Edinburgh Fringe – What I Saw
This year was my first visit to Edinburgh Fringe and I was determined to see a bunch of different shows. I wanted to see something I was really interested in and something I wouldn’t normally see – plus a few things in between. I picked a mixture of free, cheap and expensive shows in all different kinds of venues. Here is what I saw and that I thought…. Please note I’m not very good at keeping my mouth shut and do give some stuff away – I did warn you, so don’t read if you don’t want to know.
My 5 star rating for the shows I saw.
#meetandtweet = 3.5/5
Scroungers = 2/5
Dan Clark: Me, My Selfie and I = 4/5
Alice = 5/5
Full Show Review
While on the train to Edinburgh I was looking through the list of Virgin Media Half Price shows for the day. From the minute I read the title of this show I knew I’d like it, after all I love Twitter. This was the first show I saw at the Fringe and I was pretty excited to finally see something. The show was at one of the Just The Tonic venues called The Mash House, hidden down an alley way and very dark inside. There wasn’t a huge number of people in the audience but that didn’t seem to change the show. Declan starts by telling the audience what Twitter is (just incase) and cracking a few jokes. He then starts his story, from how the show got its title to the actual meet and tweet. The show is split in to three phases and you slowly learn about his idea to meet 150 of his Twitter followers in person. Then the struggles, highs, lows and laughs as he actually tries to follow through with his mad idea. Finally you learn about how his idea went global and with in less than a year he completed his idea.
I really liked the show, it had a story line and a topic I was genuinely interested in. There were several jokes but the comedy wasn’t over the top which I enjoyed, I’d previously had reservations about seeing a comedy show. Declan finished the show by giving us a Twitter handle of someone else in the show with hope that we would follow each other and meet up. (We had all given our Twitter handles at the beginning of the show)
Following the show, I received a tweet from the girl who had picked out my Twitter handle, crazy thing was I had also picked out hers. As I don’t live in Edinburgh we arranged to meet later that week when I was back in the city. Unlike Declan’s meets with his followers ours was very brief as we were both needing to be places. We shot a quick selfie and had a little chat about the show and realised how we had, had a good stalk of each other on twitter before hand. It was fun and something totally different, meeting a complete stranger wasn’t even that scary.
Full Price Ticket: £5
I had totally forgotten this show was on and what time because I had gotten so absorbed in wandering around the city. That was until I got handed a leaflet about the show half an hour before it was due to start. I headed to the venue to work out the ticket situation as you still needed a ticket even though it was free. This show was a physical theatre show and the room it was performed in was tiny. I was sat on the front row and had no idea what to expect.
The show was 50 minutes long and even after all that time I couldn’t decide if I actually like it. Some of the physical theatre was a little strange and a few parts went over my head. However they put a interesting spin on benefit scroungers and explored ideas of the ‘company’. Without giving the whole show away each of the four girls in the show has a ‘benefits story’ and through a lot of brilliant acting the girls portrayed these stories to you slowly throughout the show. It was completely different to anything I would normally see but I’m so glad I tried something different because after all, that is what the Fringe is about. The only thing I would suggest is try and get a front row seat as a lot of the action is on the floor and you may miss some of it.
Although this was on my Fringe picks blog, I had totally forgotten about this show. I had planned to see The Cold Clear Elsewhere that evening until I realised where it was and how much walking that involved; I had new shoes on and the worst blisters. Instead I wanted to see a show at one of the Pleasance venues, scanning the schedule for that evening and I suddenly spotted this show.
Dan Clark was in the Queen Dome which is a little half circle amphitheatre set up. The night I went was very quiet but I didn’t want to let that put me off. Once we were all seated the lights went down and Dan came on to the stage; not like other shows where the performer had already been on stage. The set up was a guitar to one side and drums to the other and then a table with two chairs around it. Dan opened the show with a few jokes, some crowd observations and picking on anyone who came in late. It was a relaxed started and almost seemed like he wasn’t actually going to start his show.
Me, My Selfie and I was about Dan himself and how he has been single for 12 years. He talks about how at 38 years old he has nothing and is practically living like he was at 17. Its full of humour that relates to dating, sex and relationships but mostly it is just taking the piss out of himself. I liked how a lot of it was him having a conversation with another person and Dan playing both roles. There was some singing involved but most of the song were ridiculous. Given I don’t normally like comedy I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this show.
Full Price Ticket: £9.50
When doing my research for my Fringe picks blog, this was the show that stuck out above the rest. I am obsessed with Alice In Wonderland and it sounded like I would love it, problem was the show started at 23:55 and lasted for two hours. Commuting from Glasgow meant that the trains had finished by then and did I REALLY want to be driving back at 2am?! After persuading the boyfriend I really wanted to go, we purchased some tickets. Days before I was sure we didn’t need to stay that late if we didn’t want to, maybe the show wouldn’t be that great. Oh how wrong I was….
Alice was incredible, I didn’t really know what to expect from this theatre production but every thought of being sat in front of one stage for two hours was wrong. You are taking on a journey through Alice’s wonderland and the further in you get the darker it feels. We moved around rooms, with each one having a different set design, the characters walked with you as you changed rooms and they NEVER broke character. Some times the group was spilt in to two and you might see a different scene to your friend but eventually you would end up back in the same room together. To begin with everyone was very reserved and shy about the fact we were part of the set and show, but after a while everyone really got in to it. You felt like you were going mad with them, you were part of the story.
It got darker and darker as the story went on but then just like in the book it was all a dream and it finished. I really wanted to stand up and clap the performers but instead it ends with Alice’s sister saying I think it’s time for you to leave now. So everyone does leave and you suddenly realise they are ending it just like that and you can’t go back and tell the performers how awesome they were. It was brilliant, incredible and like nothing I have ever seen before. I would highly recommend it.
Full Price Ticket: £14