An eerie, empty Royal Mile
The Festival has ended but you can't quite seem to get it out of your system. Here are five common symptoms to watch out for when suffering from Edinburgh Festival Participant Leftover Bodily Functions Syndrome. This needs nipping in the bud fast. Here's why:
1) Flyering is in your veins:
It starts at the airport on your way home. You mistake the security queue for the Half Price Hut and get going on your sales pitch to a group of unwitting Norwegians. 'Hi guys! Looking for some comedy today?!' You pipe up over enthusiastically in your best 'I'm fun' voice. Then fling your clear plastic bag of under 100ml liquids at them and realise in the same instant that you are not carrying a pile of your face around anymore. The leaflet holding shaped claws that were once hands just need a bit of time to readjust. Apologise and swing your way deftly to the next available box office cashier - I mean airport security staff.
2) You've forgotten that non-beige food exists:
Your diet has consisted of nothing but portions of chips coated in various shades of a jam like substance claiming to be ketchup and the odd cheeky Nandos. With extra chips.
You deluded yourself into thinking that 'mixing it up' with a curry from Udderbelly one night and a banana and Nutella crepe at Gilded Balloon the next was giving you nutritional variety. 'Perhaps vegetables are actually mythical things?'; 'Perhaps they were never a real part of my life?..' You despaired as you stared into the middle distance at a Frankfurter van on the corner of Potterow. Fear not. You're home now and a Sainsburys delivery is just a few clicks away. Go for leaves. And lots of them.
3) You have spent the month running to shows. You can't seem to stop:
You were ambitious. You bit off more than you could chew. It was your day off after all. You went in strong and booked an 11am piece of physical theatre at C venues followed by four consecutive hours of comics in various Free Fringe haunts then a circus extravaganza at The Hub. You even topped it off with a late night Improvised Musical Opera based on the life of Nietzsche and his contemporaries who all happened to be witches trapped in a Bake Off Final.
Contrary to popular belief it did not take seven minutes to get from the Royal Mile to Pleasance Courtyard. There were crowds to contend with. The whole thing was bloody exhausting and you only just made it to each show. Now you're back in London you find yourself expertly dodging through the crowds at Bank Station during rush hour screaming things like 'they don't allow latecomers let me through!!!' Or 'The show must go on!!' You are a moron. Let the Festival go.
4) Seeing stars:
Your eyes are having trouble re-adjusting. They have been subjected to a month of looking at row upon row of stars on people's faces. Everywhere. You see your other half on arrival at King's Cross and as you hug each other the review involuntarily leaps from your mouth: 'FIVE STARS!!! An excellent hug. Fantastically executed and engaging from start to finish!!' Oh god. What's the matter with you? You are not Broadway Baby. You are a human person. Stop rating stuff.
5) Time looses all meaning:
You just can't shake the festival vibe. Your mate's show finished at 11.30pm. That's like 7pm in Edinburgh time right? You had drinks at The Abbattoir every night (fancy pants) and you relived your youth with the other 12-year-olds ripping up the sticky dance floor at The Hive. It was AHHsome with a capital AHH.
You now find yourself walking the streets near home at various ungodly hours in search of fun. You can't understand why no one else is out at 4am making an ill advised trip to CC Blooms for another hour of sweat fest dancing.
'There must be some awards thing happening?!' You cry - 'I shall find it!' and climbing to the top of the stairs in your own house in search of the Loft Bar it slowly dawns on you that it's over. The So You Think You're Funny free booze is gone for another year. Make a cuppa babe. You'll be alright. Your body could probably do with the break anyway to be honest.
Whatever you do don't panic. This is not permanent. You will recover.
Have a read of something other than the fringe guide. It's crispy from the afternoon it pissed it down and it's gone a weird shape now anyway. Pick up a real book, or even better the phone and talk to a mate you neglected for a month because you found loads of new 'ultra festival bezzies guys!'. Get back to normal slowly but surely. It'll be January in a minute and you'll have to get your 2016 application in....
An ACTUAL audience member ACTUALLY gave me these mental shades because they matched my shirt. Love. the. Festival.
Helen Sorren is an actress and comedian. She co hosts the Saturday Breakfast Show on Hoxton Radio and has appeared in numerous stage productions. Helen is also a regular on the stand up comedy circuit.