Many were performing in the Fringe, the buzzing International Festival spin-off where the likes of Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Richard Ayoade cut their teeth as young comedy performers. It’s an exciting place to spot upcoming talents in venues all over the capital – this year we were blown away by Doctor Brown, who weaves original and downright hilarious running gags throughout his sophisticated mime routine. No surprise that he bagged the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Comedy Show, while the Panel Prize went to another mime act, The Boy with Tape on his Face.
Silence may be golden in parts of the Fringe but most of the event was as loud and proud as ever. We were won over by The Ugly Sisters, RashDash’s noisy musical casting Cinders’ step-sisters as victims in a reality TV show stitch-up. Also a hoot were the many shows at legendary Fringe venue Pleasance Courtyard – we caught a classic Best of the Fest round-up with chucklesome turns from Danny Buckler, whose material ranged from local mating rituals to Vidal Sassoon, and Markus Birdman, a cutting-edge comedian who claims to have once mistaken a stroke for a hangover. Keeping the audience toasty was MC John Robbins, a cheeky young charmer who was rocking his own show later that day.
Fringe favourite Phill Jupitus returned with two shows, including one entitled Porky The Poet. Turns out the Never Mind The Buzzcocks and QI panelist was a poet before he was a comedian and has composed catchy pieces about everything from touring with Madness to Yummy Mummies.
But Edinburgh wasn’t just about the Fringe – as usual there were a whopping six festivals in the Scottish capital this August, including Book and Art festivals as well as the International Festival itself, running until Sunday September 2nd. Australian choreographer Leigh Warren took part in the latter, teaming up with famed composer Michael Nyman (The Piano) for an elegant piece in which dancers mingled with musicians on stage.
From comedy to dance to art to theatre and back again… seems like Edinburgh Festivals had it all this summer. And it didn’t rain that much either.