Sunday, August 30, 2009

Night shots of the streets of Edinburgh...

?(light) art on the wall of the Assembly theatre..
where Camille O'Sullivan performed...



top end of Royal Mile just before the Edinburgh Castle..


the Royal Mile at night...








Castle Terrace......
the 'Abstract' French restaurant..






Edinburgh skylines.....

Pakdokter was lucky that on the first day in Edinburgh, it was a bright and sunny day with blue and cloudy skies. It was a great day for recording some of the skylines of the city around downtown Edinburgh....

on the North Bridge......

the western end of the Royal Mile....
the building wih the clock is the Tollcross Tavern where
pakdokter had lunch one day....


the Quartermile....old buildings will be refurbished into new apartments
and new modern blocks built to blend with the old....
the smallest studio is selling for GBP172,000




the Princess Garden...


the Royal Mile as seen from Princess Street..















the Royal Mile...





the Grassmarket Street..




the Edinburgh Castle as seen from Grassmarket..


Friday, August 28, 2009

The Edinburgh Tattoo 2009....

Here are some short video-recordings of a few of the performances

at the Edinburgh Tattoo 2009

video

video

video

The Edinburgh Festival (V111): The Edinburgh Tattoo ....

On the last night in Edinburgh, pakdokter and family went to see the Edinburgh Tattoo. We were lucky as Raena had booked good seats for the three of us about 3 months ago. Despite the cold night and the intermittent and sporadic shower of rain, it was a great show to remember....


















Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Edinburgh Festival (V11) : The International Book Festival...

The Edinburgh International Book Festival was held at Charlotte Square. This downtown park was filled up with exhibition halls, lecture halls and a cafe for refreshments and food while being entertained by live jazz musicians!
Looking through the brochure, apart from book exhibitions, the month-long Book Festival had also lined up about 700 events involving about 750 participants from all over the world!
There were poetry and short-story reading by renowned writers. There were lectures on every topic on earth by expert writers of their respective fields. There were new book launches. There were workshops for writing fiction, for the radio, for the tv etc etc......
Pakdokter's partner signed up for an event or two for almost everday of the week. We could easily have spent the whole month here for there were so many interesting programmes to take part in. Even children had programmes and activities catered for them.....
One of the speakers that caught pakdokter's attention was a session by Dr Raj Persaud, a fellow British psychiatrist who had written a few books on mental health of which pakdokter had bought and read several of them. Dr Raj Persaud is an excellent communicator on mental health issues and regularly appears on the BBC discussing mental health topics.


a latte while studying the programme before signing up...
most of the sessions were probably sold out
judging from the long queue going into the lecture halls....

pakdokter was happy with a pint and listening to
live standard jazz on the guitar by the local musicians...



the central courtyard of the park was also a comfortable area to rest
and enjoy a pint in fresh cool summer air.....

The Edinburgh Festival (V1): One-(wo)man plays, stand-up comedies, rock concert, dance and musicals.....

During the week that pakdokter was in Edinburgh, pakdokter managed to see about 10 shows or so and this was quite an achievement considering that there were so many things to do and see during this Festival.


"The Tempest' was the first play pakdokter saw at the Edinburgh College of Art. It was somewhat not up to the mark (by pakdokter's evaluation) or perhaps Shakespeare is not simply pakdokter's stuff....
The Edinburgh College of Art also put up an exhibition of 'rock' art and carvings on their courtyard and some of the artists were at work with their art pieces during the festival.

'Janis' - a one-woman play performed by an actor from Brighton, Nicky, who potrayed the life of Janis Joplin, the famous rock singer of the hippie days. We bumped into 'Janis a.k.a. Nicky' the next day in the Edinburgh University Library while having a drink and waiting to go to the next show. She was surprised that at our age ( "we did not look like we belong to that period", she said) we were interested in and knew about Janis Joplin.....

"The Dentist" was a powerful one-woman drama about the relationship of a physician with her elderly father from Salonika, Greece, who was a victim of the Nazi persecution of the Jews but survived his time at the Auschwitz. In the play she regularly switched roles between being herself as a child, being her grumpy and irritable father as well as some other characters who were of significance to her life. Only towards the last moment of his life did she finally understood the 'moodiness' of her father who had to live and endure the unpleasant memories of being the 'dentist' - the person in charge of extracting gold teeth from victims who were burnt and killed in the camp.


This Aussie lass was funny...
her stand-up comic centred around failures of relationship...



a great British Indian stand-up comic....
he mimicked and acted out more than 50 characters of famous stars
and personalities within the hour long show in hilarious skits...




"Camille"
what a rocker.......
she performs like Madonna
her voice was strong, sultry and sexy...
her lyrics were poetic
an 'Irish' discovery for pakdokter....
pakdokter's partner managed to get Camille to autograph her CD ....




this choir performed in a church at Shandwick Street...
world music that can pass off as reggae and samba...
the church has 'fantastic' acoustic...


truly Cuban......
great choreography within a simple story-line...
made pakdokter yearn to go to Havana...!


probably the best show that pakdokter saw during this festival...
the country that has produced so many beauty queens...
brought this award winning dance-musical narrating the story and history
of Venezuela.....
the 'belly-dancers' of the Caliphs of Moorish Spain make the
belly-dancers of Cairo and Istanbul look like school dancers.....
the 'flamenco' dancers were first class matching the girls from Sevilla...
and hot hot slasa, samba, merenge and rhumba too.....


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Edinburgh Festival (V): Promoting and Marketing their own Shows...

By pakdokter's rough estimate, there must be hundreds if not nearly a thousand shows, plays, musicals, dramas, stand-up comedies etc etc being performed daily in Edinburgh during the month-long Festival. At the Edinburgh University site alone there must be at least 10 theatres being run daily, at each venue there were 5 to 6 differrent shows being put up from mid-morning to mid-night. And there must be about one to two hundred such venues located at colleges, churches and hotels all over Edinburgh.
As such each of the productions had to be aggressively marketed and pakdokter was really impressed by the enthusiasm and enterprise showed by these young group of actors which pakdokter guessed must be college and university students....
From early morning, these groups of performers would be all over the Royal Mile in their costumes promoting their shows and giving away posters and brochures advertising their acts. Every time pakdokter finished a show and walked out of the hall, pakdokter would be confronted by these promoters who would try to sell their shows which would be played next in the same or a nearby hall. And if it was a late night show with not a good enough audience, they would even offer 2 tickets for the price of one to get people to their shows. Most shows would cost between 8 to 10 GBP for a ticket. There were some multiple-ticket discounts package which would make each show cheaper to see......
















The Edinburgh Festival (1V): More Sounds of the Street Festival...

video

the guys in pink played brass 'jazzy' music..

video

african tribal singers...

The Edinburgh Festival (111): More Sights of the Street Festival ...

Below are more pictures of some of the activities pakdokter sighted along the Royal Mile of Edinburgh during the week pakdokter spent there recently....












some of the above guys perform
to collect donation for worthy causes...




the Craft Festival at the corner of Lothian Road...