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April Linkables

So, we're finally saying goodbye to winter and hello to spring - and I am so grateful. I'm such a summer babe and can't wait for warm summer nights, alfresco dining, and beer gardens. Bring it on. As for my life since my last Linkables: I visited Lisbon for two days, got ridiculously drunk at a hen party, and I am on the lookout for a new flatmate (which is incredibly stressful).

Anyway, links!

Food & Drink

Did you know that traditional Scottish potato scones can be easily made vegan

Interesting: ‘White People Food’ Is Creating An Unattainable Picture Of Health

Sex & Dating

Platonic love is underrated, and I'm ecstatic to see a rom-com focus on the platonic love between women

Pop Culture

Last August I fell into the world of improv comedy, which now takes up a lot of my social life. I recently found this article from 2008 on it's increasing popularity in Scotland

Look, I loved Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona in 10 Things I Hate About You but now, as an adult, I realise that the character is bit trash. This article agrees. 

Have you seen Taylor Swift's new music video? I have. And I agree with this article on where the singer goes from here. 

Blogging & Social Media

Later is one of my favourite social media tools and their blog is top-notch too


It's spring so I'll be making another attempt at a balcony garden, and this will come in handy.

Tell me what you've been reading this month!  

morag | mo adore
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Relationship anarchy, polyamory, aromantic or single at heart? Exploring my romantic attraction

Relationship anarchy. 

I loathe the way it sounds.

It sounds like a term some ~*feminist~* bro came up with as an excuse to fuck women around under the guise of it "being casual" (even if you're casual, you still have to communicate and treat people with respect).

But as much as I hate the connotations of the term, discovering it was one of those moments where my feelings made sense. I finally had a way to describe how I had always felt about relationships, but couldn't verbalise.

Because here's the thing: I've always known that the way I view romantic relationships and experience romantic attraction wasn't the way everyone else did or the way I was told I should.

In fact, my confusion over my romantic attraction has resulted in more soul searching than my sexual orientation ever did. I grew up in a time when LGBTQ+ rights were gaining ground and I always had a word to describe how I felt. I may not have openly called myself bisexual until my mid-20s but I knew when I was 14. And I knew because I had a word to describe it.

But I couldn't package the way I felt about romantic attraction in one succinct term.

Questioning my romantic attraction

Over the years I came across terms that got close to the heart of it but didn't quite hit the spot.

There was aromantic. If you created an axis with aromantic at one end and, uh, very-romantic(?) at the other I'd probably still fall closer towards aromantic. But it didn't feel right as I do experience romantic attraction, albeit rarely. I've been in love, and I know it is an incredible feeling.

(Edit: the day after writing this I stumbled upon the term grey-romantic which, uh, also explains how I feel. But that's another blog post in itself). 

Then there was Single at Heart. A term that was coined by the fabulous Bella DePaulo, which applies to people who prefer to remain single. As much as I don't hate being single I wouldn't say I'm opposed to the idea of a serious romantic partner who I Do The Big Life Thing with.

Then I tried polyamory on for size. I was in a casual relationship a year ago where we both actively dated other people. And I've been a casual/secondary partner to people who have a serious partner already. But later in 2018, I would develop a big crush on someone (see, I'm not aromatic) that would stand to remind me that when I do develop romantic feelings for someone I get swept up in that person. Romantically I am monogamous, even if I can be sexually promiscuous. And because I experience romantic attraction so rarely it's difficult to find one person to date, never mind two.

And then I found the term I was searching for, and that term was relationship anarchy.

Relationship anarchy questions the idea that love is a limited resource that can only be real if restricted to a couple. You have capacity to love more than one person, and one relationship and the love felt for that person does not diminish love felt for another. Don’t rank and compare people and relationships — cherish the individual and your connection to them. One person in your life does not need to be named primary for the relationship to be real. Each relationship is independent, and a relationship between autonomous individuals.

-  Andie Nordgren, 2012 (you can read the whole thing here)

My romantic history

For my whole life (we're talking childhood here) I've always questioned the way society packages up romantic relationships and how we prioritise them over platonic relationships. The same goes for "blood is thicker than water". I prioritise the people who prioritise me, whether that is family, friends, or a lover. I don't believe that someone is entitled to more of me because we are romantically involved or share similar DNA.

