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Impressions of the Edinburgh Fringe Arts Festival

I obviously lied in my last post about the “regular updates” I would bring you from the Fringe. It wasn’t intentional, I swear. In my mind, I pictured leisured writing in a pub while sipping a drink, taking notes about funny happenings and then sharing them here. I forgot how all-consuming life at the festival is if you are producing a show and living with an untenable number of people for a month. It’s an un-natural atmosphere and one that doesn’t lend itself to extended periods of thinking.

I spent just over a month in Edinburgh this year and in that time played a part in producing 28 shows, including the world premiere of “50 Shades! The Musical“, a parody of the terrifyingly popular 50 Shades of Grey book series. It was exhausting, but incredibly rewarding work. Managing to persuade a crowd to come see your show every night and having people actually turn up is a great feeling, especially if they enjoy the show.

Stacks of Fringe guides on the last day of the festival

Edinburgh is a great place to be during the festival. From the early rumblings of excitement as the city wakes up and rubs it eyes, to the frustrating middle days as tempers run high and the public gets fed up with the endless reams of flyers and crowds. Then comes the sad end, as stages are wheeled away, thousands of performers and workers leave for home and the city loses a little colour.

I lived in a large apartment with 12 other people, which was nowhere near as horrifying as I expected it to be. It was not always a love-in but we did pretty well considering. I made some great new friends, renewed old friendships and gained confidence that maybe I’m not so aimless in life after all.

Path to Arthur’s Seat

Packing is such sweet sorrow…

I am Edinburgh-bound. For the second year in a row, I will be joining the ranks of Chicago’s “Baby Wants Candy”, a musical improv group who have been going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for over a decade. With bases in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, they put on a great show and I love working with them.

No matter how exciting a trip or a journey will be, packing is always torturous for me. I’m currently staring at my bag wondering where the faint smell of rubber lingering inside it came from and wondering if there will ever come a time when I am left with room to spare in my luggage.

I’m a light packer but there is always too much stuff. I’ll be gone for a month so realistically will need a considerable amount.

Throughout the month, I hope to keep you updated on my experience of the festival, which  really has to be seen to be understood. It is an injection of life and vibrancy into an already pretty lively city. I went last year without a camera and am determined to rectify that this year.

On to an adventure.