All the Fun of the Fringe
September 21, 2012
By: Laura Hunter
Whilst there are downsides to having your friends from home scattered across the country as you all head off in different directions for university, there are also some pretty amazing upsides. One particular upside which I took full advantage of this summer was the “free accommodation in a different city”, resulting in a whirlwind few days in Edinburgh during August.
My friend Amy’s university flat is just a short walk from the Edinburgh Royal Mile which in the summer means it is in a prime location for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Having never been to the Fringe before I was unsure about what to expect, but was ready to see as much of the Fringe as possible during the three days we had there; this included leaving Norwich at a very painful 5:50am. Aforementioned flat also came with a flat-mate who worked at the Fringe box office and who proved to be an invaluable source of Fringe information, especially given the sheer number of shows to choose from. There were literally hundreds!
Edinburgh truly transforms during the Fringe; the streets are plastered with posters which themselves are covered in one word reviews and star ratings, promoters litter the pavements ready to thrust their flyers in your hand with proclaims of “this is the best show you’ll see this year” and the air is thick with the delicious smells from the food stands. The whole city is alive, caught up in Fringe Festival bubble.
One of the brilliant things about the Fringe is the spontaneity that it can inspire in you, within two hours of arriving in Edinburgh we were in the Gilded Balloon watching ‘The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ a brilliant one man show written by Mike Daisey about both the brilliance and conflict that lies behind the technological giant that is Apple Inc.
Amy and I managed to see seven shows during our short visit, with the shows encapturing the variety of the Fringe, covering a range of genres including comedy, mind reading, magic and theatre. Thanks to Amy’s flat-mate, a browse of the review magazines and a bit of luck all the shows we saw were fantastic. However two shows definitely stood out more than others:
A magician who has appeared on the BBC show “The Magicians”; his stage presence, audience banter and most importantly magic tricks were of the highest quality. He left the audience baffled and wanting more, as any great magician should. Without a doubt deserving of the many five star reviews.
The Noise Next Door
A five piece improvisation group from Brighton (including two University of Kent graduates) whose show lead to an hour filled with hilarity and laughing so hard you cried. Every show is completely different thanks to audience suggestions, which resulted in our show’s two most memorable sketches being “Lord of the Swingers: The Battery Powered Bilbo” and “Archie Fox and the Overly Sexual Inuit” which was recorded and put on YouTube as part of their “Totally Smashing Capers of Archie Fox” series. If you get the chance to see them, you will not regret it.
The Edinburgh Fringe is something everyone should experience at least once, if not multiple times – I know I’ll definitely be back! Luckily, with Amy studying veterinary medicine I’ll have somewhere to stay upon my return to the Fringe for the next few years.
Images:http://edinburghinteractive.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Fringe_logo_Yellowbird_RGB.jpg; http://www.edfringe.com/uploads/event/pete-firman-hoodwinker_24977.jpg; http://files.list.co.uk/images/2011/07/26/the-noise-next-door-1-LST087987.jpg