At last! After countless promises to myself, I managed to attend the Edinburgh Fringe and it did not disappoint.
Towing along with my two uni besties the first show – Desiree’s Coming Early set a high bar for stand-up comedy. We saw over 10 comedians and this set was the best by far.
Desiree spun a story around her attendance at Burning Man, in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. She effortlessly wove in and out of her tale with funny observations, topical facts, friendships and acid tripping. Desiree’s energy was overflowing and infectious, a perfect start to my first Edinburgh Fringe experience.
Rouge – Circus for grown-ups was our favourite act overall. This show displays the qualities that make people want to run away to the circus. It was packed with fun, a sense of wonder, off the chart singing, acrobatics and some cheeky nudity – winner. If I had to change anything, it would be getting in the queue earlier so I could sit on the front row. When I woke the next day, my voice let me know I’d been shouting a lot.
There was a mixture of free (donations appreciated) and paid shows. Whilst I recognise, not all performers have formal training and subsequent access to resources, the differences between these types of shows can be vast. The best dramatic piece was Such Filthy Fucks which was not quite as the title or advertising suggests. It was an original idea, an insightful look at sexual gratification and what people are willing to risk to maintain the buzz, when they find what they like. The acting was superb, tight and on point throughout, it didn’t miss a beat. The actors moved seamlessly, with, and around a basic, but effective set. I loved it.
We watched lots of shows, but we were all in broad agreement about the aforementioned excellent performances. The real star of the Fringe though, has to be the city of Edinburgh itself, which was fully open to the wanting masses visiting to get their performance and theatre fixes. Decent weather for the most part also helped to keep spirits high. The bus service was readily available from our Airbnb accommodation in Leith, but walking was just as easy, when we chose to spare the time. The locals were friendly and helpful adding to the peaceful, cheerful atmosphere wherever we went. On an individual basis; shows, meals and drinks provided good quality at reasonable prices, but this led to a false sense of security over a few days. I spent far more than I intended to, but it was worth it.
The Edinburgh Fringe 2019 was one of best experiences I’ve ever had.