Last week I was lucky enough to be treated to a two night stay at Premier Inn at Lauriston Place in Edinburgh so that I could experience the Edinburgh Fringe festival, and share my thoughts with you!
I've been to the Fringe before, but as Edinburgh is quite a journey for me, I only usually take a day trip and don't see that many shows - for some reason I'd never considered staying overnight! The Lauriston Place hotel was the perfect location - only about a 10 minute walk from the Royal Mile, yet not right in the middle of things meaning I had a peaceful nights sleep.
The atmosphere in Edinburgh at this time of the year is an experience in itself and hours can be spent just walking the streets and watching the various talented street performers. The Royal Mile can be a bit daunting as you're handing flyer upon flyer and subjected to at least 10 people sharing over-enthusiastic summaries of their shows, but if you're like me and don't tend to plan your day, a good selection of flyers is a must!
Jonny and I spent 2 days in Edinburgh, armed with our comfiest shoes and £100 between us and managed to eat, drink and see quite a few shows. One of my places was The Cowshed - that fun looking hay barn above, which had a bar live bands playing and was just outside The Underbelly venue. I also spotted Frisky, a froyo shop, and was desperate to try it but every time we walked past I was too full. It does give me another excuse to visit again though!
The great thing about the Fringe is that it doesn't need to cost a lot of money, with lots of shows on 2 for 1 offers, and just as many being free. Infact, most of my favourite shows this year were the free ones and I gladly dropped some money into the bucket at the end of the show!
Here's my top three picks:
The Maydays: Confessions
Out of all the shows we saw, this one is my favourite and I can't stop raving about it. Seriously, if you are in Edinburgh please go and see this. Before the show each audience member puts their deepest, darkest confession into a box (and no, I won't share mine - it's too cringeworthy!) and the show is made up of a series of completely improvised sketches based on those confessions. No one is singled out, it remains completely anonymous and I don't think I've laughed so much in my life. I was ever so lucky (or not), and as my confession was last out of the box it had a whole song and dance improvised from it. Cringe!
Steve Bennett - In Bits
You know when I said the above was my favourite Fringe show? It may actually be a tie with this guy, Steve Bennett. Steve, a cheeky Irish chap, caught us between shows with his flyer and as soon as we saw the tag line of "why can't break-ups be funny?" we knew it would be a good'un! After being dumped during the Fringe festival last year (1, 2, 3... awww), Steve decided to write a show about break-ups, which fits of giggles the whole way through. It was a perfect mixture of stand-up, silly songs that he'd written and even feature a flip chart full of funny "Do's and Don'ts of relationships" drawings that my 5yr old cousin could have drawn herself. He takes real life goings on (come on, we're all guilty of stalking our ex on Facebook) and turns them into hilarious stories. Definitely one to see, and a name to keep an eye on!
Adam Hess & David Elms
After being handed a flyer, we popped in to see this show to keep out of the rain and I'm quite glad we did! The show is split between Adam and David, two guys who both have very different styles of comedy. David, armed with his guitar, comes across as being both nervous and awkward throughout his half of the show as he sings songs about his difficulty of being sincere with women amongst other things. His awkward style of humour left me not knowing where to cringe or laugh! Adam followed up David's set with an energetic performance sharing some of the unfortunate things that have happened to him recently, involving scotch eggs, his friends sexual health and angry ex-girlfriends.
The Fringe festival runs in Edinburgh until the 26th of August so there's still plenty of time to catch some shows. I'm hoping to visit again before it ends, so if you've been please share some show recommendations with me!