Society generally tells us that if we want to be romantically involved with someone we need to follow a blueprint: become Facebook official, agree to monogamy, meet the parents, live together, become financially intertwined, get engaged, then married, and have children. While we're becoming more open to the idea of people living as partners (instead of married) and not having children - if you tell someone that you're not planning to live with someone you're romantically involved with they'll probably question how real your relationship is.

It's worth saying: the only people who need to be happy with a romantic or sexual set-up are the people involved. As long as people are communicating their needs and listening to everyone else's feelings, then let people live their lives. That means respecting polyamorous relationships, romantic partners who choose not to live together, longterm long-distance relationships, and couples who choose not get married.

Some of you might remember my blog on casual relationships from last year. I've had two casual relationships (and two serious relationships, if anyone is caring) and, even though I regret not one thing about either of those relationships and would do it all again, people roll their eyes or outright assume I was taken advantage of or was "wasting my time".

Because the thing is: being single has never bothered me. I only ever crave a relationship when I'm actively crushing on someone. When I'm not craving a specific person I don't crave a relationship. And I develop crushes very rarely. At the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 I did have a big crush on someone, but that ship has now sailed. Prior to that crush, it had been four years since I actively liked someone. I went four years without being romantically interested in someone. If you've ever wondered why I'm long term single, it's pretty much because I rarely get butterflies.

I'm told a lot that I'm fussy, and if I don't relax my standards I'll end up never meeting anyone. While these comments are well-intentioned, what the asker doesn't get is: I would rather be single than settle.

When it comes to pop culture, I love seeing queer characters on tv (but only when they are well represented because let's be honest many shows have gotten it shockingly wrong). But more so than queer characters, I love seeing single characters. Especially happy single characters. But we rarely see them.

Think about it.

Samantha Jones is an obvious one (true fact: my Tinder once said "I like to think I'm a Samantha, but I'm probably a Miranda aka moody ginger") and she's fabulous. I fist pumped when she stayed single.

Eh....Joey Tribbiani?

Elsa from Frozen?

Then when I am in a relationship, I'm an independent partner who has hobbies, a career, and close friends outside the relationship. Whenever I've been in a relationship (or even just dated) someone who prefers to create an emphasis on the relationship I get frustrated. For me, if my romantic partner wants to be at the top of the pyramid then they better earn it because they won't get there automatically. I'm lucky enough to have several very close friends who I share incredible platonic and emotional intimacy with, and can't imagine myself losing that because I've met a romantic partner.

And that goes for being in a position where I can "easily" leave. I'm not opposed to living with someone, but I'm one of those types who would have a shared pot for joint expenses (with the higher earner putting more in) but would still have my own separate bank account. And friends. And hobbies. Yes, this makes it easier to leave. Because I believe that people should be free to leave a relationship at any time. No one should stay in a relationship that doesn't suit them. And while this can sound like a commitment phobia, I think it proves my commitment. We all know people who have stayed in a relationship because it is easy, or they are used to it. Maybe they are the lower earner and would have to downgrade their lifestyle. Or they are scared to take a leap of faith. Being a partner who has independence and autonomy proves that I (and them) am staying because I want to stay.

If you want your partner to "prove" their commitment to you through an action that would make it difficult for them to leave, then you might want to have a word with yourself.

And I've always been funny about the idea that we expect our romantic partner to fulfil every need we have. Or couples who all of a sudden develop a passionate interest in the other's hobbies? I've never really had a "best" friend because I find the whole idea of expecting one person to be my only source of emotional support and social entertainment a bit weird. And I'd get drained pretty quickly if someone expected that from me.

I'm very introverted, y'all.

As a result, I've always been funny about marriage. I would never be opposed to it if I was nesting with a romantic partner who really wanted it, but my ideal relationship wouldn't involve it. I firmly believe that people should be allowed to leave a romantic relationship that doesn't fit them anymore. This goes against the whole point of marriage since it is promising to never grow or change as a person to the point where you outgrow the relationship. Sometimes you outgrow people, and that shouldn't be vilified.

