David Tennant (who I'm sure was there, unless it's wishful thinking)

Film When I attended the Edinburgh Festival, in 1998, before everything was staggered across a couple of months, nearly all of the film screenings were sold out. But one lunch time I turned up at the Picturehouse anyway in the hopes of seeing something.

While I dawdled in the foyer trying to come to terms with the booking process and even what was being shown that day, I overheard a woman at said box office successfully failing to gain a refund on a ticket because she wasn't able to see whatever it was that she wanted to see. As she stepped away, I approached her and offered to buy the ticket.

It turned out not to be for a film at all, but for The Script Factory, a staged reading of an unproduced screenplay which sounded more interesting than seeing an actual film, because it was potentially part of the film making process. So I paid her the £4.50 and headed into the auditorium.

The place was already filled to the rafters. She'd been running late and now I was running late by proxy. The only seat available I could see was on the front row which I ran to, only realising moments later it was in the middle of a press area, but no one seemed to mind and as the lights were going down, it was too late anyway.

Then there was an announcement and the person being announced stepped out, Tim Roth. That was the first inkling that this was going to be something special. He introduced the screenplay, something called Bad Blood, about vampires living in Edinburgh, and offered some appreciation to the sponsors and screenwriter who's name I don't remember. It's been twelve years.

What I do remember was that once he'd left the stage, the cast strolled on to our applause which included Bythe Duff from Taggart, David Tennant (who I'm sure was there, unless it's wishful thinking) and Kelly Macdonald still just a couple of years out from Trainspotting.

And so the script reading began. It was as you'd expect, similar to the readthrough footage you see in dvd documentaries and on Doctor Who Confidential, someone announcing in the "stage" directions and the actors working through the dialogue, though with them all sat towards us so they could only offer minimal interaction beyond the odd sideways glance or wink.

The plot was much the same as Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and Twilight later). Girl meets boy. Boy turns out to be vampire. She meets the family. The family want to eat her. I don't think the film was ever made or if it was whether it retained the Edinburgh locations, most of the action taking place in the Grassmarket, just around the corner from where we were staying.

Kelly was directly in front of me and luminous. But in my memory she kept looking towards me. I thought initially it might be an actorly thing, like the quote I posted the other day about Donald Sinden, about finding someone in the audience to focus on. But she really did seem slightly distracted, despite giving a sparky performance with what may well have been a text she'd only just picked up.

Only after a few minutes did I realise that this was the day I'd chosen to wear my Trainspotting t-shirt. The one with the poster on the front. The one with the picture of her character Diane growling next to a shot of Begbie giving the universal greeting.  I felt self conscious.  What must she be thinking?  Was I just being paranoid?  Kelly Macdonald thinks I'm the very least a fanboy.  At the worst she thinks I'm a crazy sick lunatic.

So I did the only thing I could do.  I cross my arms and covered up the image.  And sat that way for the hour and a half it took to get through the script, which I was at least able to appreciate for its wit and the way that it worked its horror plot through the thoroughly recognisable geography of Edinburgh city, in much the same was as Trainspotting actually, apart from the bits shot in Glasgow.  All the while I could feel my arms going to sleep.

The event ended, they left, I was able to move again and although this story doesn't really have an ending, what it taught me is that you can't really legislate for anything and you know that the first film I watched when I came home was Braveheart, a VHS of which I'd bought in the Princes Street Virgin Megastore.  But the next was Trainspotting which I've also never been able to watch in quite the same way again.

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