Edinburgh Fringe 2023
Mr Brake Down has invited you in for some karaoke. They shall start us off with a track, then ask all of us to choose from a menu of available numbers and then come up and sing. We also have an invited guest which changes for each show, before the best two singers sing off to be crowned the Kinq/Queen of Drageoke.
There is little or no sophistication here. It is precisely what it says. It is karaoke. And for 45 minutes, somewhere off the Royal Mile you get the chance to avoid being in a downtown Tokyo bar but just breathe in and dance out the tension. As a host Mr. Brake Down is delightful.
There may be some issues around microphone use as Mr. Brake Down’s vocal performance, whilst clearly exceptionally good, was the lesser of a couple of the contributors. It maybe he is simply setting us up to sing and not feel overly intimidated.
Of course, the one area he also has some control over is the guest and this afternoon, Rick is absolutely on the money. There are quite a few shows out there with guest spots and they can be a bit hit and miss, but here is most certainly a hit.
But the biggest hits are the people who take part. This is all about the singing and the involving and the comfort of being in a lovely place to perform. For a full 45 minutes you can put aside the troubles and just relax with an amiable and very good host, a microphone and take your opportunity to just be. The greatest element for this was the atmosphere. I will avoid Russ Abbot, but this was a party with just the right level of atmosphere. It’s more than just amiable and the right LGBT venue with the right acceptance is a wonderful thing.
As the straight, white cis man who refused to sing – Mrs. Kilmurray killed it in Primary 7 – I was asked, offered support and respected when I decided that I did not want to inflict myself upon anyone.
And so technically we have a black box with spangly light styled costume on Mr. Brake Down and not much else – we don’t need anything more than just people. This lunchtime Steve, Shona and Erika were our entertainers. And to be fair, what a bunch they were! It was little surprise that the sing off was between Erika and Shona and a bit of Britney between them! Now, obviously asking people up to sing is in its own way a bit of a lottery. The place could have been stunk out with a room full of mes! But here they had troopers and beautiful singers. But then again, it is Edinburgh, it is August, and it is wall to wall festivals with plenty of really good performers on parade. I should never have doubted that there would be at least one really good singer in our midst.
The presence and gently persuasive technique of Mr. Brake Down ensures that we all feel we could, even if we never wanted to. I was tired before I got to this and left with a spring in my step. The healing was about the connection and human emotion – song is a beautiful place to start that journey and with such a guide it’s a great journey to have been on. If you have 45 minutes and want to sit back and relax and feel good, you know where the music takes you…