The Fringe Report: Bards, Burgers and Fringe Withdrawal

Holly Willis 24 August 2014

My time at the Fringe has very sadly drawn to a close and I’m already suffering from withdrawal symptoms. The last few days have been packed full of brilliant shows, incredible food and wonderful people, and home feels rather quiet in comparison. If you’re still in Edinburgh, firstly I am very jealous, and secondly I hope that this final column will provide some useful suggestions for what to do (and what not to do!) while you’re there.

If you’re a morning person, I definitely recommend going to see Shakespeare for Breakfast at C Venue 34. The wonderfully named group ‘The Bardic Breakfasters’ put on a witty, tongue-in-cheek reworking of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. It also comes complete with free coffee and croissants, which in my book can only ever be a bonus. 

If you do decide to go and see it, I have one piece of advice: do not, as I did, go in looking obviously sleepy with your just-washed hair trailing all over your shoulders. It makes the Ophelia connection far too easy – but if you’re good at handling audience interaction then by all means channel your inner madwoman.

On the subject of breakfast, I couldn’t do a full Fringe report without touching on the fabulous food and drink on offer. ‘Crag’s Barbie’ at Pleasance Courtyard sells all kinds of tasty burgers, from cheeseburgers to ones topped with haggis. This stall was pretty popular when I went, and the burgers took a while but they were worth the wait!

If you’re at Pleasance and hungry but rushing off to a show, there is a café around the corner in the children’s area that people often forget about. It sells paninis, sandwiches and pizzas, as well as a range of drinks, so I would recommend heading there if you’re tight for time. And if you fancy something sweet, a personal favourite of mine was ‘The Crepe & Waffle House’. I had the best Nutella crepe I have ever tasted from this pop-up stall in George Square, but if you’re in the mood for something lighter then their lemon and sugar crepes are equally delicious.

Drinks-wise, Edinburgh is home to so many beautiful pubs and bars that I had no trouble finding somewhere for a cheeky pint – good thing I’ve taken out a summer gym membership.

Apart from the weather, my stay at the Fringe has been brilliant. I’ve seen shows that normally I never would have thought to see, from a cappella dubstep to a fantastically clever play in which Hitler, in a world where the Second World War never happened, enters the Big Brother house and manipulates his way to the top.

Having so much theatre at my fingertips has been a truly unique experience, and the last ten days have flown by. I have seen so much, and there is so much more that I wish I had managed to catch. But for now, it’s probably time to give my bank account (and my waistline!) a break. Until next year, Edinburgh!