The city of Edinburgh is packed with hundreds and thousands of tourists, performers and audiences for every manner of amazing free and paid, fringe and “official” work out there. I’m starting my week of reviewing for the Musical Theatre Review and so can’t use this blog to give my opinions on shows. But I can explore the spirit of the fringe as I am sniffing it out this year.
I must celebrate and champion you to head down to Dynamic Earth where a pop-up zero-waste theatre company are offering 7 shows a day in their zero-tec cosy theatre space. You won’t find a flyer or poster anywhere for Boxed In Theatre and their Greenhouse space and so it is up to us to help them spread the word and help you to get to and other pages to buy their tickets. When I visited to see a dress rehearsal of one show, the appreciative home crowd of friends and fellow company members were in a theatre which was being built around us. A sense of magic was being created and I hope the sun will shine on them. They are also offering an innovative way to flyer on the high street – they tell me they will be there with buckets picking up unwanted flyers from the street whilst talking to customers about their shows. That is the way to engage and inspire.
Quick tips for myself (and others) this festival as I spend most of each day/eve moving from show to show. Remember my keep-cup. It is a perfect cool water holder, and there are plenty of outlets now with jugs of water on the counter. Keep it filled up and no waste and good hydration. Remember to eat. Make sandwiches or take in a salad. Carry an apple or two. Avoid spending £5-15 a day on just grabbing something from a take-away. Keep some time in your diary just to sit down and enjoy watching the world go by. Pack a novel so you can read something completely different. Enjoy turning your phone off. Keep writing blogs.
I have about 50 shows to see in between the workshops I’m running for Fringe Central and the work I’m doing in week 3 for the International Festival. When I have that schedule I may be able to fit in some more of my long list of “wish I could” shows. There are 45 of them still on the list. So there will be some shows I just champion because of the skill of the flyer person to capture my imagination:
“Do you believe in aliens?” is a great opening line. “Yes” says I. So I am the proud owner of a flyer for Portents by why this sky theatre company playing Bedlam at 15:30 until 15th August. I will probably not get there, but I have the flyer so, if you do or do not believe in aliens, maybe worth a look at this Arts Council England supported production in one of my favourite venues.
So yesterday was bagpipes, gospel, broadway, silly, deeply moving, powerful, Scottish, English, American, historical, contemporary and in the main presented by artists completely committed to giving us an experience which will move us through their storytelling. Today will be another patch of delights, I hope. I am always looking to be moved and to know that I needed to be in that theatre with that storyteller because it has changed me or delighted me in a very special way. I always enter a space hopeful.