By night, Edinburgh has the charme of a medieval ghost city lost in time. The ancient grey walls of the buildings breathe out fascinating stories of castles and queens, war and magic. But the Scottish capital is also a bright a lively place, full of students, bars, things to do and see.I was there last weekend, not only to visit the city but also for the amazing Fringe festival, a one month frenzy of shows and performances everywhere, anytime, taking place in hundreds of venues all around the city.From dance to comedy, from cabaret to circus, from music to drama, almost every performing art is represented in Fringe, but the shows are so many it’s almost impossible to choose what to see.
The best way is probably to ask friends who’ve already been there, google some reviews or just trust in serendipity: dozens of artists will stop you in the Royal Mile presenting their show. Just chose one 🙂The atmosphere is creative and crazy, truly unique and engaging. Bars pop up everywhere, people gather together in the streets, any time of the day is the right time to enjoy a show.
I’ve seen three shows: Bianco, Circa! Wunderkammer and Alma Flamenca.
Bianco is a circus/dance show by the british company NoFitState. It is a promenade show, that means that the stage changes and moves during the show, and the audience moves with it. It really makes you feel part of the performance, even if sometimes the assembling/dismantling of the scenes is pretty slow and turns down the tension of the show. The show was good. Some acts were great, some others were fun but a bit too messy and didn’t really highlight the artists’ skills. A plus for the music: the band (Fireproof Giant) was truly good. The final act with the trapeze girl and the song ‘A place to start’ was really intense.
I wasn’t lucky enough to find tickets for La Clique, a circus/cabaret/burlesque show that seem to be the hottest in all Fringe, but I saw Circa: Wunderkammer and I really enjoyed it. That’s what I call some great artists. The show is fast, sexy and the skills of the acrobats are amazing. I had a feeling I was going to like it, because it is produced by the same company – Underbelly – who produces the shows for London Wonderground (I both loved Cantina last year and Limbo this year).
Alba Flamenca was a small show with a big heart, it really made me feel like I wasn’t in Scotland but in some secret flamenco place in Spain. Everything was so intense: the music, the passionate voice of the singer, the elegant and strong dance of the women. No wonder I am looking for some flamenco classes for september J I want to perform as well! Maybe just clapping hands ahahah.
But let’s come back to the beauty of Edinburgh.
The city has such a peculiar character. It is small, easy to walk around, getting lost in one of the narrow windy streets that connect the bigger roads.
We didn’t have much time to see everything, we visited the beautiful Castle, wandered around the amazing Old City, had a drink in Grasshopper area, entered any church, open museum, bar, pub, even cemetery we met. Because I think not having a plan is a good plan to visit a city. Just getting lost, taking it easy, trying as much as possible to live as a local for a couple of days.
It’s easy to do it in Edinburgh.
And that’s what we did.
Fringe Festival will run until august 26th. More info.