Actress goat forced to walk across Edinburgh following parking crackdown


A THESPIAN goat is having to be walked for a mile through busy city streets after a jobsworth traffic warden banned its trailer from outside the theatre.

Pedigree goat Alexa is one of the most unusual stars of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, appearing on stage every day in Two Thirds Below.

To avoid chaotic and unsanitary scenes inside the Gryphon Venue before appearing onstage, Alexa, five, should have been kept outside in a trailer.

Alexa, with owner Dennis Rankine, turns heads in central Edinburgh
Alexa, with owner Dennis Rankine, turns heads in central Edinburgh


But one of the city’s notorious army of parking enforcers ordered Alexa’s owners, Gorgie City Farm, to clear off, saying they are breaking the rules.

Dennis Rankine, owner of the farm, has little choice but to put Alexa on a lead and walk her through the streets in time for the 4pm show.

Dennis said the bizarre situation arose shortly after he arrived for Alexa’s theatre debut at 3.30pm on Monday this week.

A warden told him that because the trailer did not have an engine, it and his car were regarded as an oversized vehicle and not allowed to occupy two street side bays.

Dennis said: “The guy told me that if the trailer had an engine it would have been okay but because it didn’t I had to shift it or face a fine.

“I had to take Alexa away without her getting to perform. It’s a bit daft.”

Two Thirds Below was written by long-standing Festival veteran, 42-year-old Mabel Aitken.

It centres on five ladies attempting to enjoy a tea party. Alexa’s big moment comes during a pivotal scene where she’s revealed tucking into the ladies’ tea and cakes.

Mabel said: “I’ve been coming to Edinburgh for a number of years and I’ve never heard anything like it.”

Alexa's previous acting experience is restricted to school nativities
Alexa’s previous acting experience is restricted to school nativities


The actress, who has worked on shows such as Rab C Nesbitt and Sea of Souls and counts David Walliams and David Tennant among co-stars.

“I’ve never worked with a goat before but I suppose David Walliams was pretty unpredictable,” she added.

A spokeswoman for security contractor NSL which deploys wardens on behalf of Edinburgh City Council confirmed the trailers should not be parked illegally.

She said: “No Penalty Charge Notice was issued and the driver was asked to move his vehicle, which he duly did.

“We wish the goat all the very best and hope the audience isn’t too gruff.”

Alexa isn’t the first city resident to fall foul of parking regulations in bizarre circumstances.

In November 2002, Scotland’s rugby players were left stunned after a parking attendant slapped their bus with a ticket at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel.

And in 2003, a hearse was ticketed in Great Junction Street – as it waited for a funeral.