At last, a chance to look down on that old devil Dundas. Not an altogether likeable chap. Among other misdeeds, Viscount Melville helped to prolong the slave trade by 15 years yet he can be seen towering over Scotland’s capital city for miles. How come?
“He was a political powerhouse Harry,” as our ‘Professor’ Jamie MacDonald tells his companion Harry Gooch in the last spine-chilling stop of our Edinburgh Comedy Tour. The Prof goes on to list places round Edinburgh where the name Dundas pops up, plus the many abuses of power wielded by the 18th century lawyer and politician, affectionately known as the Great Tyrant. So the last person in the UK to be impeached for misappropriation of public funds is honoured with an A listed, 150 foot high monument bang smack in the centre of the New Town that he helped to establish.
He’s probably turning his nose up at the revelry going on down below. But this year’s Christmas party in St Andrew Square helps to cut the old rogue down to size. The Star Flyer stands 60 metres high, on a level with the Scott monument in Princes Street and considerably taller than Dundas who stops short at 45.72 metres.
The fairground ride (£7.50 a go) has not been without its problems. On Friday 13th December one of the seats fell from the sky and crashed on to the pavement. Very luckily no-one was hurt and the rides resumed after a safety check.
Spoiler alert. Our Jamie may or may not survive unhurt when he takes a virtual trip up the Melville Monument at the end of the comedy tour. If you haven’t done the audio tour yet we don’t want to spoil the climax but it’s very jittery stuff for those of us with a tendency to vertigo. But please don’t let that put you off. The very unconventional tour is a great way to get an alternative view of Edinburgh’s history while taking part in a downloadable Fringe show (the Fringe is not just for August).
When he’s not shinning up monuments, Jamie MacDonald appears as That Funny Blind Guy, a very wicked solo stand up show. Harry Gooch is up to all kinds of mischief with Improv FX who have just produced Edinburgh’s Improvised Panto (perhaps we should get them back to make a tour of monumental rogues, there are lots of them immortalised on plinths).
Download Edinburgh Comedy Tour from Guidigo – it’s a special free edition for Christmas and New Year but don’t tell everyone!