wrong and walked sideways down a cobbled street in rage. So if you are reading this, take your last chance to see something awesome like Tara Flynn at the Gilded Balloon, where she performs her amazing socks off with funny songs and great comedy, or go check out Hardeep Singh Kohli’s ‘Chat Masala’, it’s got smashing guests everyday, so the show is as fresh as the food he cooks (and he has been on the telly, so all bases covered people!).

I love the Edinburgh Fringe, I almost hug the grand arches, I blow kisses at the giant monuments and I veritably lick the ancient architecture with adoring glee when I arrive, yet by the end of the long four weeks, I stick up two angry fingers and shout, “Screw you Edinburgh and your big smug castle!” and scurry home full of doughnuts, back to Glasgow. I am lucky that my daughter Ashley comes with me to the festival, she’s cracking fun and helps look after me, by making sure I don’t smoke, eat or talk too much, all of which she fails to do – but her 4am impersonation of Alan Partridge is worth waking up for. Plus, she keeps me stocked up on toilet roll which suspiciously – as I get older – I seem to need more of – can anyone explain that? So I am now restricted to a four sheet minimum (she enforced that rule).

Ashley is 24 years old and has been coming to the Fringe since she was eight; at age 13 she put on her own one person comedy show and still retains the record as youngest person ever to have had their own one hour show – a fact she is proud of to this day.

So listen up people, you have learned that high heels don’t work on cobbles, you now know that foreign folk like to huddle in circles down the Royal Mile and block your path, you have accepted that not everyone from Oxford University is as funny as you had imagined, and now it’s the last week, so… do something daring; go see something whacky that will possibly give you heartburn or disturb your peaceful equilibrium, go into that dark cavern of a theatre and enjoy the Fringe while it lasts, it may never be the same in the future. It might just be stadium venues with people off the telly vying for a live audience, while the woman who used to sing arias dressed as a donkey will be long gone…

Janey performed  ‘The Godley Hour’ at the Pleasance Dome at Fringe 2010.