Edinburgh 21/08/19 – Tory approved!

Trying it On

It’s been a long day today.  I got up at a decent time in the morning (you know, like a normal working man), so I could go and see a play called ‘Trying it on‘ at the Traverse theatre across town at 10am.

It’s by, and starring, playwright David Edgar.  Here he looks at how he has changed since his radical student days in the 60s, through to today.  He also looks at the generation of radicals around him, and how they have developed in that time.

The optimism of that era fades, and the neo-liberals of Thatcher and Reagan take control.  He also bemoans that many of his generation went on to vote Brexit.

It’s interesting that he asks his audience (who were mostly 50s and over), which way they vote in elections.  There were about a quarter of Tory voters, and most of the rest were Labour.  However, when he asked who voted Leave, I was one of only about 3 or 4 who put their hands up.

It appears this is a fault-line of opinion on what being ‘fair’ is, and the Remain voters appear to have more in common with each other across party voting lines.  You could argue this is possibly the comfortable middle class, happy with the status quo.  Generally liberal – they want to do what is fair, but without really living in conditions that would make you want to kick out.

As he covers the times he’s lived through, it would have been interesting to see him cover the referendum in 1974.  Then, the organised left were clearly in favour of pulling out of the EEC – a position that has eroded from mainstream arguments almost entirely.  Surely people in his audience voted to leave then, who may have changed their minds today.

Not that I wish to be too critical of the piece, this is merely an observation.  It was, on the whole, an insightful and interesting play.

Tory endorsement

After doing a spot on the early, family friendly, ‘pick of the fringe’ show (to an audience of about 15, a third of which were form Barcelona), I got on to flyering for my show.

Between me and Anna, who is flyering with me this week, we managed yet another full room.  I’m starting to get used to this.

I did notice in the queue, however, some very smartly dressed chaps in blazers.  My audience doesn’t have a style of dress, per se, but if they did, this would not be it.

After, I got a tweet from one of them recommending my show:

Turns out, Kieran is a Tory councillor for Midlothian South.  See, even Tories are recommending my show now.  I told you I was a Shit Socialist!

To be fair, I don’t mind Conservatives coming to watch my show at all.  They tend to have more money to put in the bucket after!

Conspiracy Theories

After my show I went and watched Marlon Soloman’s show ‘Conspiracy Theories: A Lizards Tale‘.

Marlon is an actor, and I made my stage acting debut (and, to date, stage acting swansong) alongside him in an adaptation of the Dr Who story ‘Robots of Death’.

I played a character called Chub, and was killed within a few minutes.  These days, that’s where the intro music would come in.  It’s fair to say that after such a earth shattering performance, I went out on a high.

His show is about conspiracy theories, and begins when he learns that he has friends who don’t believe that the Holocaust took place.

Over an hour, he explains how anti-semitism is rooted in the hoax of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, through to modern day conspiracies by the likes of David Icke today.

Marlon believes that such conspiracies have a worrying hold within the left today.  He speaks about having his blog talking about David Icke’s bigotry posted favourable by someone on the left wing ‘Occupy’ page on Facebook.

He is dismayed to find a huge number of people defending David Icke in response.  Only one person sides with Marlon.

I don’t think, overall, that anti-semitism is a massive issue on the left.  The racist right, as in the past, are still the main threat in this area.  However, the huge number of idiots online are certainly making the opposite look the case.

Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, but Marlon shows how Anti-Zionism can be used as a cover to attack Jewish people as a whole.  David Icke, and many others, are definitely guilty of this.

Also, it’s not a great look politically if you’re trying to argue for a position, whilst at the same time defending a man who believes the world is controlled by a race of Lizards from outer space!

Whilst Corbyn supporters do get a bit of kicking in the show, Marlon does point out that Momentum members have seen his show, and organised joint protests against David Icke with him.  The first ever.

This is a positive move, and hopefully can develop in to something more in the future.

Jack Tucker

Finally, I went to see ‘Jack Tucker: Comedy Stand Up Hour‘.  A character performed by Zach Zucher, Jack is a super high energy, hack, wannabe American stand up.

Each observation and aside is accompanied by a dizzying array of sound effects, from gunshots, through to ‘American Woman’ blasting out to signify he is ripping it.  It’s a bit like watching Kevin Hart, if he was played by a tongue-in-cheek, self aware, character act.

Watching this chaos unfold, in a flurry of spilt beer and shattered apple cores, this is quite something to behold.  The different repeated concepts may start to drag a tiny bit, I must admit, but it is still quite the spectacle.


My show, Shit Socialist, is on 3.15pm, 1-25 Aug, at The Counting House (Attic).  Free entry, PWYW.