EIFF

Thursday 18 Jun 09

I'm in Edinburgh being a juror at the film festival. Last night the opening gala was 'Away We Go' and I went along to support my old friend Sam Mendes. John Krasinski, the star of the film, was also there. John and I have the same agent and so we've met at events like this over the last few years, and last night I took it upon myself to show him a good time in my homeland. Getting up to go to a 9am screening this morning was not pretty.

Last night I had one of those moments of uber-nostalgia, an almost out of body experience. We were at the after party at Teviot Row watching the guy who did the music for the film perform, and I remembered that I had performed on the same stage 25 years ago. 25. Twenty-five!!

It was 1984 and I was performing Victor and Barry with my friend Forbes Masson at the Harry Younger Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We were asked to go and perform a couple of songs at the Fringe Club (where I was last night) as part of a best-of-the-fest evening, and we were really honoured. It was a huge deal. We'd had a pretty crappy review that week in the Scotsman (the festivalgoer's bible) so we decided to do a parody of the song 'You can thank your lucky stars' and call it 'We can thank you, Andrew Marr (for it was he, a lowly Scotsman political correspondent at the time) that you're not as smart as you'd like to think you are...'

Andrew Marr is now the pre-eminent British TV and radio political journalist. I wonder if he knows he was pilloried that night.

Like going back to your school as an adult and feeling it is all so much smaller than you remember, last night I looked at the stage and the ballroom and it seemed so much less scary and huge than it did a quarter of a century ago. But I felt really happy to have experienced that fear and excitement then, and the calm and the realisation that it's no big deal now. Of course, if I had had to go up on stage and perform I would have completely reverted to those feelings of my 19 year old self all those years ago.



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