It seems to me there are lots of Fringe bits to the Edinburgh Festival, but to keep things relatively tidy, (programmes, books, leaflets always being the exceptions) I see the Fringes divided up into the;
- International classical theatre, concerts and The International Book Festival;
- Professional Fringe; (worth a look)
- Mainstream Fringe (semi professional, can be interesting);
- Have-a-go Fringe (a huge range of options, often thought-provoking and clever);
- Stand-up Comedy, and
- Multinational talents Fringe, (A wide variety, some very beautiful).
Selecting from numbers 2-6 is not straightforward. This, for me, is a great big part of the fun of being at the Edinburgh festival…getting there and invariably taking pot luck. Number 5, is quite likely to be risqué! (I have no respect for ‘comics’ who operate with gratuitous vulgarity).
The Royal Mile pop up shows stand out on their own; The Royal Mile is always worth visiting.
This year I found myself second in a queue for a show; the Editor of The Children’s Guinness Book Of Records, Craig Glenday was first. We had a lovely chat and sat in the same church pew to watch a really good show called The Gin Chronicles. It’s a spoof 1947 radio broadcast. If the show appears anywhere else, go see it.
And here is the Guinness Book of Records man doing his own ”show’ at The Book Festival. There were only a few tickets left when I got mine on the day. Craig gave the young audience, (and their adults) guidelines about what records would not get into the books, such as anything that would upset the people who help animals. It was a gentle humorous production. We saw a couple of record holders, a bagpiper, and a cyclist without a bike seat. The seat-less cyclist also tried to break a record at the show. Children were invited to play the bagpipes, or, monitor something with stopwatches, or, click devices, or, race to make up a potato head. (There is one on the low table).
The Festival seemed a bit slow to get into a bustling rhythm this year, partly because some of the elements of it were staggered not to clash too much with the Olympic Games. The new digital hub in the Centre of town had no queues of festival-goers lining up for digital events in the Assembly Rooms, where, in previous years you would have seen flows of people waiting for shows. It was all very quiet. The pop-up outdoor cafes and bars nearby were not over-subscribed with patrons. Up the hill in the Old Town where a lot of extra events seemed to be sited, it was busy.
What you see here is a newly refurbished banking hall at St Andrews Square, Edinburgh. It is gorgeous. The staff are happy for visitors to wander in and learn about the building’s history. In the front garden – a Festival venue – you could sit and eat, or under gazebos, sit and play with outsize light -weight dominoes, or, under another, lounge on large cushions and play with large cards.
So, in Princes Street, (the main shopping street of the city) I was darting through crowded spaces when I heard the attractive sounds of music. I back tracked and gave the guy a donation. “Stop!” he called as I was about to dash off again. He raked around in a big bag and handed me a card… except it wasn’t. He’d given me a gift of his CD “Because you are so nice”, he said.
This is busker Marcello Vacante playing a track from his CD ‘Train For London’ . (His name is on the CD cover)
Does anyone know anything about this type of teapot, (if it is a teapot) seen in a charity shop window?
Oooops – In a back street I found that The Driving License Authority had been busy (DVLC stamped on the clamp).
Let me introduce you to Audrey.
The last remaining vintage mobile cinema from around 1967. Black and white Pathé News films, (remember those) were shown, a couple were of the 1947 beginnings of the Edinburgh Festival. My friend told me afterwards that she remembered going to the first festival with her mother!!! You could have knocked me over with a feather.
This was called “The Rook”. The Game Of Thrones seemed to be a theme, does it refer to it?
It looks like a close relative of the Kelpies based in Falkirk (Scotland). However, the Kelpies don’t have reins or a feather topknot.
Scenes of Festival relaxation in Princes Street Gardens and Granny’s Drying Green below Edinburgh Castle:
A musical venue, where guitars also became percussion instruments for both classical and fusion genres.
Last, but definitely not least:
A view of Edinburgh Castle with an interesting wee look-out tower and a clear view of a lump of Dolerite, a coarse-grained Basalt rock. The Castle rock is estimated to have formed about 350 million years ago and is the remains of a volcanic pipe.
MacIvor, Iain (1993). Edinburgh Castle. p. 16. ISBN 9780713472950.
McAdam, David (2003). Edinburgh and West Lothian: A Landscape Fashioned by Geology. p. 16. ISBN 9781853973277.