The Edinburgh Fringe, like Christmas or Eurovision, comes but once a year. And, as with Christmas and Eurovision, it’s helpful to reconcile yourself now to the fact that:
- You will spend a shit tonne of money
- You will flood your body with trans fats (probably while wearing a questionable hat)
- You will inevitably have a cataclysmic row with a loved one about what it is you think you’re actually doing with your life.
Now that you’ve accepted these, let’s look at Seven other Crazy Experiences you can have at the Fringe!
(NB. This article is entitled ‘Seven Crazy Fringe Experiences’ because my show is called ‘Seven Crazy Bitches’ and I’m a shameless narcissist who loves to count.)
- Actually go and see stuff… There’s always one isn’t there? There’s always one Fringe veteran who prepares for their time in Edinburgh as if they’re in the final stages of pulling off the D Day landings. The Fringe Guide has been pored over, highlighted, condensed into a spreadsheet, laminated and finally origamied into a lanyard. THERE WILL BE NO DEVIATION FROM THE SCHEDULE. Don’t be that guy. But equally, don’t be the guy who spends the whole time in Frankenstein’s doing shots of apple sours.
- …but accept that you can’t see everything, so just get over it and see what you can. See above.
- Be a tourist, part 1 (I told you I love to count) If you want to go and climb the big hill, go and bloody climb the big hill. (Don’t do it in winklepickers. This might seem obvious but I learned the hard way.) If you’re coming up for a weekend, midway through the festival to see your mate’s show, that is AWESOME and supportive and cool, so don’t let some snotty twat put you off stroking Grey Friars Bobby, gorging on haggis, neeps and tatties and discovering that Irn Bru is actually a very versatile mixer. There will, however, be zero tolerance on tamoshanta. Probably also worth noting that just sitting in The Elephant Cafe with a notebook won’t necessarily make you the next J.K.Rowling. (Or indeed, the first one.)
- Be a tourist, part 2: escape the Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe is the (insert significant sporting reference here) of the performing arts. It is jam packed with wonderful, creative, inspiring people who have worked their arses off to bring their work to the biggest arts platform on earth. They are tired, they are broke and they are desperate. And sometimes, they are just too fucking much. On days like this, I heartily recommend going to the Edinburgh Dungeons. It’s dark, it’s camp and no one will flyer you. Finish it up with one of the genuinely frightening Auld Reekie’s Ghost Walks. Bring a hip flask.
- Support emerging artists and try not to lose your temper with them. The student lying down on The Royal Mile, pretending to be dead with a flyer clenched in faux rigor-mortised grip does not know that you are a jaded old cynic who’s seen literally hundreds of adaptations of The Master and Margherita. The fact that they’ve set their version in an asylum/space/a gym does not surprise and delight you. But do go and see one of these shows. It’s an hour out of your life. You can have a nap. They’re spending half their student loan to sleep in a room with 14 other students on lilos.
- Treat yo’self. Chips are your god given right. You’ve got Fringe Flu and a reviewer in. Wrap your face in batter.
- Come and see my show! ‘Seven Crazy Bitches’ is at Assembly Hall, 7pm, 3-27th (excluding 14/24th). I talk a bit and do impressions.
Ed Fringe link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/seven-crazy-bitches