Sunday, 2 August 2009

Come, hear this amazing secret truth ...

Sad news Fringegoers, the eccentric and altogether brilliant Mr Tim FitzHigham's solo show has been cancelled. It would without doubt have been one of the maddest things on this year's Fringe.

My foraging as to why this is hasn't yet produced any results, so as far as I know we can still see him singing this year in Flanders and Swann: A Brand GNew AfterGNoon and more than likely with Andrew Maxwell's troop the Full Mooners (I'm not sure how it would function without Tim, being, as he is, the Concierge of the Moon.)

The mechanics of a FitzHigham show are threefold:

1) Tim embarks on some sort of low-energy activity. The selection criteria tends to involve the activity being impossible, painful or just plain inconprehensible (more of a quest, then, really.) Past adventures have included trying to get a Knighthood in Spain, investigating the Karma Sutra and breaking the record distance for rowing in a paper boat.

2) Tim (often only just) recovers from said task.

3) Tim surfaces in Edinburgh and tells the story of said task, to comic effect.

The show that is not to be was called Last Queen of Scotland, and promised "an incredible discovery about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the last true Queen of Scotland." Having seen Tim's show The Bard's Fool last year, it's highly likely he has discovered some historical titbit that will make us see The Young Pretender with new eyes, and reveal that he was in fact not a prince at all, but a young cabin boy called Terence (it always seems to come back to the sea after Tim's trip across the channel in a bathtub.)

The programme advert for Last Queen of Scotland beckons us to "Come, hear this amazing secret truth ...", but it seems we'll have to wait a while.

There's something special about Tim, he commits to his comedy in a way best described as dogged. The first time I met him in a pub in Soho, he'd lost most of the skin on one foot, as well as a toenail, in the name of laughter. Understandable really, as he'd just morris danced from London to Norwich in nine days straight, beating the record set by Shakespeare's clown Will Kemp, who made a similar journey back when Queen Elizabeth I, not II, was on the English throne.

In all probability, Tim is only the second person to attempt this dance epic, but as Kemp took nine days spread over several weeks rather than consecutively, it's fair to say Tim can be proud of his title in morris-enabled-travel.

My interview with Tim for Three Weeks last year was a pleasure, and as a few less of you may see him now that Last Queen of Scotland is cancelled, here is a Full Mooner's video from last year for your delectation:

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