Every August, fans of comedy and the performing arts descend on the Scottish capital of Edinburgh for a festival like no other! and the question everyone has each year is What's on Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is known to most simply as The Fringe and hosts a mind-boggling array of acts in venues across the city. Last year audiences struggled to choose between a crazy 3,398 shows over 25 days!
If you’re a first timer at the fringe, head to Bristo Square, which is a hive of activity. You won’t miss the huge inflatable purple cow which houses entertainment by Underbelly, showcasing everything from cabaret to circus to comedy. Underbelly Untapped focuses in particular on new female voices in theatre and supports up-and-coming talent.
One of the largest comedy venues, Gilded Balloon, is also close by and is known for the ‘So You Think You’re Funny?’ competition. This year you’ll find familiar faces like Al Murray, Jon Culshaw and Rhod Gilbert, as well as acts paying tributes to comedy legends like Tommy Cooper and Benny Hill.
As well as the established venues, you can go ‘off-piste’ and visit one of the many free shows performed in pubs and clubs across the capital. Some are advertised as being free but invite audience donations at the end of the show. You might also see some ‘pay what you want’ venues, which does what it says on the tin!
The great thing about Edinburgh Festival is you truly never know what you’re going to see, as the ‘open access’ policy means that anyone can perform anything. Of course, it’s not just comedy; you can see musicals, spoken word, dance and circus performances too. And you might just find yourself watching the next comedy superstar, as many have used The Fringe as a springboard to bigger careers.
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Walk a little way and you’ll find Fringe Festival stalwart, Pleasance Dome. This venue opened its doors for the 1985 festival and has grown into a much-loved and respected place to see comedians and plays. This year they are hosting ‘biting political satire’ in the production Trump Lear, which mixes the most powerful man in the world with Shakespeare like nothing else you’ve seen! If you prefer your comedy more off-the-cuff, check out Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised by improv sensations Racing Minds.
The Let's Go Out Team
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