Friday, 21 August 2015

No longer on the fringe but in the thick of it!

Unless you live on another planet, you can't fail to be aware that the Edinburgh Festivals are in full swing!  The Edinburgh International Festival is producing wonderful cultural things - music, dance, opera, and performance at the highest possible level.  All those organised people who booked tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo will now be enjoying their time at the annual extravaganza on the Castle Esplanade.  The Book Festival is buzzing with interesting speakers, and on a sunny day, the grounds of Charlotte Square are strewn with people enjoying the sunshine, the books, and the sense of intellectualism in the air.  

Of course while all that is going on there is also the small matter of the Edinburgh Fringe, https://www.edfringe.comIt is hardly on the fringe any longer!  With over 3,000 shows to choose from, it has a programme the size of a small telephone directory.
It is a crazy, overwhelming feast of theatre, every kind of performance - dance, comedy, crafts, street performers, music, beautiful visions, ugly sights, ordinary people with jaw-dropping circus skills - all going on at the same time.  Total madness!

Trying to negotiate the streets in the city centre is a mission in itself!  So many people, taking their time because they are on holiday, and there is so much to stop and gaze upon.  However, I took a deep breath and took my quartet of Scottish grandchildren into Edinburgh yesterday.  We missed their little Aussie cousin, she would have loved it all, but I took a photo of the children with a Minion, and emailed it to her, just so that she knows we had her firmly in mind!  You might not know what a Minion is, but she will!!

Here are some images from our day.
There are leaflets and posters all over the place, with flyers being thrust into our hands as we shuffled our way up the Royal Mile, between the street performers and eccentrics!
The obligatory stop for a little light refreshment, before moving on to the next thing.
There aren't many places in the world you would draw a crowd by mucking about with an inflated rubber glove on your head!
These two guys (and a dummy) are spending their day, sitting by Princes Street, performing rather a clever act.  It certainly had me flummoxed, but, of course, my eldest grandson worked it out in a trice.
The sun shone on the book festival in Charlotte Square
and on an act practising their show in Princes Street Gardens.  Not sure where the two guys with cloths over their heads will fit in, but I am sure they have it all worked out nicely!
The BBC are in Edinburgh, covering all the festivals.
We saw Charlie Stayt, from BBC Television's Breakfast programme, sitting on the red sofa, interviewing festival goers.  And then I saw him again this morning, on the box, as they relayed the interviews.  It's always fun to see a face from television, in the flesh!
We went to see the Amazing Bubbleman at the Assembly Rooms.  He blew some fabulous bubbles, which had the audience, from every age group, entranced.
We went to one free show, Kids Party Confidential, run by an Australian called Sean Murphy, which was good fun.  A couple of the children got involved - they had no option! So proud ... !
We walked up the Royal Mile, where there is so much weird stuff going on that if you just stood still and stared straight ahead, someone would think you were performing!
My youngest grandson wanted to go into St Giles Cathedral.  He'd been there before, on a school trip.  What an inspired suggestion!  There was a short recital taking place.  It was just lovely to be away from the crowds, with good music swirling around the cathedral, providing some welcome respite from everything going on outside.
There are always a number of performers who do spend their day keeping absolutely still.  It is an impressive skill.  I can't help feeling, though, that the time they must spend in rehearsal, could be better spent learning to do something rather more dynamic?
Some people are better at being motionless than others!
 Having said that, this was the most impressive statue of the day!
A young American had no trouble drawing a good crowd for his short blasts of percussion.  He played two plastic buckets, a couple of saucepans and some old loose cymbals, which were lying on the ground.  Brilliant!  
 A mesmerised onlooker!
Our favourite show of the day was this one.  It was super-charged with live music, break dancing, skill with a stunt bicycle, basketballs, and roue cyre - all amazing and thrilling to watch.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uVph3KIYzQ
The last show we saw was given by a troupe called Gandini Juggling and their show was curiously entitled 4 x 4 Ephemeral Architectures.  It was a beautiful, ethereal combination of ballet and juggling.  No photography is allowed in any of these shows, but you can get the general idea from Google Images https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=4x4+ephemeral+architectures

And then home.  Tired but happy.  We had a very good day, but I think Sir Walter Scott was close to the mark with his quote displayed in Waverley Station. 
And that was said long before the days of the Edinburgh Fringe.  What would he have to say  now?

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant adventure!
    Did The Fringe once when I was about 23.... a fabtastic experience!!
    Glad to see everyone enjoying the Summer!

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