Let’s play Edinurgh Fringe bingo!

15 Aug

This post was composed in collaboration with my old friend, fellow A-ha fan and English teacher extraordinaire, Susan Main. We recently took a wee trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (or Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as it used to be) and encountered many of these phenomena.

I’m not the most avid Fringe-goer, and I usually forget it’s even on (a sure sign of summer is my going “Oh, is the Fringe on? When does it start, again?”) but I live in Glasgow, only 45 minutes and about £13 from Edinburgh, so I usually pop through at some point.

This was a fairly typical Fringe outing. We saw two comedy shows, one good on the whole, the other toe-curlingly awful (I won’t link to it – they’ve suffered enough), fought our way through crowds and drank overpriced coffee in a stylish bar place where the staff mostly ignore you. Less typically, we had a picnic in the Princes Street Gardens (along with another thousand people or so) because Scotland is currently hosting that rare visitor to its shores, a hot summer.

Things do go in and out of fashion at the Fringe. A few years ago you couldn’t move for a capella pop/rock groups, whereas at the moment it’s very much identity comedy that’s in vogue: “Here’s one aspect of me that would be covered by the 2010 Equality Act (race, religion, sexuality, disability etc.). Watch as I joke self-deprecatingly about it for much longer than it can comfortably sustain!”

But there are aspects of the Fringe that seem to stay the same from year to year, and probably decade to decade. So if you’re heading to the most crowded, leafleted and self-proclaimed “hilarious” place in the country, why not play along with Edinburgh Fringe bingo?

Tourists trying to walk down the Royal Mile while pulling wheelie suitcases A leaflet that quotes the show’s one-star reviews A show described as ‘a bold reimagining’ of something
Something so covered in leaflets that you can’t tell what it is Missing a show because you mixed up the venueA busker playing an ‘amusing’ instrument
Being the entire audience of a show Someone on stilts or a unicycleA’free’ show nagging you to donate an uncomfortable amount of money
A ‘special’ (i.e. price-gouged) Fringe menu A show with a terrible pun for a title Asking a leafleter for directions

One Response to “Let’s play Edinurgh Fringe bingo!”

  1. Lynne Bradey August 15, 2022 at 3:38 pm #


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