Edinburgh Fringe Frolics

In the middle of August we three travelled all the way to Scotland to the Edinburgh Festival. We were lucky enough to stay with a friend, but I have previously stayed in a hostel with a few friends and found it to be a good option. If there’s enough of you an entire room can be overtaken, but remember – weeing around the perimeter as a form of territorialism is a bad idea.

Ooh, it's the Jeckyll and Hyde...
Cockburn Street's lovely shops
Ooh aren't we wacky?

Edinburgh’s looks are enough to make you fall in love with it. I lived for four years in Bath and it has the same Georgian style buildings and hills framing the distance, but there’s so much more to it than lovely but sleepy Bath it feels almost like a graduation.

 You go out with a plan to see three shows and end up seeing twice as many, sometimes only from sitting in a pub and hearing about a free play/comedy act in that very venue.
Cockburn Street's art cafe - Steve was a very happy boy
The Assembly Rooms

There are things happening in the street every few feet; authors signing copies of their books at the book festival this year included Richard Wiseman and Neil Gaiman; there was a spooky comedy stand up show with John Robertson in the gothic Assembly Rooms; Simon Munnery and Stewart Lee; burlesque and a mentalist called Oliver Meech who pulled us up on stage; the Jeckyll and Hyde pub has fake blood all over the bathroom and is featured in the online ‘eerie pubs guide‘; the Forest Art cafe; Grassmarket and Cockburn Street with their bookshops, art cafes and gothic, vintage and alternative clothes shops – honestly it’s just beyond great.

Go next year, and watch Braintree Ways in our own show!

Simon Munnery

Yesterday we three wearily returned from the Edinurgh Fringe Festival, drained but delighted. Expect an overview of the festival shortly, but for the time being I wish to share with you a personal highlight.

Back in 2001 I witnessed a sight so strange my mind couldn’t process it. It excited me mentally, physically and maybe even sexually. It was a live performance of Simon Munnery’s show ‘Attention Scum,’ and I was left fascinated ever since.

This year, 2011, we ventured to the festival to watch the shows and do some research, along the way encountering a vision of Jesus and accidentally coming on to an actor (again, more on that later). One of the shows we saw was Simon Munnery.

He made his entrance wearing a bubble blowing top hat, urging everyone to clap hands and sing a song with him. We were sitting right at the front (as we did with Stewart Lee, more later) and he gave Steve in our group a picture of an airship to hold up for the audience. How can you not love him already?

What followed was a mixture of personal comedy, silly songs and character monologues, my favourite being his speech as Sherlock Holmes revealing the less than impressive truth behind his status as great detective and man of science. His grasp of the peculiarity of Victorian vernacular left me jealous.

His outlook on life is very sweet and infectious, and when I cornered him afterwards brandishing one of our business cards he seemed genuinely pleased. All in all, I’d like to lick his eye and give him a cuddle all at the same time. Go see him!