Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Seen On The Royal Mile

Dott Cotton - Street Performer on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Dott Cotton – Street Performer

Dott Cotton – Street Performer

She’s five foot nothing (all sizes are approximate) and clowns in her raggedy costume, reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau.

When I stopped her on the Royal Mile to take her photo, she posed and then gave me her card. It says Dott Cotton – International Idiot.

“Dott Cotton?,” I quizzed in my best loud, incredulous, rising falsetto East London accent.

Meanwhile I was thinking – Dott with two ‘t’s? That must be to make sure there is no confusion with Dot Cotton, the fictional character from the TV soap EastEnders.

“Dott Cotton?” (rising falsetto East London accent again).

“Easy to remember,” she said with a wink and a smile.

“I’m a street performer and I’m also in The Greatest Liar In The World at the Fringe.” Sounds intriguing…

The Greatest Liar In The World: A darkly funny sequel to the story of Pinocchio: the carnival is breathing its last breath and with it so is The Liar. Tired of his lies, he hijacks the performance at gunpoint to tell the real story of his infamous origins.

Gordon Highlanders

In the swish and swirl on the Royal Mile, I didn’t work out which of the characters were from a play and which were the members of the Gordon Highlanders re-enactment group who had been invited along to add colour to the day.

Gordon Highlanders - re-endactment soldiers on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Gordon Highlanders

I’m pretty sure this is one of the re-enactment players because his shoulder insignia and his cap badge with the tartan and the motto ‘bydand’ (steadfast) are accurate.

Bydand - Gordon Highlanders cap badge
Bydand – Gordon Highlanders

The Gordon Highlanders regiment dates back to the 1880s and soldiers were recruited principally from Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland.

According to the Regimental Museum archive, of the 50,000 men who served in the regular, territorial and service battalions during the First World War, 27,000 men were killed or wounded.

Assigning men from one village or one small town to the same regiment happened many times in the First War.

It was a mistake that caused immeasurable grief when thousands were killed in one day on the battlefield, with the loss of every man in a village back home.

Even though I took this photo a few days ago, there was something about this man’s smile that took my right to the imagined world of comradeship in the heady days of the beginning of the First World War.

Superhero Snail Boy

I concentrated on his face when I took the shot because he he looked so sad, so mournful, so hard done by.

He had a giant snail’s shell attached to his back, but with a long lens on my camera, it was the expression in his face or the shell, but not both.

Superhero Snail Boy shows that even the smallest of superheroes can grow to be bigger than their fears. In a place where hope grows in the form of enormous flowers and breakthroughs are found in the smashing of plates, parents are parented by the wisdom of the young and solace is sought from a giant snail.

Edfringe: Superhero Snail Boy
Edfringe: Superhero Snail Boy

I Know Not Who This Is

She and her fellow actors were heading up the Royal Mile. She was the last in the line and I asked to take her photo and she obliged. But by then the others were further ahead, and I hadn’t the heart to ask her to tell me the name of the troupe and where she was performing, and how to spell the words, and….

So we smiled and off she went. And I know not who this is.