Oh, and marriage places familial and romantic love on a pedestal. Fuck that. I'm starting the campaign for legalising marriage to platonic life partners.

But ultimately, for me, relationship anarchy means really thinking about what you want from your relationships (of any kind) and trusting your gut. Even if that is the cookie-cutter life that society tells us we should want. There's nothing wrong with wanting that. But what is important is sitting with yourself and really thinking about it.

Romantic vs Familial vs Platonic

But it's not just the way we package romantic relationships that has always confused me. It's also the way we automatically place romantic (and familial) relationships higher than that of platonic friendships. I don't know about you, but I have platonic partners that I love to the point where I could burst. They might not give me butterflies or make my heart beat faster, but I look at them and cannot wait to see what our future holds.

I know it's a bit of generational thing, as my parents definitely see family and romantic relationships as "more than" friendships. About two months ago my mum hurt my feelings when she proclaimed that she's always imagined me getting married in an intimate, family-only wedding. Now, don't get me wrong. I have a good relationship with my cousins, but I wouldn't consider myself close to them. So to have my mum think that they should be at one of the biggest days of my life, but some of the most important people in my life who show up for me every day shouldn't be, really kicked me where it hurts.

I also don't get why I'm not allowed to have a plus one at a wedding because I lack a partner. I'm attending a wedding reception very soon where I don't know many people and I'm not allowed to bring anyone, but I know I would be if I was romantically partnered.

And then there's the lack of alignment between my romantic and sexual attraction. I know a lot of people who really can't separate sex from love. Without getting TMI on you, I'm very capable of separating the two and can have emotionless sex. Some people are shocked at my ability to do so, even people who also have casual sex (some friends have said they have casual sex out of physical desire but emotionally they need to be careful - I don't have to be careful, it's second nature to me).

As a society, we're talking a lot more about sexual attraction and gender identity - which is incredible! But we still don't talk much about romantic attraction and how that differs from person to person. Someone who is queer is still assumed to want marriage. And we even acknowledge that asexuals might still crave emotional intimacy and a romantic connection. But only queer, polyam, and radical circles seem to acknowledge (in my experience) that romantic attraction can be a fluid concept as well.

Different kinds of attraction

When people ask me what gender I'm more attracted to I don't really know how to answer. It depends on what form of attraction you're referring to. For a while, I thought I might be a heteroromantic bisexual, but now I realise I am biromantic (but with crushes being few and far between).

The different forms of attraction, that I know of:

  • Aesthetic
  • Platonic
  • Sexual
  • Romantic
  • Emotional
  • Physical/Sensual Attraction

For example, I tend to only be platonically attracted to women. I rarely look at a guy and think "is this my new best friend?". If you're a straight person who has ever looked at someone of the same sex and thought "wow they are beautiful" but have no desire to fuck someone of the same sex then that is probably aesthetic attraction. If you have a sexual partner who you are also romantic with, then you probably also have a sensual attraction to them that you demonstrate through post-sex cuddling. But if you have a fuck-buddy, you probably have a sexual attraction but if you get up and leave then there's no sensual attraction. And if you've got someone in your life who you talk about deep shit with, then that's an emotional attraction.

If I was to whip out the Kinsey Scale for each form of attraction the scales would look different from each other. I don't really have an overarching preference.

Learning about the different kinds of attraction has also helped me navigate the world of dating. For example, I now know that my casual relationships were probably a mix of sexual, emotional, and sensual attraction - but no romantic attraction. And when I meet someone that I feel drawn to I know that it's not always romantic. I can read my own emotions better now that I know how attraction works.

The future of relationships

Society is changing, including its attitude towards relationships. There are new terms to describe sexual attraction (and old terms now entering the mainstream consciousness) and we're beginning to embrace the idea of gender as more fluid than originally assumed. We're also beginning to agree that it's okay to walk away from a toxic family member, and that family members have to earn their place in your life just like a platonic and romantic partner. Polyamory is also gaining coverage in mainstream publications.

And the way we structure relationships is going to keep changing.

I'm an only child and I've always believed that I place so much importance on non-familial relationships because, well, I don't really have a big family to latch onto. Only children are increasing in numbers so there will be more of us who have to prioritise platonic and romantic relationships.

