I really had forgotten until this week just what it felt like to experience the sheer joy and exuberance of the Edinburgh Fringe. As a family, we were regular attenders up to and including 2019, throwing ourselves into the unexpected and extraordinary variety of shows; Covid put a stop to that. Admittedly, this past week I have still felt twinges of anxiety in crowds, and I flinch when I hear a cough … these are merely minor hurdles to overcome, however, in order to bathe and delight in what must be the most amazing and extensive Arts Festival in the world, which bursts at the seams with acts from circus to Shakespeare, and from comedy to powerful drama.
My favourite act so far? Forgive me for the silliness, but it is none less than the feisty, irreverent, charming, outrageous wonder that is Basil Brush! If he was a part of your childhood TV viewing, then you will already know from the title of this piece that he was the subject, because ‘Boom Boom’ was – and is – his catchphrase. He has 2 shows at the Fringe, in fact – a family fun show and a later ‘unleashed’ show. In a excess of enthusiasm, I saw both – and laughed at the outrageousness of both. Such fun! Such joy! Such laughter! And sharing it with others was wonderful!
Basil Brush celebrates 60 years in show business this year, and is working with his 8th ‘Mister’ – the sidekick who shares the stage with him. Poignantly, he paid tribute in his adult show to all of them, including the late Derek Fowlds; without their help, after all (and without the support of his hidden ‘assistant’), he would not be able to do what he does. He is going strong, and the chances are that he will be going strong – just regularly refurbished – long after you and I have all passed on. Another poignancy there, perhaps … and another reminder, were it needed, for us to make the most of every day.
Let us fill the world with joy and laughter whenever we can; release yourself today … and channel your inner Basil Brush!