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Edinburgh Fringe Festival

September 16, 2014

My summer has been a little bit insane so now I’m back down south it’s finally time to process what has happened and tell all of you wonderful readers.

Some of you may know that the largest arts festival in Europe happens in Edinburgh every August, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I had wanted to go for a very long time and was very close to working at it last year for a large company but unfortunately had to turn the job down. Therefore I was ecstatic when my boss said he wanted to take some shows up this year and wanted me to come up with him.

We took three shows up; 2 for the whole festival and the other just for a week. They were all very different; one was a two man straight play with two iconic British TV stars, one was a musical based on an album by Jaymay and the third was a children’s show. I was Stage Manager for all three, in hindsight I should have realised this was a challenge that I was not prepared for at the time considering the struggles I’ve had this year, however I ran into it with open arms. 

I won’t explain the whole festival, it was a difficult stressful time and I did not perform my role to my greatest abilities. The first week was a haze of no food, no sleep and lots of walking – no wonder I lost half a stone. After one show left the days got a little easier but it was still a struggle and I was very happy when it was over – much sleep was had.

The quirks of Edinburgh Fringe Festival; the atmosphere is insane. You know that everyone there loves theatre and is so supportive and encouraging. I chatted to so many people at Fringe Central (a support centre for participants) and on the Royal Mile while flyering, who were all so passionate about what they do or what they have seen.

I saw some amazing shows while I was up there – not enough for my liking but quite a few. What Does the Title Matter Anyway? was the live version of Whose Line is it Anyway? with some of the iconic stars from both the US and UK version including Colin Mochrie and Greg Proops. It was literally the funniest hour I’d spent in a long time and was a highly enjoyable night out.

I finally saw a Showstoppers! Show (mentioned in my West End Live blog) which is basically a completed improvised musical based off audience’s suggestions – this time it was set in a Beauty Pageant. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the cast are crazily talented and it was funny to see them struggle when the ideas got a little bizarre.

Finally I saw a show called Show Pony which was about a pink unicorn called Brian. It was created and performed by two young ladies who met at drama school and the reviews were insane. I was very lucky to get into their last show as word of mouth had made the show very popular. It was just plain funny, good old comedy.

I’m very glad I went up as I met some amazing people and am proud of the shows we took up however next time I will be more prepared for the workload having been up there before. I learnt an awful lot and there is a lot of lessons I will take away from it but right now I’m moving on to the next challenge!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2014 3:17 am

    Had a similar summer! I worked on 2 shows in the NY Fringe Festival and a show in the Chicago Fringe Festival! Always wanted to do Edinburgh and sounds like it was a great experience!

    Also: Love “Whose Line is it Anyway?”!

    • September 26, 2014 3:15 pm

      The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has 1200 shows a day. Not a typo — twelve hundred shows a day, from about 9 am to about 1 a.m. The Daily Guide is written in 5-minute intervals. And almost all of the venues are in walking distance.

      Other cities are creating Fringe Festivals, but they are not the same. For those, you have to be invited. You have to be approved. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is open to everyone, and thousands of companies come from all over the world every year, and every possible space in Edinburgh, including the tops of busses, bathrooms, elevators, the back seats of cars, the spaces under bridges, and the local cemetary, (in addition to the more typical theaters, pubs, meeting and church rooms) become venues for those four weeks.

      IT IS MIND-BLOWING. It is theater heaven. “Go to the (Edinburgh) Fringe. You will be changed.”

  2. September 26, 2014 3:08 pm

    You got to go to the Fringe! Awesome! You stage managed three shows at the same time? Is that even legal? I mean, wasn’t Actors Equity created to prevent situations like that? Still — The Edinburgh Fringe! I’ve been three times. Saw 46 plays in ten days last time (and produced a show). I think the Edinburgh Fringe is heaven for theater people.

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