Edinburgh Festival: Shark vs Vladimir Putin? There's a Fringe show in that – Susan Morrison

The young man at the bus stop was cuddling a shark. It was remarkably realistic. The shark that is. The bus stop wasn’t. It was just a pole with the words ‘Temporary Bus Stop’ stuck on top.

Will sharks save the world from megalomaniac Vladimir Putin? (Picture: Mustafa Ozer/AFP via Getty Images)
Will sharks save the world from megalomaniac Vladimir Putin? (Picture: Mustafa Ozer/AFP via Getty Images)

The shark attracted absolutely no attention. This is August in Edinburgh, where aliens could land and not one eyelid would be batted.

A little boy appeared, with his mother, and the game changed fast.

The lad was alarmed by the random shark, until the young man attached to the shark let him pat it, which he did, warily. Then promptly fell in love with it.

His mother explained in very limited English that they were Ukrainian. They had not long arrived in the city, and it was far more lively than they had expected.

Well, yes, we all thought. August, Edinburgh, see above.

Sadly, this woman and child weren't Fringe-goers. They probably knew nothing about it prior to being bombed from their home by a Russian megalomaniac with a taste for dreadful tables, dodgy plastic surgery and invading other people's countries.

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So, we, by which I mean me, two of Leith’s chemical brothers, and sharkman tried to explain through the medium of mime, gestures and bits of English what the Fringe is.

Our two bevvy boys felt it essential to also explain how to avoid it, which slightly peeved Sharkman and myself, but we overcame our creative differences, then moved the story on to how sorry and angry we all are over the situation in Ukraine.

We got a brief solo from sharkman about possible shark-based vengeance and then the bus came.

By this time we’d gathered quite the crowd. Well, technically I suppose it was the bus queue, but we all agreed we’d done very well. We’d kept the audience engaged, created a great story arc with the shark, and created a real bond with the audience.

So, we’re planning to do the Fringe next year.

Shark versus Putin. My money is on the shark, but only if I can talk the Weed-Reekin’ Boys out of that musical number they’re so set on.