Edinburgh Fringe has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t give you a logical reason why, I’ve never been to Edinburgh and I know very little about the festival. It has always sounded a little bit crazy and a lot of fun though, how could I refuse jumping on that bandwagon?
Despite trying to book 6 months in advance, trains were still extortionate. What’s the alternative? The MegaBus. 6 hours sweating with strangers in an enclosed space but it only costs £10. What could possibly go wrong? The first 3 hours weren’t terrible, the second 2 were more of a struggle, the last 1 was close to unbearable. Is something still a bargain if it takes up the majority of your day? I’ll leave that one up to you, personally I think I’m going to start saving for the train for next year.
Also very expensive. Thanks to Airbnb, we found a place a half hour walk from all the antics in the city that didn’t require taking out a second mortgage. The mattress did make me and my princess and the pea back want to cry from exhaustion and discomfort, but if you’re not quite so precious it would have been absolutely fine. It also didn’t ruin any point of the weekend, it would have just been nice to have a but more sleep. Let’s be honest that is a permanent state of being anyway.
Packing a suitcase stresses me out at the best of times. How do you know what to wear when you’ve never been somewhere before? I’ve always found Google searches to be pretty useless with this. The majority of sites just telling you to wear what you want. Far too vague to be useful. It turns out there’s no very successful way to pack for Edinburgh. I had checked the weather, chosen pieces I wanted to wear, had options but hopefully not too many. Still, I ended up too hot, too cold, soaked, and just right. My suggestion would be a couple of pairs of comfy shoes that go with everything, even the comfiest pair of shoes shouldn’t be trusted as your only pair – in my experience that’s when they betray you and torture your feet. Layers are my next suggestion, being able to strip down and re-dress as often as the clouds change their minds. This one mixes in with having a bag big enough for all your junk, but not too big that you’ll be knocking pints over every time you turn around. My final suggestion is just to wear whatever makes you feel good, forget about trends or impressing anyone – a weekend of laughing is too short for that.
Before arriving, we had researched some restaurants that all looked incredible and not ridiculously overpriced. Who were we kidding? Street food is what it is all about. You don’t have to search far for the next van and you really can’t go wrong with the taste. The Sausage Man at Bristo Square is a must try, the Barry especially. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a sandwich before but I can’t recommend this enough to anyone in the area.
With thousands of shows being performed at all times, how do you choose who to see? Very good question. The fringe website has a Inspiration Machine, which is a nice little novelty that will randomly show a performance that could be of interest. Cute but not necessarily helpful, unless you want to go through every act to find something that catches your interest. There were a few shows I had heard about on Podcasts that sounded great but were unfortunately all sold out. The fringe website and app did allow us to find some interesting sounding shows both paid for and free. Buying a few tickets and saving some free options to the app planner seemed to be the best way to plan without having to worry about missing everything or having too much organised fun to actually have fun.
What a way to start the weekend. Miss London Hughes, Rose Matafeo, Sofie Hagen, Iain Stirling, Ed Gamble and Mark Watson all working together to find out who the werewolf in the room is. Sounds weird but it was a very funny introduction to the Fringe and who can argue with a charity event?
A lovely flier boy had nothing but praise for this show and just wow. Davina Bentley and Maggie Kowalski were absolutely hilarious. Zero regrets about following a strange man down a dark ally for these ladies.
I had no idea what to expect with this show but it sounded interesting so why not give it a go? Despite being on a red hot top deck of a bus, this show was eye opening and informative about a business that is shunned by wider society when it should be helped and supported. Obviously with a twist of humor.
Saving the best for last, this may just be the best show I have ever seen. I can’t recommend this enough. The Lashes are three incredible queens with amazing voices and a show that is so well put together it honestly blew me away. I may be slightly biased after being pulled up on stage to dance along before being called out for being an unhelpful lesbian but there you go! Anyone at the Fringe this week needs to go along and see them!
I did see some other shows but honestly I either wouldn’t highly recommend them and would like to buck the trend of being negative on the internet, or I just can’t quite remember the names of them. I will say I think it must be pretty impossible to not find something that will make you crack your sides laughing.
Personally, I’m just excited to get back to Edinburgh to do it all over again – without the million hours on the bus this time!