And the same goes for people who don't want children. I'm one of them. Hey, I come from a small family (only 5 cousins!) so rampant reproduction clearly isn't in my genetics. As child-free people get older we have to prioritise platonic relationships, including becoming auties (or uncles) to our platonic partner's kids.

Then marriage. I don't need to tell you that people are getting married later in life and that divorce rates are going up. Marriage was once upon a time (not that long ago tbh) a necessity. Nursing homes didn't exist and women couldn't work. If a woman wanted financial security, she needed to marry. People marrying for love is actually a modern concept. And we're living longer: no longer is marriage a promise for the next twenty years, it's a promise for fifty!

Because we're beginning to embrace diversity and individuality, it is becoming harder to find a life partner. You have to find someone who is a gender you are attracted to, and they are attracted to your gender. Then ask if they want kids. Is marriage important to them? Do they want monogamy or polyamory? Do they want an open relationship? Are your sex drives compatible? Plus you have to be emotionally and sensually compatible. And have hobbies in common?

There's a lot more to think about now than there was just 10 years ago.

And while it is frustrating, I don't think it's a bad thing. If you're heterosexual, monogamous, want marriage and kids, prioritise a romantic partner, have an average sex drive, and want a romantic relationship where you are financially intertwined, then you maybe have never thought about these preferences. While the ideas I've talked about are beginning to slip into the mainstream (there's a really good article on the GQ website about relationship anarchy) it's still assumed that everyone wants the same thing (lol, we don't). Despite being very open about my sexual orientation, I get mistaken for being heterosexual all the time. And it's assumed I want a relationship and must be actively looking.

As far as I'm concerned, true liberation comes when we not only accept that not everyone wants the same thing from their romantic and sexual relationships, but we stop assuming it too. That means that when you date you don't assume you're on the same page as everyone on Tinder (the mainstream types are really bad for doing this). It's 2019, people shouldn't have to 'come out' anymore.

Part of me was scared to write this as I might come off as 'just haven't met the right person' or that the whole post might be a muddled mind dump. I was also concerned it might put potential suitors off as they might assume I'm a bit wacky or incapable of love (even if there is a 90% chance I won't feel the same way, at least romantically). Even though I don't have a romantic crush right now, I know one might emerge again at one point (you know, in another four years).

But what's the saying? The right person will love you because you are you.

Whether that love is platonic, romantic or familial.

Now go forth and love people in a way that feels right for you.
morag | mo adore
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I went to Lisbon and ate some vegan food

It feels as though Lisbon is the place to be seen right now. And with good reason: it's pretty, it's warm, it has tasty Mediterranean food, and it's cheaper than most other European cities.

Tbh, though, it wasn't actually on my list. A long-distance bff who I don't see very often was attending a conference and asked if I wanted to join her (not at the conference itself mind, she's studying for a PhD in neuroscience....and I couldn't even pass a first-year high school physics test #humanitiesuntilidie). Obviously, I said yes. It's still a holiday and it beats going to Manchester (where she lives) any day.

I liked Lisbon a lot more than I thought I would. Admittedly it's not the fast-paced city break full of famous sights that I usually opt for. It's much more relaxed and two full days did me just fine for some casual wandering.

I also ate some vegan food, obviously, because this is me and food is my love. I work in the travel industry and spend a lot of my days writing travel guides. One of the first guides I ever penned was a food guide to Portugal. Admittedly I couldn't eat a lot of what I was writing about, but one or few things did stand out to me and I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

So, without further ado, this is the vegan food I ate in Lisbon.

Giallo Gelados

Gelato bars are everywhere in Lisbon, and this is just the first of two that made the list. The branding and storefront is a cutesy yellow, so between that and the vegan sign, I knew I had to have a look. I opted for a cone with three different flavours: guava + cinnamon, wild berry, and lemon + mint ice cream.

Restaurante Esperança

My favourite Lisbon was Lisbon at night, especially alfresco dining in the warm Mediterranean climate. On our first night, we found this Italian restaurant, Esperança, which offers vegan cheese on its pizzas (saying that, I still opted for a Marinara). While I've never visited Italy (boo!) and can't comment on what "real" Neopolitan pizza tastes like - this was definitely the nicest pizza I've ever had. The base was skinny-mini thin and the topping was spot on!

