ED2011 Columns ED2011 Music ED2011 Week3 Edition

Guest Editor Camille O’Sullivan

By | Published on Wednesday 24 August 2011

Camille O'Sullivan

Our Week Three Guest Editor Camille O’Sullivan on what made her interviewees’ shows stand out in the busy Festival City.

Welcome, welcome to my issue. I’m sure the lovely folk at ThreeWeeks are now despairing they asked me to be a Guest Editor, as I sit here typing outside in the lovely grassy Meadows a day behind the deadline, suffering from lack of sleep because of wherever I was till 4am this morn… I just remembered I was dubbed Spanish Panda for hours, I need to retrace movements and find out why, but in the meantime…

Captains log: Day 19, due to highoctane madness of Edinburgh, very close to horizontal now, can’t talk, can’t walk, loss of rational thought… but must write… ahhh!

My choices for interview were based on a simple emotional response; me having great affection for both Bagpuss and Tim Key. I was reminded of this while wandering around this beautiful city, whose austere stone grey façades are presently tarted up into a colourful kaleidoscope of graphic calling card posters: LOOK AT ME, look at my STARS, PLEASE COME TO MY SHOOOOOWWW, PLEASE! It always interests me why certain posters jump out, and theirs both did their job and drew me in.

One because I’m a big child at heart: Bagpuss was presented very boldly, a pink, furry cat, very cute, and just plastered with stars.

With the other, the schizophrenic side of me liked the eerie, morbid darkness of an anti-Edinburgh poster; not a laughing comedian in sight, but subtle, artistic, using a small delicate font, and basically saying “not bothered if you look
at me, or come to my show”. I didn’t recognise his altered black demonic eyes at first, but then realised it was the much fêted Tim Key; I don’t think his poster even mentioned (or the font was too small) that he won the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2009, or the numerous other accolades.

I liked the attitude of this poster. It reminded me of the Tim I met and who interviewed me for radio. It was one of the loveliest, kookiest, most charming interviews ever, and was made even more memorable when he kindly wrote a poem for me, and made some drawings too. Yes, he is a star, and not just the on-stage kind.

Though I have been intrigued by both, I haven’t had the pleasure to see them live on stage, but have heard about their brilliance from many, and loved what I saw on TV over here (I only get the Irish channels at home, so I feel like I’m making massive exciting discoveries when watching telly in the UK!)

This is my seventh year singing in this city. The poster may be bigger, the flat bigger, the venue bigger, but the artist feels just the same as the first time: excited, terrified, exhausted – but like a magnet drawn back annually. I fell in love with this city straight away, it felt as though I was walking in a 3D Escher painting carved out of one rock. I still stare at the Castle in awe, still get scared when fighter jets grace the skies for The Tattoo, still get lost on, over, under bridges, still enjoy promenading Scottish seagulls.

Having left a career in architecture behind, I thought running away with the circus was a great idea and that’s when I first came to the lovely Spiegeltent in 2004 and performed in a new show called La Clique; so lucky.

I hope you enjoy my wee interviews, and that you get to see the shows while you are here! And send some affection to tired performers: we’re nearly there. Much gratitude to the audience: thanks for coming to our shows. And if it’s raining, best to just go with it, and dance in it.

Camille O’Sullivan’s show ‘Feel’ was on at Pleasance Courtyard during Fringe 2011.