fringe benefits

It seems an age ago already, but last week I was up in Edinburgh, visiting the Fringe with my fellow pandemonialists Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse. We were there for two reasons: to do a gig for the Loud Poets, and to scout out some shows we hoped might be worth bringing to the Wolves Lit Fest fringe next February.

Anyone who’s been to the Fringe will know that it’s chaotic and incredible, and Dave got caught up in that chaos within hours, catching a bus out into the depths of the Lothian countryside (he’s gone where??!!) instead of into Edinburgh city centre. Scottish public transport is trickier than average, apparently, although he still managed to get to the Loud Poets gig first, which shows just how formidable a force he’d be if he got on the right bus more often.

For three days we traipsed heroically from one Edinburgh city centre venue to another, checking out shows we’d heard good things about, shows by friends, shows with intriguing titles, shows with intriguing subjects, and shows we simply decided to take a punt on for no good reason at all. Each and every one of them was a sixty-minute adventure, and we barely scratched the surface of what was there. From start to finish, the whole weekend was wonderful. And now I’m back in the Midlands staring out the window at the rain and missing Edinburgh more than is healthy.

If you haven’t been to the Fringe yet, go. Embrace the chaos. Meet people. Follow your curiosity and see shows for the hell of it. Support the arts. Take flyers from slightly desperate stand-up comics and wish them luck. Do whatever takes your fancy. Just don’t take transport advice from Dave. Trust me, it’s for your own good.