Mabel Aitken talking about her production '2/3 Below'
at the Gryphon Theatre Edinburgh Fringe. Scotland UK.
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Article in the Edinburgh Evening News.
Fringe goat walked through city after parking row.
Denis Rankine walks Alexa through the streets of Edinburgh to get her to the performance on time.
Picture: Jon Savage written by David O’Leary. Published on the 14 August 2013.
A goat starring in an Edinburgh Fringe
production has had to walked across the city streets like a dog after an
over-zealous parking attendant ruled the animal’s trailer couldn’t be parked outside. A jobsworth attendant
butted heads with the organisers of Fringe performance Two Thirds Below when he refused to allow the star
of the show, a goat called Alexis, to wait in the wings at the Gryphon Venue, Bread Street.
He demanded the trailer they planned to park outside for their run of performances be moved . . . because it
wasn’t legally parked. Now, until they find a Plan B, the pedigree goat, supplied by Gorgie City Farm, has to be
walked a mile across the city to make each 4pm performance. Pedestrians on the route have been left puzzled
by the sight of it being led to the venue on a lead. Star of the show Mabel Aitken, 42, said: “I’ve been coming to
Edinburgh for a number of years and I’ve never heard anything like it.”
Farm manager Denis Rankine, 50, arrived at
the venue with Alexis in tow shortly after 3.30pm on Monday, only to
be informed by a warden that because the trailer did not have an engine, it and his car were regarded as an
oversized vehicle and therefore not allowed to occupy two street side bays.
Show bosses were left wondering if the meanie was spoiling for a ram-my or merely kid-ding as their lead actress
was driven away just minutes before her debut appearance. Denis said: “The guy told me that if the trailer had an
engine it would have been okay but because it didn’t I had to shift it or face a fine.“I had to take Alexa away without
her getting to perform. I understand that the guy was only doing his job and rules are rules but it’s a bit daft.”
Two Thirds Below was written by long-standing Festival veteran Mabel Aitken. It centres on five ladies attempting to enjoy
a tea party. Alexa’s big moment comes during a pivotal scene where she’s revealed tucking into the ladies’ tea and
cakes. Mabel added: “The performance is about how we deal with a crisis and how nature cannot be controlled so
it’s rather fitting really. I’d have thought they could have made some exception.”
The actress, who has worked on shows such as Rab C Nesbitt and Sea of Souls and counts David Walliams and
David Tennant among co-stars added: “I’ve never worked with a goat before but I suppose David Walliams was
pretty unpredictable. ”
A spokeswoman for security contractor NSL which deploys wardens on behalf of Edinburgh City Council confirmed
trailers should not be parked there. She said: “No Penalty Charge Notice was issued and the driver was asked to move
his vehicle, which he duly did. We wish the goat all the very best and hope the audience isn’t too gruff.”
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page was created for Universal Love©2013 with the kind permission of Mabel
Aitken. All rights reserved.
This page was created for Universal Love©2013 with the kind permission of Mabel Aitken. All rights reserved.