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Jonathan Miller trained as a doctor at Cambridge and University College London. He had already made a name lorhimselt ln comedy before he joined Peter Cook, Alan Bennet etal lor the Festival production of Beyond the Fringe. Tour: of America and lame lollovred and Miller loreook his medical background to produce and dlrect theatre and, latterly, opera. A recent attempt to concentrate on medlcine proved short-lived and he returned to the theatre where he is now directing Eugene O'Neill's ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night' in the West End, with Jack Lemmon. Chairman oi the Fringe Festival, he is a treguent visitor to Edinburgh.
I like the National Library, it ‘ has very good facilities and-
it’s extremely comfortable , courteous and efﬁcient. Manuscripts and books are brought with great promptness. The staff are enormously scholarly and helpful. I also like the Camera Obscura; there’s this curious paradox of people standing on the parapet looking at the view and then going down to look at this strange optical reproduction of it. Edinburgh is just ﬁlled with interesting views. The view from the back of the George Hotel of the hills across the other side of the river, particularly when it’s sunlit. I very much like the Water of Leith and Leith Village and all around there. I love Dean Village — the enormous view from below of the Dean Bridge. When I first came to Edinburgh about thirty years ago the ﬁrst thing that struck me was that strange, rather satanic, sillhouette of the Scott Monument against the evening sky, with the crags behind it. It always seems rather like a Dore engraving of Dante.
Edinburgh has changed considerably less than say, Glasgow, and I’m glad to see that so much of the New Town has been preserved. Another place is that wonderful Geddes building up by the castle which I think is beautiful. Princes Street is an abomination, I’d take it out and dump it. The Scots have this uncanny ability to let commerce destroy their most beautiful amenities — it still goes on, but only those who know the city well appreciate it.
Usually TV is pretty inaccurate; it’s all to do with the Castle and the Tattoo and Princes Street, everything that’s most horrible about the touristic side of Edinburgh. The most subtle and interesting places about Edinburgh are never seen by tourists. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten particularly well in Edinburgh, there’s one place up behind The Scottish Arts Council building in Charlotte Square which is
quite reasonable, but I’ve never eaten well as far as I can remember. 3 You put up with the food that you get because there are other things to be seen.
One of my favourite things in Edinburgh is the National Gallery, of course. It’s an amazing, just astonishing collection. And it‘s one of those great galleries where without being so enormous that you get exhausted you can see the most astonishing masterpieces. The Gallery of Modern Art is very pleasant to look at and they have nice things there — and the gardens are lovely. The most wonderful architecture is in the Royal Scottish Museum in Chambers Street, I have enormous admiration for the way it’s been kept. They have a lot of interesting and creative curators there and the ornamental ironwork is one of the great Victorian masterpieces. There used to be some wonderful bookshops which aren‘t there anymore, but I like Waterstones, that is a very fine bookshop.
Cramond is very beautiful as is the Forth Railway Bridge and I like the little seaside towns towards Berwick.
I hate the vast crowd of tourists in Edinburgh — fortunately most of
them stick in the places which are the most horrible anyway. They pour down Princes Street and the result it that the most beautiful parts , of the New Town like Moray i Place, Danube Street and Ann ,
Street are deserted. I think Edinburgh is an intriguing, wonderful place.
Scott Monument This 200ft Gothic creation in Princes Street Gardens may well have been Gerry 3 Anderson’s model for Thunderbird 3, and for those willing souls ready to climb up it there is the hairy reward of a stunning view.
The National Library on George IV Bridge has the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots among its exhibits and has a copy of every publication printed in Britain! Open Mon 9.30am—Spm, Tue~Thurs 9.30am— '
The List 8 - 21 August 65