11th, 13th, 14th 22nd Of August
There is a first time for everything and today Divine found a treasure that had never been brought to his attention before. An enchanted beautiful castle on the banks of The Firth Of Forth. It was the gardens of this beautiful place that took my breath away, planting seeds for future investigation of a Healing nature – and its on the 41 bus route. A short walk from Davidsons Mains. The Castle was built in the 16th century and has housed some important historical people. John Napier being one of them, a Grand Wizard best known as the discoverer of logarithms. He also invented the so-called “Napier’s bones” and made common the use of the decimal point in arithmetic and mathematics. We learned this from the historian’s welcome speech as we gathered in the gardens at the entrance to this place of wonder, who specifically described John Napier as one of the wizards that had lived in the Castle. Being a Wizard too, Divine was as excited as the nerds in the audience.
The enriching beauty of Lauriston Castle and to have been there for the first time was a five star wowing factor. My lovely reviewing companion Jo Legg was a first timer too. We were both suitably impressed with our experience and we hadn’t even entered the castle yet. The clouds were hanging dark and pendulous over The Firth Of Forth, the first of the Scottish Monsoon thunderstorms had given its daily cleansing and just as we were welcomed into the castle, the 2nd storm rolled in from Fife, sheet lightning crackled across the Forth as we were each given a playing card to hold. The Hearts and Diamonds on one team. The Spades and Clubs on the other. Divine was like a kid in a sweetshop. The castle is packed with lots of art treasures, paintings and tapestries that had me aching to investigate them individually. I had to remind myself that this was not the reason we were there.
As we waited to enter the Library for our first magician experience ,Jo mentioned that one of the guys in the paintings looked uncannily like Divine, its only on doing the research now that I discover that the guy in the painting was none other than John Napier. Spooky!!!!!!! The door to the Library opened and we were introduced to our first magician. Drew McAdam. that displayed the uncanny ability to read minds. Going out of his way to explain how he was not psychic and was able to achieve his super sleuth revelations through psychology and sensory response. Very impressive indeed. To amp up the wow factor that little bit more, Drew explained that he was friends with Uri Geller and one of the things that Uri had imparted to Drew, was the miraculous gift of spoon bending. Woaaaaaaah. Divine had never seen it in real life before. And it happened right before our eyes. in real life. One spoon broke in two completely. Fantastic stuff.
There was a short wait untill we were ushered into the Dining Room. The spirits of past inhabitants of Lauriston Castle were queueing up to be channelled, I had to close my channel to concentrate on the gifted playing card shark that was about to mesmerize us with card tricks. Lewis Barlow, is a local magician specialising in the sleight of hand and has earned his stripes on The Free Fringe Circuit in years past. Notably selling out the Voddoo Rooms in 2018. Divine and the other guests that had been invited into the Dining Room to witness Lewis Barlow in an intimate setting. If you like playing card Magik you will love Lewis.
Then from the Dining Room to the Drawing Room. To be welcomed by the amazing Adam Black. Master of the Rubik’s Cube with superhuman dexterity of hand, the excitement was reaching fever pitch as time and time again, the Rubik’s Cube was completed with breathtaking speed. Adam made Rubiks Cubes vanish before our very eyes and even completing the puzzle without all the twisty bits involved. Captivating his small audience. We were all stood with our mouths wide open in awe at what we had just experienced and then the show was over.
Lauriston Castle is Divines new friend, such an important place of Historical interest, eye candy at every turn and the perfect escape from the festival packed city. A refreshing and revitalising place of natural wonder and artistic intrigue, The Magicians were just fantastic and the venue is out of this world interesting and its history is mind bogglingly exciting. A perfect antidote to Fringe Fatigue.
Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert