On the first Saturday of the Fringe Edinburgh may have been wet and grey but the atmosphere was jumping. B’niece, OH and I were getting soaked and soaking in the atmosphere of the Royal Mile whilst having flyers thrust into our hands every 2 feet. Everyone was super friendly and we were completely bemused by the different ways we were tempted into going to shows.
At one point a young guy dressed in a 3 piece suit with white gloves tapped B’niece on the shoulder and when she turned round he offered her a gold card on a tray which cordially invited her to see The Great Gatsby. He didn’t utter a word just bowed and walked off. Brilliant!
Another highlight was seeing 5 minutes of Gamarjobat advertising their show Boxer. They were hilarious without saying a word and are now on my list of shows to see during August.
After wandering up and down the Royal Mile, watching the confident street entertainers and a quick look at the craft market we headed to Banshee Labyrinth to see Monkey Poet, a guy I’ve seen before and was keen to see again.
B’niece has never been to the Fringe before and to be fair she doesn’t really know me and OH all that well so when I told her we were going to see a guy doing poetry for an hour she nodded politely and said it sounded nice. Her face during his first poem (which has more swear words in the title than I have ever heard her say) was a picture. You know that moment when you’re listening to a man talking about masturbating and you’re sitting next to a relative half your age and you’re both not sure how it’s being taken? Well that.
I leaned over at one point and said, “You do realise you’re not allowed to tell your mum I took you here and please don’t call me auntie ever again.” She replied, “No we’re way past that now – this is a different level completely”. Thankfully she was smiling as she spoke.
Monkey Poet did not disappoint and if you could channel the energy and enthusiasm he puts into his show you could power a third world village for a year. Politics, religion, comedy and sex were all covered and there was even a poem for children. Well, there was a poem you could read to children if you didn’t want them to sleep ever again. The poem centred on a 3 scream pie and – actually I’m not going to tell you about it – go and see Monkey Poet for yourself – you will love the Gerard Butler lookalike, well you will if you don’t mind the *odd curse.
Next up was Christian Reilly – a bloke with a guitar wearing a straw cowboy hat getting “Lost in the Music” I saw him last year and wanted more. Again he made me laugh and yes, sometimes cringe but that really was just at the Placebo joke because it didn’t have anything in it ;p Christian is like a mash up of Stephen Lynch and Bill Bailey – extremely witty, great on the guitar and can mercilessly rip the pish out of news stories and celebrities. He mimics singers and their music perfectly and saves you a lot of money in the process – after all who needs to pay stupid prices to go see David Bowie, The Arctic Monkeys and Lady Gaga live when you can see them all for free in the shape of Christian Reilly? Yes it’s another recommendation – go see him – you’ll thank me for sure!
When we came out the venue B’niece was smiling from ear to ear and loved the show. I’m thinking that she maybe sees us in a different light now – hopefully a more awesome, cool light rather than a dingy , seedy red light mostly seen in heavily curtained windows!
If you’ve never been to the festival before you need to pay it a visit – there is definitely something for everyone and every pocket. Both Monkey Poet and Christian Reilly were free shows (there’s a bucket on the way out for you to show your appreciation) but if you want to spend some money you can find out about all the shows and buy tickets here —www.edfringe.com/
*swearing every 17 seconds.