Into the night....

Sunday 3 May 09

I write this from a train! A moving train going from Edinburgh to London! Who'd have thunk?  And the internet service is free on this train! As it shoudl be!  I hate when you have to pay for internet in a place where you have already had to pay for coffee/food/flights and you know that the Starbucks/Cafe/airport lounge already has wifi and could let you have it were it no a greedy, uncaring capitalist pig farm.  Anway, bravo to National Express railways. Whatever happened to grumpy old British Rail and coffee that came by the slice?

Last night I wandered round Edinburgh with the lovely Scottish legend Ian Rankin, and a couple of film crews.  We were doing a thing called Into The Night which is a German/French TV show which puts two artists together and follows them as they wander round a city.  It's one of those shows where you have to ignore the cameras - not all that easy when you are in the Cafe Royal and everyone else in the bar is taking pictures of you, drawn by the lights and boom poles of said cameras.  But Ian and I are professionals and we soldiered on. It was actually quite a good exercise in stoicism.

What was quite sad I realised this morning is the fact that it took a German/French TV company (and cameras following me) to spur me to go to some places in Edinburgh that I had never been to before but always wanted to visit.  Like the Scottish parliament building, and Mary King's Close (where you walk underneath the Royal Mile into houses and tunnels that were abandoned after the Plague). I am reminded of the Genet play I did a few years ago, Elle, which discusses the existential conundrum of whether the Pope (who I played) actually exists if he is not being photographed.  So could I have visited those places without a film crew?  Or, worse, do they actually really exist without a film crew present? Do I?  I think I may have drunk too many cups of National Express railways tea.

I also got a chance to catch up with my old friend Howie from 21st century kilts,  as well as showing off my latest card trick to playwright Gregory Burke and the cast of his new play Hoors at the Traverse Theatre bar. So it was a fun night and best of all was getting to spend time with Ian, who is a really lovely man as well as a great writer.



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