I’m not talking about the Olympics but the latest play I’ve just seen at The Edinburgh Festival. I suppose you could describe it as finding a little nuggget amongst everything the Festival has to offer. We had a lovely drive through The Borders to get to Edinburgh; I’d quite forgotten what a lovely city it was. Then we had a spot of lunch, in Jenners of course, and then it was off to find the venue of Panning for Gold which started at 2pm.
And the reason why we had singled out this particular production? Well, because it starred a very special person – actor Penny Lamport who plays me, in Celia – The Film (see sidebar right). It was very strange to see your other self performing in a very different role & testament to Penny’s professionalisn & versatility – she really carried it off.
The venue was in the basement of the The Phoenix, Broughton Street near the city centre (venue 146) – and it was free.
We had to wait upstairs in the main pub bit whilst they got the room ready as there’s a quick turnround of different plays in the same spot. I wanted to tell everyone in the pub to come downstairs with us but Guy said best not to as they all seemed to be engrossed in some football match or other on the big screen. You’d think they’d fancy a change now & then. No wonder their wives get bored & mischievous.
Well, we went downstairs and could hear the actors warming up with all sorts of funny noises. Then we went in and it was really intimate – you felt as if you were right there in the room of the counsellor (the character played by Penny) with the 3 girls who had all been jilted at the altar (played suberbly by Anna Gillingham-Sutton, Charlee Lauren & Jasmine Smart who also wrote the play even though she’s only 21!) Of course there had been some infidelity involved, which in the interest of balance was viewed from both sides and of course I thought of me and Simon.
Although only an hour long, it was pretty powerful. I was worried that, being about the thoughts and feeling of 4 women, it might not be Guy’s cup of tea but no, afterwards he said that he’d really enjoyed it. Listenupnorth says that when you use the simplest of props & staging then you let the story speak for itself and I really think that was true with Panning for Gold.
And I really liked the selection of colourful scarves that Penny wore to denote a scene change; she has such good taste in clothes – very similar to my own actually. However, I do feel that the hessian bag with props that Penny carried really should have sported a Waitrose rather than a Tesco’s logo. That minor detail aside, it was all in all a brilliant little play so do go and see it & tell them ‘Celia sent you!’
Here are the details for Panning for Gold