Spooky happenings

During the 2001 Fringe performances of the compelling Pictures of Uncle Donnie’s Wake there were some really spooky goings on! This delightful musical story takes place at the wake of a much loved uncle and is told, in the main by his nephew Gavin and his sister Alison. Uncle Donnie himself, of course, is there for the show as a rather scruffy looking bloke in a kilt (with the obligatory sporran) leaning, propped up against his coffin, in a “just out from a session in the pub” sort of a pose. Being an untidy individual who was fond of a wee bevvie, his shirt is torn and one of the 3 leather tassels is missing from his sporran.

At the end of the show Uncle Donnie appears to give his last words of advice to his kids and the gathered crowd. During the final Fringe performance, in the already spooky atmosphere of the 16th century Diverse Attractions venue.just as the pale, ghostly figure of Alan McLean / Donnie appeared on stage, the third tassel fell off his sporran! A shiver ran through the cast and the audience alike.

Alan McLean, like his imaginary uncle, has also been known to enjoy a wee drink now and then and was enjoying this favourite of pastimes a great deal during the Festival period. One night, rather the worse for this indulgence and completely unable to sleep, Alan went for walk down the deserted, cobbled streets that form the Royal Mile. On passing the entrance to Riddles Court in Lawnmarket, Alan thought he heard a familiar cough. He turned in and staggered along the tunnelled close there he saw him! Sitting at a white plastic picnic table drinking from a marvellously large beer mug. “Hello, Gavin, ma boy, whit are ye doin’up this early? Dae ye fancy a wee bevvie?” Of course, Alan said yes and sat down to join him.

An hour or so later, feeling cold and stiff, Alan awoke slumped over a white plastic picnic table outside Diverse Attractions in Riddles Court. Next to him on the table stood a pint jug half full of beer and another, rather larger jug, completely drained. He had terrible thirst and a pounding head, he downed the beer then headed off to his flat in the Grassmarket. After a couple of hours sleep in bed he awoke again not at all sure what had happened in the night, but vowing never again to drink 6 pints of Orkney Dark Island.!!

© The Crow Road Band 2018