NO.13 A WEEKEND AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE

For one month over August every year Edinburgh bursts into artistic bloom with the Fringe Festival. As part of my 25 aims for my 25th year I wanted to head to this beautiful city and catch as much of the action as possible.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival. It was established in 1947 as an alternative to the more expensive and selective Edinburgh International Festival. The Fringe celebrates all types of art from dance and music to comedy, plays and poetry. Any performer or performance may participate; there is no selection committee. Because of this, practically every coffee shop, basement, front living room and other random space in the city is transformed into a venue of sorts. On offer are performances dreamed up by those hoping to make it big. As such the tickets are very affordable (anything from free to about £15).

Tip: head to the half price hut off Princes Street for daily bargains.

I spent the August bank holiday weekend soaking up the atmosphere and trying out several different performances, from comedy to a one-woman monologue, story-telling and insane gymnastics. The one-woman monologue, The Height of the Eiffel Tower followed the life of Terry and her children (ranging from awkward 13 year old to pregnant teenager), all played by New Zealand actress Morgana O’Reilly. It made me laugh and cry all in the space of one hour as she morphed from one character to the other.

Another highlight was A Simple Space, an acrobatics show created by a group of burly gymnasts who pulled off insane balancing tricks and showed us their strength and core power in a lighthearted performance in the Udderbelly space.

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

One of the best parts of the weekend however was just exploring the city properly. As my boyfriend constantly reminds me (it’s his hometown), Edinburgh is spectacular. Its turreted buildings, church steeples and green hills provide fantastic photo opportunities. It has a castle – a castle that looks about as perfectly castle-like as any I’ve ever seen – and views stretching right down to the sea from some areas. In the old town, a higldy-pigldy jumble of streets and shops lead to the Royal Mile – the best place to catch the Fringe street performers action. In the new town, expensive shops and posh restaurants stand in elegant Georgian buildings.

Town houses, Edinburgh

Wander off the main strip a little and you will stumble across sweeping crescents of townhouses: some of the most beautiful accommodation in the city. On a bright crisp day as the sun beams through the turrets and gothic architecture over the bright green grass of Princes Street Gardens there are few better places in the world to be.

Harri and OwenWe managed to see six shows over the weekend and were exhausted by the end of it! Happily, we intermingled all these shows with lots of trips to coffee shops, cafés and Fringe locations for drinks and food. Look out for my top coffee shops post on those, coming soon!

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7 Comments

  1. Adelina // Pack Me To September 4, 2014 / 9:34 pm

    6 shows in a weekend! Very impressive! I love those crescent row houses.

  2. Emma September 1, 2014 / 7:00 pm

    I have wanted to go to Edinburgh for so long. It sounds like a brilliant place! 🙂

    • harriet September 2, 2014 / 6:46 pm

      Hi Emma, thanks for stopping by! It is spectacular, hope you get to visit! x

  3. Sammi Wanderlustin' August 31, 2014 / 3:34 pm

    One of my old school teachers is a comedienne now, she usually performs at Fringe 🙂 she’s v.funny if not a bit underrated. I’ve yet to get up to edinburgh tho ‘

    • harriet September 2, 2014 / 6:47 pm

      Hi Sammi, thanks for coming to Harri Travels! Ah you have to go see here, there’s loads of other great comedy to see whilst you’re up there next year. x

  4. Annika - Live Laugh Explore August 31, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    Wow, 6 shows in a weekend – You have been busy! Funny coincidence, I blogged about Edinburgh just last night…I used to live there and I am contemplating moving back in a couple of years because, like your boyfriend said; Edinburgh IS spectacular.. 🙂

    • harriet September 2, 2014 / 6:48 pm

      Hey Annika, thanks for stopping by :). Was exhausting but so fun! You’ll have to get in touch if you do end up moving back, I have a feeling I may be living there one day too and will need a buddy! x

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