As an avid cheese enthusiast, I was already excited for the “The Guild of Cheesemakers” annual tasting at Summerhall, even if just to eat some artisan cheeses and learn a little of what I’d forgotten from my childhood summer job at a local Yorkshire cheese factory. What I got was so much more.
From washing your hands with warm lavender water before entering, to the candle lit room, accompanied by beautiful and sombre live cello music, it felt as if we were part of a secret society. The wonderfully cheery and bossy mistress of ceremonies Susannah, welcomed us with a glass of wine and we began the proceedings with toasts, ceremonial cutting of the cheese and an introduction from our experts- IJ Melis, Woefuldane Organic Dairy and Peters Yard. Their passion and knowledge was informative and infectious, I could have listened to them talk all night.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a cheese tasting.
A reading from the Ancient ‘Book of Curds’ acted to more haunting music, leads us, as the story unfolds within the confides of our guild meeting (with the help of more wine and cheese of course), to have to make a decision which could alter the fate of the human race. Would you choose to stop and start the aging process as you wished, if you had the chance? Would you be happy letting other people do that also? Would you choose immortality or mortality?
This show is what the Edinburgh festival is all about. It’s original, different, and downright delicious. I came for the cheese; I stayed for…everything else. If you are lucky enough to have or get a ticket, you are in for a real treat. If not, I think they are touring elsewhere, go find them. You won’t regret it.
Anna Wilkie – Thursday, 16 August 2012