Even the New Town Theatre poltergeist can’t deflate Cecilia the Seal - Susan Morrison

Ada Campe’s show Navel Gazing is it at the New Town Theatre at 2.55pm on Aug 10-14, 16-21 and 23-27Ada Campe’s show Navel Gazing is it at the New Town Theatre at 2.55pm on Aug 10-14, 16-21 and 23-27
Ada Campe’s show Navel Gazing is it at the New Town Theatre at 2.55pm on Aug 10-14, 16-21 and 23-27
Fringe Day One. The seal has deflated. This was a problem since Cecilia the air-filled pinniped was a crucial part of Ada Campe’s show Navel Gazing, which is utterly brilliant and you can all see it at the New Town Theatre throughout the festival.

It was also surprising, since Ada had been informed that this inflatable would be considerably more robust than a Trump promise and not given to leaking like a Downing Street cabinet.

There could only be one explanation. The resident New Town Theatre poltergeist had struck again.

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For some time now I’ve been aware of a presence downstairs in our fringe home, which you might know as the Freemasons Hall up on George Street. In August this fine old building joins in the Fringe fun and identifies as a venue, The New Town Theatre.

And a grand old building it is, too. The Main Hall is dominated by one of the largest organs in Scotland, and very few Fringe venues that can say that.

The poltergeist probably regards the organ as something of a rival, since I am fairly sure that those pipes can shake coffee cups all the way to Corstorphine. Her name is Petunia. The poltergeist, not the organ.

I don’t think the freemasons are the lads to be naming organs. Even big ones.

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To be fair, I am the only one who seems aware of her. She’s keen on slamming doors rippling curtains and drifting paper cups along tables. Now, I know what you are thinking. Draughts. It’s a big ol’ place and the wind can get in.

Well, you can believe that if you like, but chairs have also been known to appear right where they should not be, and by that, I mean right where I can whack into one, thus adding to the already impressive collection of bruises on my legs.

Clearly, Petunia had graduated up to interfering with inflatable seals. Madam Campe was, as ever, on the case. You meet few women who cheerfully announce that they travel with a spare seal.

Without further ado I shouted up to the corridor for a helping hand to come and help pump the seal. There were strangely few volunteers, so myself and the laddie trying to sort the sound did valiant work and Cecilia 2 inflated.

There are moments where I do question my life choices.

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Fringe Day two. A gentleman boards the Number 10 on the way up town. Big bloke. Looks like Brian Blessed. Sounds a bit like him, too, only Scottish. He stood at the front of the bus and said, loudly “Excuse me”.

To be honest, the bus goes a bit grim with the fear of “oh-oh, bus pest”. We couldn’t have been more wrong. He stood there with a lovely smile and said, “I wish you all a lovely day, with lots of smiles and laughter. There just isn’t enough laughter in the world. Have a lovely day”.

We all smiled, which was the one thing the bus blesser wanted us to have, even when he insisted upon repeating his bennison to all the new passengers who boarded at every bus stop between Leith and Princes Street.

Let’s pass the bus blessing on. I hope you all have a great day today and lots of smiles, too.