Venues Of The Year

It is a running joke amongst Edinburgh residents that any empty space capable of holding two people or more has potential to become a venue during the Fringe.

This is often true, and I seem to recall shows taking place in a telephone box and the back of a car in the past.

This year is no different, and some of the most orginal venues I have so far spotted include:

  • Two shows taking place on buses – The Comedy Bus, a customised silver double-decker that takes participants on a comedy tour of Edinburgh (including thoughtfully-scheduled stop-off points at 4 bars around the city). And Miss High Leg Kick’s Fashion Bus, a free show taking place in an around a London bus stationed in the Grassmarket, from which “fabulous fashionistas emerge” at 6.30pm every evening. Should be worth hanging around there with a camera, if nothing else…
  • At Home With Holly does what it says on the tin, being a one-woman comedy show taking place in a real flat in Edinburgh’s Albany Street. I hope she’s done the cleaning…
  • After last year’s sell-out shows, Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is back, with diners in B’Est Restuarant being treated to the pleasures of being served by Manuel, Basil, Cybil and the rest. Good value, as the ticket price includes a three-course meal. Obviously, just don’t mention the war.
  • And in what is a perhaps a worrying trend this year, two shows are set in public conveniences. Whilst some locals may say these places provide all-year round entertainment and spectacle, The Assassination of Paris Hilton and Waiting For Godot (“bringing Beckett to the bogs“) take this one stage further, taking place in the ladies’ toilet in the Assembly Rooms and the public lavatories of the St James’ Centre respectively. I just hope, particularly for that latter show, they have reserved exclusive use…
  • But perhaps the most original of all is Soul Photography, A Virtual One-Man Show. This one doesn’t even have a venue, as performance artist Mikhail Tank is planning on broadcasting himself over the internet (a registration fee of £5 applies) for one night on August 30th at 9pm. At the very least, it’ll save on the taxi fare.

These perhaps raise the bar for Festivals to come. One thing’s for sure, when the controversial Edinburgh trams finally arrive, someone will be performing a Fringe show onboard…

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