Every August, there is a mass migration of the cabaret scene to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
Having already seems shows at Brighton Fringe and London Wonderground this year, I decided that perhaps 2016 should also be the year I had my first Fringe experience. Booking flights up to Edinburgh to stay with local burlesque performer Hettie Heartache (and also fit in a cheeky shoot whilst I was there!), I prepared myself for a three day mini Edinburgh Fringe Festival adventure.
Arriving in Edinburgh on Wednesday morning, I hopped on the Airlink bus into the centre of town. I had a private Lightroom training session booked in with two lovely wedding photographers at lunchtime, so took advantage of the hour or so I had factored in in case of flight delays and explored some of the nearby streets.
Needless to say, it wasn’t long at all before I found myself in the centre of Fringe action. Finding myself on High Street, I managed to pick up a free copy of the Fringe magazine to read later. Pop up pillars lined the street with multiple layers of posters for various fringe shows. Performers handed out flyers left right and centre. There really was a great vibe throughout the streets.
After my training session had finished, I headed over to Hettie’s for some dinner. Over a gin (or two) we planned out our Fringe adventures for the next day. Although I had picked up the Edinburgh Fringe Festival magazine, it turned out the app was much easier to use. If you’re going up this month I’d definitely recommend giving the app a look.
First on our to do list was The Raunch. “A whip-cracking, high-flying, all-twerking, rodeo-rocking night out [featuring] the Most Wanted of the international cabaret and circus scene, plus a toe tapping, disco-hoedown soundtrack.” I had previously seen the show during it’s debut run at London Wonderground and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was really looking forward to seeing it again, this time with the full billed cast. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint!
I also went to watch Hettie Heartache perform in Best Of Burlesque. “An international round-up of the finest in strip tease, cabaret and variety from the legendary producers of the London Burlesque Festival”. The cast changes each performance so there was no way of knowing who’d be performing. It was a lovely surprise to find Kiki Lovechild on the bill, performing an act I had the pleasure of doing the promo photos for several years ago.
With my flight home the next afternoon, my Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a very fleeting visit. I don’t think I was prepared for just how massive the Eidnburgh Fringe Festival is. Every available space in the centre of the city is transformed into a fringe venue and the city is buzzing with a fantastic mix of artists and arts lovers. A couple of days just wasn’t enough time to see everything I wanted to see, especially as I was there for the previews and several shows hadn’t yet started.
If you’re also heading up to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this month, here are a few more of my recommendations…
Briefs: (August 4-7, 9-14, 16-21). This had actually been on my to do list whilst in Edinburgh. I regret choosing to eat dinner instead of watching the show!
Lili La Scala: Another F*cking Variety Show: (August 4-14, 16-21, 23-28). Not only is Lili freaking awesome, she’s joined by Jason Manford, Vicky Butterfly and The Boy With Tape On His Face
Rayguns Look Real Enough In Space… Man: (August 14-25). I’ve had the pleasure of working with these guys several times over the years and they are hilarious! Definitely worth a visit.
Sheets: (August 6-27). I once travelled for two hours in each direction just to watch Kiki Lovechild perform his one man show in the Brighton Fringe. I would totally do it again. If you want to watch something that will make your soul happy, Kiki is your guy.