My Fringe experience comes in two parts. The first visit was on a rather soggy Sunday with my friend Gael. We headed through on the train with our coffees to prepare ourselves for the day. Gael had pre-booked a show that started at 4pm so we had the majority of the day to wander about and take in the atmosphere.
As it was raining, we jumped at the chance of a free comedy show, the words 'you get what you pay for' come to mind. But it was dry and passed an hour.
We wandered down closer to venue and ended up filling up on some scran before the main event, and my goodness the show was fantastic.
Bianco - a show by a circus group from Carlisle. This wasn't any ordinary acrobatic show, it was jaw dropping amazing. I was pretty much hypnotised from the start, and not just with the male stars of the show strutting about topless, although that did help. There were no seats, the rigging was movable and so the audience was constantly getting shifted position as a new set was created for another act, and even these stage changes were done to the highest degree of showmanship.
No behind the curtains here, everything was on show. I'm a very reactive person and at several points I had to gasp out loud and throw my hands to my face. I didn't even manage to drink my glass of wine in the first act. Gael found this highly amusing, me speechless and unable to drink. It's some kind of miracle! The show lasted two hours but I could have watched two more easily. It really was phenomenal. Gael had been the previous weekend and said she enjoyed it just as much. She was then able to see things she didn't the first time. There was so much going on above and around you. The live band added to the atmosphere and emotionally driven show. I don't think I have enough words to rave about it. Just mesmerising! If you get a chance to see this talented bunch, make sure you do. I'm thinking I may become a circus groupie - it wouldn't be a bad life.
My second visit to Edinburgh arrived via the trams. I got dropped off in the city after work and made my way on this infamous travel route into Princes Street. I was meeting the family to complete my dad's 60th birthday celebrations by going to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Another first.
As I was first out of the group in the capital I wandered the streets and then found myself watching two hilarious street performers one after the other, they were part of the Fringe festival. Once the others arrived we headed up the mile and were lucky enough to get a table for dinner before heading to the castle and the makeshift arena.
There is something very emotive, very patriotic about the bagpipes and drums at the Tattoo. The skill and precision of the acts was incredible. Row by row, perfect sync. I especially liked the turns and the fluent change of directions or new shapes being created. So clever. The Highland dancers were spectacular and then the acts from around the globe. I particularly liked the steel drums of Trinidad and Tobago and also Singapore, wait New Zealand was awesome too. Basically it was fantastic, each one different and the music was good and the dancing to add to it. There was light shows and fireworks. What more can you ask for? Perhaps the whole crew dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller including Zulus and the Maori act. An awesome sight to see. We all enjoyed it. It is definitely a worthwhile experience. As I said, it was a patriotic event, which attracted so many visitors. So proud to be Scottish. A tremendous night.
Now as a Glasgow girl I've an in-build dislike for Auld Reekie, however I'm happy to say I've had a great time there. I'd even go as far to say I'll be back to the Fringe for more Edinburgh experiences. And that's a massive compliment from me.
Another one bites the dust - number 19. Fringe-tastic!