14 August 2010

I grew a fringe at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival...where to begin?

Think puppets, musicians, beatboxers, magicians, unicyclists and flamboyant costumes.  Now picture these against a backdrop of cobble-stoned streets, ancient buildings, beautiful hills, old monuments and a majestic castle (Edinburgh Castle, pictured).  This is what comes to my mind when I think of the Edinburgh Fringe Fest.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh's High Street, was bursting with entertainment at every corner.  There I saw the world's most pierced woman, bucket drummers, fairies, a goldfish with a tuxedo (pictured), jugglers, a beat-boxer who simultaneously played harmonica, and an amorphous tights man from Japan (he would change shapes in his show, pictured).  In addition to this street of crazy characters, there were over 700 bars and almost 400 entertainment venues to stumble upon in the laneways of Edinburgh.

With a program boasting over 300 pages (each page summarising dozens of shows), there were numerous shows going on at any one time, each day, from about 9 o'clock in the morning til the wee hours of the following day.  I was lucky enough to score several free tickets during my week at the festival, simply from being in the right place at the right time.  I also managed to meet Triple J host Sam Simmons (who was really friendly and weird) and an American comedian (I forgot his name) who got us into a fun VIP party on my last night there.

My favourite shows (in order) were:
  • Nina Conti's 'Talk to the Hand' (ventriloquist)
  • Stick, Stones and Broken Bones (shadow puppeteer from Quebec)
  • Sam Simmons' 'Fail' (weird one-man-show/stand-up)
  • Barbershopera's 'Apocalypse? No!' (melodrama opera musical)
  • A Midsummer Night's Madness (RnB/Hip Hop rendition of Shakespeare play)
  • Continent (Japanese miming)
  • Oxford Alternotives (a capella group from said university) 
    Quite often I just needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of the festival so I was delighted to learn of all the tranquil and beautiful places to visit around Edinburgh.  I especially enjoyed visiting Arthur's Seat (see previous post), Calton Hill (pictured), the Princes Street Gardens (pictured), several museums (for instance, there's a Writer's Museum and they even have a Childhood Museum filled with old toys) and cute coffee shops (I ate at the cafe where JK Rowling worked on her Harry Potter books!).

    Edinburgh has so far been my favourite city in Europe, although it may no longer be after my visit to Barcelona next week.


    Post a Comment