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The View from the Front

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Warm up at 2.45 today found me dressed not in my habitual imping black and red, but rather in a pink summer dress with flowers in my hair, like some sort of over sized flower fairy.  Every Imps show has a fronter, to warm up the audience, introduce the games, end them when they think a punchline has come, and adjudicate if games require players to die/be put out/generally fail.  There are some Imps whose fronting is a joy to watch.  I am not, as such, a fronter by nature. But it's my turn, so there I was in my floral gear practising by announcing everything in the flat.  "Ladies and gentleman, it's Tom washing up!  He has no script, no autocues, no mothers whispering from the wings.  How does he do this, you ask?  By the power of soap and water and your suggestions!"  Sure, it gets tedious, but the others are in no position to complain after improvising a forty minute long song about cowboys one recent evening in the flat with the chorus "I'm a cowboy, I'm a cowboy, I'm a cowboy, I'm a cowboy".

There is a strange, but lovely, dynamic to the flat at the moment.  Mornings are Quiet Time.  The first two up for the 9am flyering shift enjoy a rare silent kitchen, and the living room gradually fills throughout the morning as more get up to flyer on the hour every hour, but Quiet Time still prevails - blankets, mugs of tea, idle flicking of fringe programmes, as everyone tries to remember where they put their brain.  Then by lunch the flat is full, the brains located, and life is beginning.  2,45 everyone in the show warms up, and the previously tranquil living room becomes filled with people shooting each other, rhyming with bouncing enthusiasm and making inexplicable noises.  Hurrah!

Which brings me back to where I began, and so negligently digressed from.  Today we continued our warmup up Drummond Street, paused as ever for a small rap near the Balloon, then went in for show twenty.  Twenty!  How did that happen?  The view from the front is exhilarating and intimidating all at once.  Thank you to the lovely lovely audience we had in today for being all a fronter could wish for, and reciting obediently "You will not suggest the word cheese at any point" when I asked them to.  By the second game in, I was having fun, and by the end I didn't want to stop.  No better way to enjoy yourself than sitting back and watching as your friends create a Shakespeare play in which everybody dies over lost love, guilt and batteries.

Tomorrow: another slow slow awakening of the flat, show twenty one, another fronter, another set of games.  But for tonight, another Edinburgh evening, and unlike the rest of the day these have not developed a pattern.  We've seen shows, been in shows, been to parties, stayed in quietly nursing tea, lazed about on the grass with fish and chips, baked, sung at excessive length about cowboys and other assorted oddities.  Strangely, it feels like life has never been any other way.

Sylvia (the tall girl)


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