Edinburgh Fringe 09: Internal and Barflies

What happens in Internal stays in Internal. We’re not the first to make this comment but the message still stands: the less you know going in about this new show by Ontroerend Goed the better.

This is the second part in a proposed trilogy playing with ideas of intimacy of which the magnificent Smile Off Your Face was the first instalment. We’ll say only that it’s a show for five audience members at a time and involves a one-on-one encounter. Tickets are by now pretty hard to come by and there were people patiently waiting in the hotel lobby (the show is hosted by the Traverse but takes place in a room at the Mercure Point Hotel on Bread Street) in the hope that someone wouldn’t turn up for their ‘date.’

Some people have found the experience therapeutic and liberating others conversely have found it quite violating and afterwards described feeling quite used. musicOMH, being naturally guarded, perhaps did not give herself fully over to the experience and remained rather detached but it is certainly one of the more memorable 25 minutes of the Fringe and one that has lingered, stewing and brewing at the back of her mind.

musicOMH was also lucky enough to see another hit Traverse show, Grid Iron’s site-specific adaptation of the world of Charles Bukowski. Barflies takes place in the Barony Bar on Broughton Street (15.00). Your drink of choice is waiting for you as you enter the bar with its offal red ceiling and corner piano. Keith Fleming and Gail Watson play two trademark Bukowski characters, the drink-sodden writer and the volatile, self-destructive female, equally booze-pickled, though they retain their Scottish accents. They rut and totter and clamber on top of the bar while Silent Dave the bartender plays a gravely version of Lilac Wine. We weren’t quite as taken with Ben Harrison’s production as some have been (it possibly helps if you are a fan of Bukowski’s writing) but we enjoyed our trip into this sordid yet creative world.

For more information on either show visit

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