Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 – REVIEW – Turntable/Edinburgh *****
Turntable started when MJ McCarthy and his Great Aunt Kathleen – 55 years his senior – connected over a stack of vinyl. Since then the Turntable team have toured her record case around Scotland, inviting listeners of all ages to investigate its contents whilst reflecting on the importance of music in their lives. At this year’s Fringe, the Turntable invitation is extended to the people of Edinburgh. Stories and memories will be gathered at workshops throughout the city. These encounters will inform a series of performance events featuring special guests and a soundtrack chosen by you.
I’ve said it before and no doubt will say it again in print, but I love music. When I saw the poster for Turntable/Edinburgh, I knew I’d be going. For those of us of a certain vintage, the red sleeve and disc sticker bring back childhood memories. Buying record spiders, unwisely using the record stacker extension on turntable’s nib, learning not to jump around too much in case you caused the needle to jump. Michael John McCarthy and Red Bridge Arts may have used a simple graphic for the show but it was extremely evocative.
Over the course of fifty minutes, Michael John McCarthy talks about his musical and family history, his place in the world and possible future in the UK but most of all about the joy of music. On this occasion, McCarthy was joined by playwright Jo Clifford, who also discussed her life and picked a song from the collection on offer – Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You – explaining its place in her life. Both speakers were very honest about their lives and feelings and I feel lucky that I had the chance to hear them.
If you have a chance to see Turntable, then take it. Sadly, the show was on for a very limited run during the Fringe but I’m very glad I saw it. The show won’t change your life or leave you with any profound realisations, but it will make you smile, laugh, feel moved but most of all put a tap in your foot and a song in your heart. I know it did for me. I then wandered down the High Street from the Scottish Storytelling Centre to Unknown Pleasures, where I bought a much loved and dearly missed album.
- Jo Clifford’s current play, Eve, is also part of this year’s Fringe programme.