This was on my list of 30 things to do, so that’s another one ticked off – no 18 out of 30.
We went up on the train on the Friday night and came back on Sunday afternoon, so we only had 1 1/2 days at the festival. We saw 5 shows on the Saturday, 1 on the Sunday, which means we saw about 0.25% of the shows on offer. So this was very much dipping a toe in the Festival rather than full immersion.
I had meant to plan what I wanted to see and book some tickets in advance, but that kind of got away from me a bit so when we arrived we had nothing booked and nothing planned except having had a vague and haphazard look at some things on the internet. On the first morning we went to the half price hut at the Mound but got a bit overwhelmed by remembering the names of the shows flashing up on the signs, trying to find out what they were about and deciding whether we wanted tickets before we got to the front of the queue. We didn’t even have the proper festival guide at this point, so we really were at sea.
So we abandoned that strategy and headed to the High Street, which is the centre of activities and has the central Fringe shop and box office.
We picked up a festival guide and the leafletting started in earnest as people kept chatting us up to come and see their show and we accumulated an entire rainforest’s worth of fliers. My top tips for leafletters can be found here.
We got in the box office queue with no idea what we were going to book, but it was quite a long queue so we had the chance to flick through the guide and get thoroughly leafletted while we were an easy target waiting in the queue. We picked shows based on their having good leaflets / posters. I’m glad we did it this way to be honest. Next time, I’d maybe book a couple of big name shows, but for the smaller shows I like just going with the flow and going to whatever comes my way. It obviously makes it more hit and miss but it does mean that you get to see things that you usually wouldn’t, so you get more variety.
I’ll review each show separately so this post doesn’t get too unwieldy, but in summary we saw (1) a comedy about two rubbish magicians, (2) some stand up from an ex-stockbroker, (3) a magic act by a guy dressed as a dragon with a chihuahua, (4) an all-singing all-dancing satirical news show, (5) some stand up in which the comedian participates in an imaginary bike race with Jesus and (6) a musical comedy about a guy about to commit suicide.
I’d say it’s definitely worth going to the Festival just for a weekend, and actually since we spent around £100 per day on shows then going for only a couple of days is the budget-friendly option. But I was left wanting more and I think next year I’d like to got for 4 days to a week at least. Edinburgh is a very picturesque city, but we didn’t get much time for sightseeing.
I obviously absorbed some of the comedy in the atmosphere because I came out with a killer joke. Mr Beet said he fancied noodles for dinner and I said there must be a restaurant called “Och Ay The Noodle*”. I had to repeat it a couple of times, but he finally recognised it as the comedy gold it was.
Even though we were on holiday, Mr Beet and I got up at 7am to go for a 9 mile run along the Firth of Forth on the Sunday morning. Yes, actually I do think I deserve a bloody medal or something.
*another food pun. I’m a one-trick pony.