I’ve just spent a week reviewing for EdFringeReview, an online student reviewing platform, during this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and I had the most incredible experience.
And… because it’s the Fringe and everything is extra edgy and super cool – I’ve tried to write this blog in an extra edgy and super cool way (cringe). SO, here’s some words that I feel summarise my experiences and the Fringe as a whole, spelling out EDFRINGE (cool eh?)
Energy. Just head down the Royal Mile and you’ll understand exactly where I’m coming from. You can feel the energy in the air, and it’s incredibly entertaining watching performers trying to attract theatre-goers, and promote their shows. It’s wonderful wandering through the streets, listening to snatches of animated conversation about theatre or music – it’s a really special vibe, and it’s difficult to put into words.
Dedication. The time, effort, vim and vigour that goes into every single production at the Fringe is simply staggering. The devotion to theatre shown by actors, musicians, technicians, writers, and designers is inspiring, and makes you appreciate how truly complex bringing a show to the Fringe is (which makes you value the theatre even more!).
Friendliness. As many of my friends will know, I love chatting to people. Just a smile – or a quick interaction can make someone’s day; just that little bit brighter. I’m excited to say that I met many individuals with a similar philosophy at the Fringe. It wasn’t weird to chat to strangers, and I totally loved it. I met an old couple who come to the Fringe every year, I met fellow students, families, performers, and even a drag queen in Tesco (who was lovely, and let me have the last pack of peppers).
Reviewing. (warning: I’m slightly biased) Those who review and critique the vast range of theatre available at the Fringe are performing a vital service to theatre-goers and performers. They can help narrow down the vast range of options, and guide the public towards fantastic theatre, that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. It was a great experience being a reviewer, and the only thing I struggled with, was how to articulate that something was incredible. Writing a good review is much harder than writing one that’s less complimentary, as you want to do the performance justice. P.S. www.edfringereview.com – sorry, the marketing just never stops x
Improvised. I was absolutely astounded at the sheer volume of improvised theatre which was offered at the Fringe. I saw two improvised musicals, and one improvised sketch show – and despite them being literally created before our eyes, it did not affect quality – nor was any less entertaining than anything else I’d seen. The theatre was raw, funny, and (naturally) completely original. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve never laughed so much in such a short space of time.
Nightlife. During the Fringe, Edinburgh is a city that simply does not sleep. I loved Paradise Palms, it was quirky and cool, and the general vibe was super friendly with funky music. The official Edinburgh Fringe venues were also fab, Gilded Balloon was my personal favourite, and it was great to chat to actors, singers, and writers (especially the ones that had a show in just a few hours’ time). However, I will be eternally grateful that Durham’s clubs all shut at 2am, I don’t think I could manage that 6am finish on a regular basis.
Gluttony. As many of you will know, I love a good coffee shop, and Edinburgh certainly delivers on that front. The search for Wi-Fi and a plug led me to some lovely little places, which meant I could write up my reviews, with a large hot chocolate and slice of cake in hand. It was ideal, as if you want to truly enjoy the Fringe – you do need those moments to pause and think, as it can all get a little overwhelming if you don’t allow yourself those occasional little breaks.
Eclectic. The Fringe isn’t just for young people, or old people, or families, or for those who want to perform – it’s for everyone. The range of theatre means that it is accessible to all ages, and the range of ages, genders, sexualities, cultures, races, and simply PEOPLE made for a great week and a great vibe. Absolutely loved it (just in case you couldn’t already tell). Until next year Edinburgh xo