Monday, August 20, 2012

Edinburgh Fringe Festival


People keep telling me about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and how I need to go and it is the largest arts festival in the world. Well, you know I can't handle long plane rides with my size, but I did send someone who used to always report on the BAFTA's for the site and is really snarky and lives over there so I thought it made perfect sense. That and there are a whole bunch of people in the UK who read the site. But, even if you have no idea what the Festival is, it is still a really fun read.



Greetings and salutations from the biggest, baddest, and wettest arts festival in the world- the Edinburgh Fringe! I could say I was a super-fancy monocle-wearing artist-type who was taking advantage of all the amazing plays, operas and highfalutin’ book readins' going on all over the city, but I’d be straight-up lying. Nope. I am a comedy whore. I like the darker, dirtier side of the Festival- the Comedy Fringe. The Comedy Fringe is basically a micro-festival in which many comics from around the world fly in, get verrry drunk, and scorn each other’s success.

And so I will be bringing you a little mix - let’s say a Chex Mix (except the little crackers- hate them) of gossip, reportage, and reviews for shows you will most likely be able to see one day near you.

Several things you need to know about Edinburgh, just so you get the flavour of the city:

1. The Weather- This was my completely unsurprising weather forecast for my time in Edinburgh:

Basically this is the internal dialogue of anyone, every day at the Festival in regards to the weather: Ugh, why does it have to rain ALL the time- oh wait, cloud moved, sun’s back, where’s my sunglasses, here they are...oh, hang on, sun’s gone again...gah, slanty rain it is freezing how can it be August? Is this REALLY August?-anyone have an extra umbrella- wait, cloud moving again, hey this sun is really nice...no no! How am I sunburned already??!- oh, hang on, sleeting now, should cool down the skin... 2. The Flyers- Settle down, Philadelphians, not those Flyers. I am talking about the insane amount of flyers that get shoved in your hand as you are walking down the Royal Mile. Actually, it is as you are walking everywhere. On 15 minute one pass down the Royal Mile (which is the main drag in the Old Town where all the performers go to lure tourists to their shows) I took every flyer offered to me. Here's the result:

3. The Performers- Granted, many of these people are not performing in the Comedy Fringe. Many of these people are drama students (ahem ‘artistes!’) whose parents have waaaaay too much money and can afford the £10,000 each they’d need to put on an awful show about an anorexic, mentally-ill woman on trial (of course the audience is the jury) for either being misunderstood or hacking someone to death, or both. Or an 'absolutely hilarious' comic show involving 2 19-year-old guys dressed in sheets and affecting old ladies' voices. Or something to that effect. At the Fringe there are thousands of shows to see, so how do the performers get your attention? By doing things like this:

There's the classic 'I am dead' pose on the street...




Then there's showing some leg...



Or doing something completely charming- this girl's marionettes played the little instruments!



Or going for the WTF? factor as seen here




And here (pretty sure these are drama students, as previously mentioned...)



You get the idea now.

4. The Scenery- at the risk of sounding like a bit of a wuss, Edinburgh truly is a beautiful, striking city. The old town has lots of little winding streets, life-threateningly steep staircases, gas lights in doorways, cobbled streets, and the cutest little Cathedral. The New Town is just all incredible Georgian architecture. Rows and rows of houses, and neat little manicured squares, and fabulous statues everywhere. They have a castle right in the middle. SERIOUSLY. A CASTLE! RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE! See? (photo)



So that's your introduction to the Fringe- I'll be back with reviews, gossip, and celebrity sightings! Don't forget, if you follow me on Twitter, at @AdamandtheKants, I will have more frequent updates, and might even be able to catch shows you recommend. TTFN!

24 comments:

Frufra said...

Great report - can't wait to see more of Edinburgh.

Agent**It said...

Wonderfully written!

rejectedcarebear said...

Hilarious, good post!!

Este Jones said...

Was in Edinburgh last year during the Fringe Festival. Loved the freak shows in the streets. However, Glasgow is MUCH more fun.

Amber said...

I'm adding this to my list of must-dos, which is growing more unattainable by the day. :)

islander said...

This is where i live so i'm going to enjoy reading these updates. I usually just go see the standup comedians too.

dia papaya said...

I LOVE that accent! I keep dreaming I'll find me a nice Scot to settle down with and listen to long winded stories. Yes I'm talking to you James McAvoy.

Or maybe you have some friends @islander?

islander said...

Yes Dia, but unfortunately they're married!

dia papaya said...

Well rats! Haha! I am mostly married myself and should not be entertaining such thoughts. But I can still dream....

__-__=__ said...

Great post, thanks! Can't wait to visit!!

Cancan said...

Be sure to check out Martin Dockery! He is performing this week and is a friend. Thanks!

ash said...

great report. i visited edinburgh earlier this summer just for fun and loved it - the description of the city is spot on, it's such a lovely place. great restaurants too, especially in the new town.

Sherry said...

Great post. Look forward to seeing more of them.

Susan said...

This is absolutely true and not just because I'm biased :)

Salon deWinchester said...

I was at the festival 10 years ago and experienced the most glorious weather... though it got a little misty towards the end of (just) one day. I don't know if it is the world's largest arts festival, but there is no finer event for people watching. I still have vivid memories of the parade. And I enjoyed Edinburgh more than Glasgow, which I had visited six weeks prior. Just sayin.

Agent**It said...

Please report on the female comics !

auntliddy said...

Have a friend living near there, and she makes scotland sound snd seem si interesting!!!!

Miz said...

I'm a Weegie, which makes me the mortal enemy of the Burghers :p

That being said, Edinburgh is a beautiful city, and I've spent quite a bit of time there for burlesque purposes. Glasgow does have a much better nightlife, and the history of the place is far more interesting to me than the 'burgh is.

Be sure to catch some burly shows, especially if Cherry Loco or Hells Belle are performing! I won't be at any shows this year or I'd arrange a wee CDaN meet up!

Lola said...

My daughter's school was one of 10 (I think) high schools in the US chosen to go perform at the festival a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, she was too young to join in. My friends said it was an amazing city.

Amartel said...

Edinburgh is a blast. (Warning: restaurants all close at 9pm but you just go to a bar. You were going there anyway.) Don't go during Fringe. It's just a gathering of attention whores. Regular Edinburgh weirdness does not need to be supplemented by imported freaks.

DianaofThemyscira said...

I love love love Edinburgh but Scotland in August is a toughie. Midges :(

Brown Lori said...

seems neat

Miz said...

@diana - try Avon's Skin So Soft, the greatest insect repellant ever! Midgies don't stand a chance!

Amanda said...

So glad you guys like the entry! It means a lot. I cannot overemphasise how the Fringe needs to be your next holiday destination.

Just a few specifics:

@Cancan- thanks! I will put it on my list of potentials- must check out the times compared to my existing schedule. :)

@Agent**It- I've already written two reviews for woman and am going to see another one hopefully in the next two days- an Australian woman by the name of O'Dougherty I believe. People are dying over her! I wouldn't leavemy girls out! X