Pop Ceréal Café 

Yes, classy Lisbon is home to a hipster cereal bar. So obviously I had to check it out. I don't know how many cereal brands this place was home to, but it was a lot. And you can pick your milk (I went for almond). The decor was also very Instagram worthy.

daTerra Bairro Alto

For dinner on our second night, we visited a vegetarian buffet near our apartment that we had walked past a few times. I have mixed feelings on this one. I loved that it was a buffet and that the food was filled with Mediterranean goodness. But it was a bit...simple. Don't get me wrong, simple can be good. But it's not somewhere I'd head if I was looking for something special. Though the glass of Duoro white wine I had was lovely! And the veganised version of pastéis de nata!


Told you that sorbet would make another appearance! There's not much you can say when it comes to reviewing sorbet (I mean, it's sorbet) but I'd commit a crime for some of that pistachio again. 

If you've been to Lisbon and ate some vegan food, let me know!
morag | mo adore
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The consent condom hurts more than it helps

You might have noticed that I went on a bit of a Twitter rant the other day.

Okay, I go on Twitter rants a lot - but this was bigger than usual.

An Argentinian company Tulipán has created a "consent condom" that can only be accessed if four hands simultaneously press buttons on each side of its box.


A few situations where this consent condom is an impractical pile of trash:
  • You are consensually tied up
  • Someone is amputated or disabled in another way
  • Someone prefers a certain type of condom (do they come in different sizes? latex free?)
  • There are more than two people engaging in intercourse
But really, the reason I'm so pissed off is not because of the practicalities of having to solve a fucking Rubix Cube to get some, it's because it does fuck all to fix the problem society has with consent. 

In fact, I think it actually adds to society's fucked up ideas of what consent actually is. 

If you're wondering what the fuck I personally mean by consent and how I see it operating in the perfect world, please read my 4,000-word rant on the subject. It's great, if shouty.  

I'm not going to go over what the fuck consent is, because the aforementioned blog covers that. What I will do however is rip this consent condom to shreds.

First up: coercion

In a perfect world consent would be a simple yes or no answer to the question "would you like to bang me?". But in the shitty, real world we actually live in people can be pressurised into saying yes to sex. Alcohol, drugs, power imbalances, mental health problems, and lack of assertiveness can all create environments where someone might say "yes" when what they really mean is "okay because I don't really know how to say no". 

That is not consent. 


The consent condom might get Agree To Press The Button Consent but that's not the same as Fuck Me, I Want You So Bad Consent. 

Second up: changing your mind

"I want to stop"

"Aww babe, but you pressed the buttons on the consent condom so you've consented until I blow my load"

Okay, I am being facetious with my dialogue. But this is an important part of consent that the consent condom doesn't cover: someone is allowed to withdraw consent at any time. 

You can say yes to sex, and you can click a fucking button or sign a piece of paper, but you are always allowed to change your mind. The consent condom flies in the face of that rule.

See also: consent apps on your phone where people fucking sign away their consent. Shudder. 

Third up: you still need to consent to the individual sex acts

Sexual intercourse is a broad term that covers a lot of sexual acts. When you're getting jiggy with it, you need to make sure the person you're with (and yourself, of course) are consenting to the particular sex acts that are being acted out. 

This is where so many of us (my younger self included) fail to grasp consent. There are many sex acts out there, and you'll meet very few people are happy with all of them, all the time. There are a few mainstream sex acts that I don't enjoy, and I have ended up in arguments mid-sex with people gobsmacked that I might know what my body likes sexually more than they do. 

Consent isn't just about getting that initial, overarching yes that this person is down for getting naked. It's about making sure that they are comfortable with whatever you are doing - from relaxed missionary with the lights out to an anal-centric threesome.

Fourth up: men hate condoms already

During my big 4,000+ rant on sexual consent, I mentioned a hill that I am prepared to die on: condom use, STD testing, and contraception is a consent issue. But I've never had a man turn around to me and ask "what are your feelings on condoms use? Are you comfortable going barrierless?"

