How to experience the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet. With shows for every taste, the festival renowned for comedy also showcases theatre, dance, circus, cabaret, music and spoken word amongst others.
Every August for three weeks the city of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, welcomes an explosion of creative energy from around the globe.
With 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 300 venues in 2017, there’s no shortage of variety or opportunity to be entertained!
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, a registered charity, is the company that organises the structure that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Formed in 1958, the Society formalised the existence of this collective of performances, provided information to artists, published the Fringe programme and created a central box office.
As you can imagine, the programme for the Fringe is sizeable – available to download here – so we’ve picked out some entries that piqued our interest.
Dick and Dom
“Are you ready?! The multi BAFTA-winning legends Dick and Dom are coming to Edinburgh for the first time in 2018. They are bringing their fast-selling, insane UK tour to the Fringe for a comedy experience that the whole family will never forget. The audience is split in half and you lot in the crowd will battle it out with interactive games, songs, mess, insanity and (of course) bogies!”
“OK. Look. This really wasn't supposed to happen. We were only doing this as a goof. But after six years of sold-out shows and nothing but positive reviews, turns out our dumb show for no one has way broader appeal than we ever imagined. People even flew in from overseas for it FFS! We love you and we're charging just £5 (even on weekends!) as a thanks (or PWYW). Don't forget! Different show every night!” (Ed: I have a soft spot for wrestling!)
“Before The Spice Girls, before The Supremes...there was The Andrews Sisters. The original girl group were a global sensation and their music still resonates to this day. Frocked up to the nines in faux military costumes, Bugle Boys dance and sing (not lip-synch) some of their most beloved songs including Pistol Packin' Mama, Rum And Coca Cola and more. Between numbers they bitch and squabble and deliver a hilariously camp tale of their life and career in this comedy-cabaret homage.”
Britain’s biggest theatre-circus spectacular makes its eagerly anticipated Fringe debut! Showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of Circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre. Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over thirty acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen. Featuring the world’s most hair-raising circus act, the legendary motorcycle Globe of Death.”
“Malcolm doesn't like animals, which is a problem because his family love them. Their house is full of pets. The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year Six school trip. And there he is, on the bus, heading to... oh no. A farm... full of animals! After an adventure unlike any other, Malcolm begins to understand animals more deeply than anyone. But will he end up the same as before? A vibrant, energetic and gloriously funny musical, combining physical theatre and outstanding storytelling style to bring Baddiel's magical and wonderfully comic bestseller to the stage.”
“BBC New Comedy Award winner and star and writer of BBC Radio 4's brand-new comedy series, Ability, has unwittingly become an unintentional porn star because of the inspirational memes that are everywhere these days. Come and see why he doesn't want to be an inspiration because of these stupid memes and why he thinks they're rubbish. He may not be able to talk but he definitely has something to say and his comedy will leave you speechless.”
Inspiring Women with Chelsea Clinton
Part of the book festival rather than the fringe, we couldn’t resist including Chelsea here. Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation and author of It’s Your World, she has authored two new children’s picture books, She Persisted and She Persisted Around the World. Both books celebrate women who have used their voices and determination to change and shape history. Come and be inspired by some of the real-life heroes who feature, including Marie Curie and J K Rowling.
Guru Dudu returns to Edinburgh with some extra tours by his Village People tour guides. Daily tours of spontaneous flash mobs through the streets, interpretative dance around local landmarks, group singing and lots of fun interaction with onlookers. Everyone wears headphones (supplied) and hears the hilarious commentary and dance-mix of uplifting favourites from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. Accessible for all ages and abilities. Come prepared if raining. Warning: your cheeks may hurt from smiling! Tickets available at the door if not sold out. Tour guide timetable at www.gurududu.org/fringe. Sold out last year!
Published: 12 July 2018