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WitTank – What's In Your Edinburgh Luggage?

Monday, July 30 2012

Sketch scamps WitTank jumped at the chance to write something for EiF instead of writing their own Edinburgh show


Packing for the Edinburgh Festival is a job we tend to leave until the last second. As the days in July rudely disappear faster than you can say "we haven’t written our show yet", every hour begins to count in the race to touch-up sketches, change punchlines and polish rehearsals. Then, about an hour before the train is due to leave, someone will sound the alarm: "sh*t, we need to pack". As a result of the rushed attempt at packing that ensues, it’s always fun to see what comes out when you actually get to Edinburgh. It becomes a bit of a lucky dip: "do I get a toothbrush this year?", "will one jumper suffice for a month?" or "so what if I packed seven ladles, I was in a rush?"

Luggage, in the case of a sketch group, is not only about your individual items. We would probably appear unremarkable stepping onto a train bound for the north were it not for the "comedy props" we’re forced to traipse behind us. We like to carry ours in a set of translucent boxes – and you can only wonder what people assume when they see a pink rubber glove, a witches hat and a fake hand. Besides these neatly boxes oddities (and many more besides) there come the "too big to pack" items: a sword, car tyres and a 6ft diameter cardboard moon which features in the show for all of two seconds to name but a few.

In truth, the items in WitTank’s personal luggage are largely incredibly dull. And there is possibly no better way of emphasising this than by listing each member’s "most exciting" packed item. Kieran has piped up with “I’ve got some flip flops with a bottle opener on them.” Naz takes two hair dryers (“in case one breaks”), and the most exciting thing in my (Mark's) luggage would have to be a tie that’s also a map of the world, and which I’m certain never to wear. Especially as I’ve forgotten to pack any shirts. Then of course there are the "naughtier" items one is forced to consider ... that’s right, we’re all very careful to include shorts, sunglasses and some factor 15 in the ever desperate hope we "might get lucky this year".

So that’s our luggage, and for each of us it’s contained within an executive-style wheelie suitcase to ensure we look as self-important as possible. The contents, perhaps, tell a different – slightly sadder – story.

Here's WitTank on a recent episode of BBC3's Live at the Electric ...

• WitTank is on at 18:20pm at the Pleasance Courtyard


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