Condoms aren't sexy and, yeah, sex feels better without them (don't @ me). But that doesn't change the fact that I'd rather lose a bit sensation than risk an STD or pregnancy (I'm not going to put my body through hormonal contraception while I'm single, so I rely on barrier). I only feel comfortable going barrierless when I'm steady with someone.

Making condoms more difficult to use isn't going to change that. They are already fiddly things: sometimes you need to spend 5 minutes finding one, the packets can be difficult to rip into, and sometimes you roll it on the wrong way.

I rest my case. 

Fifth up: it doesn't get to the root of the problem

Granted, the creators of the consent condom have said themselves that this is designed to fix the world - but it's to get people to stop and think about consent. I say bollocks to that, because (as I mentioned above) this condom reinforces the confusion society already has around consent. 

The problem isn't that society doesn't like the idea of consent, it's that we can't grasp it. A lot of people who have committed sexual assault don't even realise that they have. If I was to go back in time and pull up past partners for crossing the boundaries of consent, they would probably justify it one way or another (in fact, some of my past partners have been pulled up for touching me in a way I did not like - in some cases I had verbally said no - and they defended themselves rather than apologising and vowing to change). 

People are thinking about consent. We're having national dialogues about it. You can't get away from the topic right now. 

If you're a left-leaning, rich person who can do some good for the world, I don't want you to make products that encourage consent - because consent is not a gap in the market that needs to be filled. I want you to funnel that money into a campaign for better sex education, go buy 100 copies of some incredible feminist-leaning books about sex and give them out for free, or buy advertising space on a billboard and fill it with a banner that says "people are allowed to give consent and then change their mind". 

You know, something that gets to the root of the issue and makes people stop and think about their attitude to other people's bodies. 

Sixth (and last up): it sides with preparators more than victims

I know the creators probably had good intentions when they brain-stormed the consent condom. 

But the thing with the consent condom (and the other forms of 'proving' consent, such as filming your partner saying yes) is that it's more about people covering their backs than it is about making people feel safe. 

Because, as I said earlier, this condom doesn't actually guarantee that real consent was given. It just proves that a box was opened. 

Hypothetical situation: 
  • You consent to sex with someone
  • Open the box to get a condom (and prove your consent)
  • They start doing a specific sex act that you don't want to be done to you
  • You ask them to stop
  • They don't, because you gave consent (duh)
  • You end up assaulted, feel violated, but can't take legal action because they have 'proof' that you consented. 
I know men are scared right now (and you should be because too many of you are personified trash cans and you're getting your comeuppance). But if the conversation around consent scares you and you have a massive fear of being falsely accused, you need to sit with yourself about why that is. 

Why do you so desperately want proof that all your sexual encounters were consensual? Do you look back at some of your previous sexual encounters and realise that you could have practised better consent? Do you not believe all the stories from women that are currently in the media? Do you think false accusations are more common than they actually are? Do you actively want to assault women and think this is a good way to avoid prosecution? 

As far as I'm concerned, someone with solid communication and empathy skills shouldn't need to partake in a weird condom-opening ceremony to prove that their partner has consented. Consent, at the end of the day, is largely a communication and empathy skill.

And if you don't know how to communicate and empathise with sexual partners than you're probably going to cross a boundary at some point - consent condom or not. 

morag | mo adore
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My favourite shows of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (aka, another instalment of Morag attends an arts festival and reviews it after it's finished)

The Wedding Singer

"I really wish there was a blog out there that reviewed live shows after they've finished their run"

Said no one ever. 

But when have I ever let other people's expectations stop me from living my best life?


First, it was The Fringe and then it was the Edinburgh International Improv Festival. Now it's the turn of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival to get a classic little-bit-too-late review from me. I'll never change.  

I'm a massive fan of comedy (including local, indie comedy) so I was there: multiple times, usually front row, and filled last weekend with a show a night because who needs sleep, really? I would have been at every show if I could duplicate myself, didn't have bills to pay, and didn't decide to book a holiday to Lisbon in the middle of it all. Because I was there so much though I've decided that I don't have the time (or the energy, or the patience) to write up mini-reviews of everything I attended. I saw some really funny shows but I also watched some questionable ones too, and I'd rather not hurt anyone's feelings. So instead I'm hand-picking my top 5, 

And, yeah the festival is over (boo!) so I've included at the end of each review the next performance by that act that I'm aware of. Because I need to write this post with some kind of purpose and a Call to Action.

