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Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 1 

Day 1 – Thursday 17 July 

Royal Mile

Royal Mile

Edinburgh is right in the middle of celebrating the 70th anniversary of it’s world-famous festivals, the Scottish capital has rightfully become known as the world’s best festival city.

What better time to turn up and get involved?

With my luggage dropped off and a ham sandwich partially consumed I decided to start my Edinburgh odyssey. As is tradition, I wandered through the Royal Mile. The anticipation was high: would I witness three actors kissing while dressed as nuns? Would a performance artist reveal their pregnancy live on the cobbles? Would a comedian frighten a defenceless civilian? Anything is possible.

Whatever was about to happen I had a feeling that there would be surprises (ideally involving Quentin Letts and a glitter canon, but this is just a pipe dream of course).

Seanmhair

Seanmhair

My first show was at Bedlam Theatre: a gorgeous, 90 seat theatre housed in a former Neogothic church at the foot of George IV Bridge for Seanmhair‘. Director Kate Wasserberg’s production has a sinister aesthetic beauty while the remarkably gifted performers avoid the easy path of desolation. It was a total joy to witness this stunning coming of age story set in 1950s Edinburgh. In every respect, though, Seanmhair is a puzzling production but one that warrants a visit. Cardiff’s The Other Room is not messing around with this one, offering direction from Kate Wasseberg, Hywel John doing the writing bit, neon light strips and opaqueness throughout and, as a result, a renewed sense that — hey, do you know what — Fringe theatre might be alright after all.

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR SEANMHAIR

Butt Kapinski

Butt Kapinski

Later, a volunteer at the Pleasance Dome Press Office tells me: “Go and see Butt Kapinski; it’s amazing… I went twice.” So I did just that. Kapinski is a cod-detective, a ‘comedy character’ that doesn’t make any sense, but is often engaging. The meta-theatre interactive piece packs a pretty entertaining punch and Deanna Fleysher’s alter-ego relies on the audience *a lot* for LOLs with mixed results. (I’m sure the Pleasance volunteer is a really nice guy and that’s all I have to say about this episode.)

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR BUTT KAPINSKI

With an abundance of choice in a connected theatre ecology, you’re likely to be influenced by blogs, friends or word of mouth. It’s probably worth pointing out that both Fringe and International Festival have plenty to offer. You should never believe that theatre-going has any rules and if there are any rules, you should break them all.

Note: I ended the evening with a large glass of Pinot Grigio.