Part of WUWO Magazine’s ‘Comedy Take Over’ edition.
The Edinburgh fringe is a massive beast. 2,695 shows in 279 venues spread across the great city of Edinburgh. Those figures alone are enough to send your senses into a spin. Daunting is the word, daunting. Some people will feel intimidated by the sheer size of the fringe. Don’t be, plough into it and have an adventure. Be careful though, the fringe beast could swallow you up.
Here are my tips for survival
The 7 P’s
Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Pre-bookings
There are so many shows. The best way to pick and get the full spectrum is go through the fringe guide with a couple of bottles of wine. Early on you select the ones you have heard of and like, but as you get drunker, that’s when the interesting picks come into play. “Hey I wonder what “The Zombie Mermaids of Valhalla is about?” or “I think the Shawshank Redemption has been crying out for a dance adaptation” don’t hesitate, drunkenly BOOK THEM. The fringe is your only chance to see and discover amazing shows by people you don’t know and see some truly weird and awful things that make you wonder why someone thought people would want to see this. Is there no better awkward feeling than sitting in an audience where you are the only one? Awkward for you but I bet the performer would be delighted you came along. I wonder which experience would become one of your best anecdotes at a dinner party? The time you saw Daniel Kitson do yet another master class of a show or the time you saw a one man play about “Survival at sea in a rubber dinghy”* where the guy sat in a rubber dinghy pouring salt water over himself and performing yoga. Its you, him and 10 people. By the end, it’s just you and him. This is a show I have seen (the performer stopped and asked me to leave as everyone else had).
*Title has been changed to protect myself from a yoga ninja attack.
For extreme climate changes
Take a small rucksack containing a bottle of water, a change of t-shirt, condoms and a jacket (possibly a chocolate bar depending on whether you are dieting or not; your call).
Edinburgh weather is unpredictable, but the temperature in most of the venues is predictable. It will be uncomfortably hot at times. Especially evening shows that are the eighth show in a row in that converted broom closet. You will laugh and sweat in equal measures, you will then be spit out into possibly rain or sub zero temperatures even though its meant to be summer. Change your t-shirt, put on your jacket and then you wont catch a chill. If it truly is lovely weather then sit outside, let the sweat dry and then go see another show, sweat some more and so on until you have a triple filtered sweaty shirt. That’s when its time to party and get some pussy/cock (use the condoms at this point).
shoes with good ankle support
Edinburgh has loads of cobblestones.
Don’t see too many shows in one day
I know you want to cram as much in as possible. But you will get show fatigue. If it’s 9.30pm and you are entering your seventh show of the day, you will be exhausted, laughed out, punch drunk and a bloody useless member of the audience. Pace yourself, plan time for meals and keep your fluids up. I don’t want anyone passing out in my show again because they hadn’t had time to eat all day cause they had so many shows to see. I found this out later. But during the show I had a false ego boost when I thought she laughed so much she forgot to breathe.
Use the flyers for good not evil
If you are handed a flyer, look at it. If you like what you see keep it and go to that show. If you don’t like it, DO NOT follow the path of Evil and throw said flyer to the ground. Littering is bad karma. Save the flyer and make a cloak out of all the shitty flyers you are handed. If you are in town for more than one day, you will have several cloaks. Then you can form some sort of weird cult and save money on the uniforms.
Use the toilet before entering a show
Nothing annoys a performer or the rest of the audience more than you getting up mid show and distracting everyone as you push and nudge your way out to piss then do the same coming back in. Also everyone will know if you have done a wee or a poo which can be socially embarrassing because a comedian will always comment on that. Another also is if you are watching “Albuquerque State High Schools production of Hamlet the Opera” and you go for a piss. Chances are you are the entire audience. Those poor American school kids will have to pause the show and wait for you to get back… if you go back that is. Or the worse situation would be you go for a poo, they pause the show, but cause you take so long, they start packing up, you then re-enter the room and everyone just stares at each other… for ages.
So, in conclusion. Good luck, happy hunting and I hope you enjoy the shows you pick.
Name: Jarred Christmas
Show Name: Let’s go MoFo
Where: Gilded Balloon Teviot
Dates: 1 – 26 Aug