Last January, when Ed (who is now one of my closest friends) and I were just getting to know each other, we realised that we both shared a mutual fascination for Glenn Gould. No, this is sadly not a daylog about meeting Glenn Gould, for Mr Gould, unfortunately, is dead. Anyway. This led to a viewing of Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, written by Francois Girard and Don McKellar. F and Ed then discovered a mutual love for Last Night which was written, directed by and starred McKellar, and I watched it for the first time some months ago, and found it profoundly moving and amazingly made. And then of course, there's Twitch City which Ed and our friend Erin immortalised on youtube....
So when F told me around a month ago that Don McKellar was going to be in this year's Festival, in a Weill/Brecht opera double bill,The Lindbergh Flight/The Flight Over the Sea and Seven Deadly Sins which was also to be directed by Girard, joy knew no bounds, except! Ed would be in his first ever Fringe show playing Ferdinand in The Tempest that night and would miss the entire run, and not get to see McKellar as well! Which would just be wrong.
There was only one thing for it. Meet the man in person.
After the show, F and I ran around frantically looking for a stagedoor, found one, and F flashed his Festival pass and we were in. Standing next to the stagedoor, while Francois Girard dashed from room to room and various other stars of the show smiled at us sweetly as they passed us in the corridor--it was all a bit surreal. As we nervously pondered what to do, McKellar emerged from a door and was just about to enter his dressing room, and I said "Mr McKellar?"
He was lovely. I told him how we were fans of his work, and he seemed genuinely touched and pleased, even a bit surprised, I think. I was holding my programme for Seven Deadly Sins, and he asked which sin he should sign...he ended up signing the Epilogue. I told him that I had a friend who was a huge fan of Twitch City and he told us that it was finally coming out on DVD! And asked us where we'd seen it, and we said we'd stolen it off the internet. He was faux grumbly, and said that apparently British television hadn't wanted it because it was, er, too like British TV. It really, really isn't. We told him that we hadn't really seen anything like it on British tv and he seemed faintly relieved. He asked F what he did for the festival, and our names and then I told him that we were there because this friend who was a great fan couldn't make it because he was in his first Fringe show ever--he asked where it was, and what play, and what role ed was playing, and said encouragingly that it was quite a substantial role. F also pointed out that we had first bonded over '32 Films' which he seemed to approve of. And so he wrote: "Dear Ed, my fellow festivalite your pal, Don McKellar." He was wonderful, humble, and not very much taller than me. It was great.