I have always loved Edinburgh. It was the first foreign city that I truly fell in love with, and that first love is certainly not easy to forget. So, when I was planning my long haul flights and where to arrive in to, I knew I had three days to kill before flying to Iceland, and immediately, Edinburgh seemed like the obvious choice.
Note: I am interrupting my current South America related posting to share my experiences at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. By the time this is posted, the festival will still be going on, and thus I wanted to post it quickly so that it may be of use to others. The South America posts will recommence soon!
I went ahead and booked my flights without a second thought. I figured I would spend my days walking up and down the cobblestone streets and closes, eating haggis and drinking whiskey like I had loved in the past. However, when I went to book accommodation in a hostel I had stayed at on a previous visit, the prices were so high that my jaw nearly hit the floor! It took me a while to figure it out, but eventually I realised that this was because my visit happened to coincide with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – and all of a sudden I was even more excited to get back to my Scottish love.
Having been to Edinburgh many times before meant that I’d seen most of the sights and attractions, which actually presented me with a lot of freedom. It meant that I didn’t have to go and sightsee, I could just enjoy the magic of the festival without any worries at all.
So, in three days I saw 9 ticketed shows and four free street shows. I won’t talk about the street shows as they are constantly changing, but I wanted to give a rundown of all the shows I saw – so that any other festival punters may get a few recommendations on which shows are really worth their hard earned pounds.
So, without further ado, here is what I thought of each show that I saw!
Joey Page: Perhaps Under Stars That Would Stretch Forever (an Idiot Explains the Universe in Under an Hour)
This small comedy show certainly divided the crowd. About half of the crowd was laughing, and the other half were totally unamused, so this one definitely comes down to taste.
Personally, I had an absolute blast during this hour of surreal and abstract stand up, but it certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cuppa tea. If a guy wearing a pizza box on each hand and acting out a conversation between said pizza boxes before posing the question ‘is Jupiter an asshole?’ sounds like it would make you laugh, then this show would definitely be a few quid well spent.
‘dressed.’ tells the true story of a young woman who was raped during a break-in. I can’t say too much without leaving you knowing exactly what to expect, but I will say this – it was deeply moving and extremely well done. I would recommend this show in a heartbeat.
The Pin: Backstage
If you have a spare hour with time to kill, then ‘The Pin’ would be a great way to spend that time. However, compared to some of the other comedy shows I saw that were truly exceptional (Ad Libido, Daniel Sloss, Pottervision and Sheeps) it did fall a little bit flat.
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Ad Libido! This is a comedy based on a real womans struggle with sex. Fran Bushe has always found sex underwhelming and even painful – and this show is about her journey to try and ‘fix sex’.
It was so funny that I had tears streaming down my face, and the songs were incredibly clever.
Daniel Sloss: X
Daniel Sloss is certainly not an amateur comedian. He managed to command one of the much larger venues in Edinburgh with ease, and put forth a very direct yet endearing kind of humour. His performance style is in the same vein as Anthony Jeselnik, but with a much more sweet and positive view of the world.
There isn’t a lot better than a free show, but a free show that is actually exceptional?
Well that is like winning the lottery.
Pottervision is everything I had hoped it would be and more.
Basically, two dudes recreate Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in one hour, using terrible wigs, cheap props and some of the most on point Harry Potter impersonations and observations that you could hope for. This is a must see for any Harry Potter fan, but I recommend coming early, there are only a handful of really good seats and they go quickly, so you want to be one of the first people in line.
A Very Brexit Musical
Eh, you can skip this one.
Some of the actors were brilliant (to the dude portraying Joris Bohnson – you have incredible comedic timing) but some were so terrible that you would just be waiting for their scenes to be over! It was an inconsistent hour, but not bad value for a fiver.
Sheeps: Live and Loud Selfie Sex Harry Potter
This was my first introduction to the trio that is ‘Sheeps’, and what a wonderful introduction it was!
This was the kind of show that just flies by and the hour goes far too quickly. These guys have impeccable comedic timing, and their sketches are inventive, unique and oh so funny.
Another Harry Potter themed show… we are developing a theme here!
Spontaneous Potter is comedic improv – but centred around Harry Potter! I enjoyed this show immensely, but from other reviews it seems like it can be a bit hit or miss depending on the night. However, if you are a HP superfan like me, I think it is a risk that is well worth taking.
Getting to Edinburgh: Edinburgh is well connected to the world through their one airport, but be aware that it gets incredibly crowded during Fringe season, and transiting there is all kinds of chaotic
Edinburgh Fringe: The largest comedy and arts festival in the world happens each year in August
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lens
Remember: The shows of really well known performers sell out quickly (like Dylan Moran) so it does pay to book some things in advance, but definitely leave some room to see some unexpected and smaller shows
4 thoughts on “3 Days of Haggis and Hilarity at the Edinburgh Fringe”
love Edinburgh- and the Fringe!
That’s taken me back. In 1988 I was working in Edinburgh for most of the year and spent the three weeks of the Festival trying to cram in as many shows as possible while still putting in my 8 hours a day in the office. I think my record was 5 shows in one day, many of them good to brilliant. It was exhausting and wonderful and I’d love to do it again some time but without the need to work as well.
I couldn’t wrap my tastebuds around Haggis, but Edinburgh is right up there among my best trips ever across UK. 🙂