I wish I’d gone to Edinburgh.

There, I’ve said it. Although, somehow, just putting it into tangible words doesn’t make me feel any less gutted about the fact that I’m not there. As a lover of ‘All Things Theatre’ (I have the housemate to thank for that glorious phrase), just the feeling of rubbing shoulders with fellow performance fiends is something I crave. To then be able to watch, critique, and on occasion perform alongside them is a (not-so) secret inner desire.

I caught the Edinburgh Fringe bug two years ago, the summer after my first year of uni, and, despite my degree and life ambitions being heavily theatre based, I haven’t managed to make it back. Yet.

That first summer I was up there purely as a spectator. A spectator with seriously limited funds, but with a wide-eyed ‘oh-my-gosh-I’ve-never-seen-so-many-creative-arty-minds-all-in-one-condensed-place-before’ attitude. I saw far too much comedy for my own personal liking, albeit not awful, and somehow managed to avoid all forms of serious/contemporary/experimental/undefined-genre theatre or performance. My preferred style. (Note: My degree has brainwashed me to a level where I can no longer simply write ‘theatre’, ‘drama’, or ‘play’ without following it with ‘or performance’. The same goes for ‘stage’, followed by ‘or space’. Gotta love the pretentious approach of the contemporary-theatre student, eh?)

Last year an alternative theatre-based activity (alongside a full-time job) prevented me from making the trek up to Scotland. Whilst spending several weeks helping to prepare 150 8-18 year olds in their production of Guys and Dolls was a fantastic experience (and has ensured that I will never work with school children ever), it wasn’t quite the same as sitting watching various housemates and friends perform in numerous shows and sketches at the Fringe.

This year my inner theatre-magnet was yet again foiled, this time by a fortnight escape from the country book-ended by the dreaded task of moving house. Again, whilst a whole array of my favourites are busy frolicking around in the land of the rain, and soaking in every aspect of the theatre (be it enjoyable or exhausting).

Next year I intend to be there with them. Or by myself if for some ungodly reason they all decide not to make the trek next year. I have to be there. In fact I give you all permission to throw things at me if I’m not.

Whilst I’m not there (and I’m regularly kicking myself for not just jumping on the next train up to Scotland), there are many a fantastic troupe (and many a fantastic friend) who are. So if you happen to be in Edinburgh, or on your way there for the final week, I implore you to check out the following:

Theatre. Sometimes physical, always pretty:

Witness Theatre’s ‘The Darkroom

Belt Up’s ‘A Little Princess‘, ‘The Boy James‘, ‘Outland

Rhum and Clay’s ‘A Strange Wild Song

Comedy. Dark and Twisty, or Irish charm:

Casual Violence’s ‘A Kick In The Teeth

Foil, Arms and Hog’s ‘Late Night Sketch Comedy

Dance. Physical theatre. All male group:

Edge FWD’s ‘A Beautiful Hell’

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Well that was an intense couple of weeks..

So, I haven’t written in a while. What a bad person. Or, what a fantastic person, who’s actually had a life for a couple of weeks! Well, that’s what I’ve been telling myself anyhow..

In reality, a load of us crashed at the fhm’s house for a week, *both*¬† the fhms (soon to be the actual housemates, so a new nickname may be in order at some point..) came to attack my house, I made the long trek to Edinburgh to see some arty folk dancing around the streets, and jetsetted (without the use of an actual jet) around the country visiting various uni peoples. It’s been a good time. Oh aye..

So, the girlies came to visit and I, being the social hermit that I am, introduced them to the nightlife of Oxford. I’m just nice like that. I then of course made that genius decision that involved copious amounts of alcohol. Bad. Move. Am pretty sure I hold the record for *worst host in the world*. Spending the entire day in bed chucking your guts up? Yeah, I know how to show my friends a good time.. Did however find some cute little hole-in-the-wall type places that I’ve never been to before, so that was an experience. Introducing the two separate groups of friendlings? Actually went better than I thought. It’s always risky throwing different groups of people together. Simply seeing others who’ve done it over the past year, it can (more often than not) turn out pretty sour. So maybe ‘pretty’ was the wrong word to use there.. Anywho, luckily they got on fantastically, a sigh-of-relief on my part.

Then came ‘possibly-the-best-long-weekend-I’ve-had-in-a-really-really-really-long-time-because-it-was-just-so-uberly-fantastic’. Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now, I *will* eventually get around to reviewing all (four) of the shows we went to see, but am just going to briefly say that three of them were fantastic and have probably forced me to alter my perception on comedy. In that actually pigs may fly, and I may have an actual sense of humour. I know, shocking stuff. I laughed at the same things as people who *like* The Simpsons. Shit.

Also I took a new rubber duck under my wing (Oh god, excuse the pun), who is b-e-a-utiful.. Meet Jock the Flying Scotsman..

He’s pretty.

Did I mention just how quickly I fell in lust with the city of Edinburgh? I mean, y’know, as possible as it is to be in lust with a city anyhow.. It just had the most amazing vibe, even in the areas away from the Fringe. A couple of us stumbled upon this really cute church and graveyard one day, and it was so relaxed and peaceful, you wouldn’t have known that the manic atmosphere of ‘arty’ types was going on just beyond the wall. Little things like that just made the whole experience seem real, as opposed to just a whirlwind couple of days spent at random pubs and bars and meeting people, etc. Whilst that was all great, I’m a sucker for the ‘real’ moments. Like, for instance, being sat in the window of a cafe and seeing various people we know walk past the window. That was surreal. I mean, yes I’m aware that we did actually go all the way to Edinburgh to see their show (Dildon’t, if you’re wondering. Check. It. Out.), but I don’t even see that many people I know when walking around Oxford *or* Brighton. So yeah, majorly surreal moment in time there.

Next came¬† a weekend in London. (The ‘posh’ end, though she’ll kill me for saying it..) Involving Nando’s, vodka, pancakes, middle of the night cups of tea and a seven-person-mattress. Yeah, you know you’re jealous. In actual fact though, it was an emotional weekend. Saying goodbye to someone that I’ve really really got to know in the past few weeks. Yeah, it was tough. Damn you America! Send. Her. Back.