Michelle McManus: Pop Goes the Idol

Remember Michelle McManus from Glasgow who won Pop Idol in 2003? I had totally forgotten she existed until I spotted her show on the event listings. Anything that involves 00s pop culture is up my street, even better when it involves a cheesy one-hit wonder. And I knew that even if it was awful, it would awful in the most perfect way possible. 

It wasn't awful. In fact, it was my favourite show of the festival. She was camp, adorable, and knows how to take the piss out of herself. Becoming a forgotten reality tv pop star probably wasn't the most fun thing that ever happened to Michelle and I think it's amazing that she's made something incredible out of it. Plus, she sang All This Time (and yes, I loved every second of it). 

Next time you can catch her show: she mentioned performing it at the Edinburgh Fringe, so keep an eye out when the programme is released in two weeks time.

The Wedding Singer

Full disclaimer: one of my best friends starred in this show and I bought a slightly discounted ticket. It was her first show in a few years and I had to show my support because I was very proud of her getting one line in her role as Waitress 3. 

Truthfully, I enjoy musicals but I'm not in love with them. So it says a lot that I'm choosing this as one of my favourite performances. I love the film The Wedding Singer and they did a great job of bringing it to the stage with infectious energy and fun dance routines (little known fact: I'm an ex-dancer, and my eye is still trained). The casting was also spot on and you can see why people were cast in their roles. 

Next time you can catch the show: keep an eye on the Theatre South Productions website for their next production.

Absolute Improv

If you know me, you know that improv is my favourite form of comedy - so you can bet your ass I was at all the improv shows. TBC Improv has been on my radar for months but they are Edinburgh-based, so I was excited to finally see their show Absolute Improv. And they did not disappoint. They did an hour of short-form improv (which I would take any day over longform) and I was howling throughout. The audience was also on top form. 

Next time you can catch their show: keep an eye on the TBC Improv website for their next show.

Improv Killed My Dog: Magnum P.I. 

Ever heard of Magnum P.I.? A cop show from the 80s? I hadn't until Improv Killed My Dog announced their show. But apparently only one person from Improv Killed My Dog has seen it, so I was good in company.

Yes, they decided to do an improvised episode of Magnum P.I. live on stage based on audience suggestions when 3/4 of the team have not seen a single episode. It sounds like an awful idea on paper, but Improv Killed my Dog are my favourite improv team so I decided to trust that they had thought this through. 

They did pull it off. And I laughed. A lot. Despite not really understanding half the references because I didn't exist until 1990 (I've been feeling really old with 30 only 18 months away, but writing that sentence has put a spring in my step). 

Next time you can catch Improv Killed My Dog: they put on a monthly improv show on the second Monday of every month, so like them on Facebook to keep up to date.

Improv Thunderdome

This event was described as "competitive improv" and to be honest - despite attending about 467893837 improv shows a month - I didn't have a fucking clue what the fuck that meant. Would there be an actual Thunderdome? Would Tina Turner show up? Would there be points? Does the audience decide the winner? All I know is that I love improv and I've seen the participants in multiple other shows, so I was confident it would be a good night. 

There were two teams (Merchant Kitty, and Neil Buchanan Street because....why not?), along with a host, a neutral extra improviser to take part in some games, and someone to keep track of points. All games were short form and had a point scoring system: such as the first team to run out of witty statements, a Spelling Bee competition, and another where someone had to leave the room and guess the audience suggestions when they came back. 

The show was high-energy and didn't disappoint. It was my favourite of the improv shows, and I would see it again if they brought it back for the next festival.

Next time you can catch Thunderdome: (to my knowledge) it was a one-off event, but the participants were a mash-up of two members from Improv Killed My Dog (next event here), three members of Trojan Hearse (next event here), one member of The Clap (Facebook here), and one member of Couch (Facebook here). So, uh, if you want to start watching as much improv as I do, I've given you a head start.

Were you at the Glasgow Comedy International Festival? Let me know in the comments and tell me what your favourite show was! 
morag | mo adore
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