The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the biggest arts festival in the world. With a mind-blowing 24,000 artists involved this year and nearly 3000 shows being put on, knowing where to start can be difficult. Book your room in one of our Edinburgh hotels, from where you can explore the Fringe and see as much of it as you can. Here are some of the programme highlights by venue:
This venue provides the backbone to the Fringe Festival and is full of all sorts of events that will probably sell out fast. Get tickets for Long Live the Little Knife, a David Leddy show about forgery, castration and blind drunkenness or Tim Price’s I’m Wit The Band about the breakup of an indie group.
New last year, this venue is full of diverse shows and theatre. Don’t miss Stellar Quine’s The List or Gym Party by the fabulous young company of Made in China. Discover the inner depths of music in Anatomy of The Piano, which is part concert, part lecture and part dissection of a musical instrument.
The two Zoo Venues are particularly good for dance shows, so if you’re looking to watch some incredible feats of strength, agility and artistry, have a look at the Zoo programme. If ballet farce sounds like your sort of thing, you’ll love Squally Showers from Little Bulb or get tickets to one of the shows by the outstanding Lost Dog company.
If the Traverse is the backbone of the Fringe, Pleasance Courtyard is the heart, and it attracts over half a million visitors each year. With 16 venues and hundreds of shows, you could spend the entire festival here alone. But if you want to make it to other places as well, just make sure you see the National Theatre Wales’ award-winning Radicalisation by Bradley Manning or the controversial Making News, which is all about the BBC and the Jimmy Saville enquiry. Or, if none of these strike your fancy, check out William Gaminara’s The Three Lions about England’s failed attempt to host the 2018 World Cup.
This festival hub is full of kooky ways to attract visitors, who come to the area for the cool bars as well as the interesting programme. There will be some more excellent, topical plays to see, particularly Chalk Farm, which is all about the London riots. Antler’s Where The White Stops won the IdeasTap Underbelly award, and Circa will be coming back to the Fringe after four years. Don’t miss their Wunderkammer, which the circus company describe as a complex feast for the senses.
This established set of venues is full of a wide range of things to see. Smashed is a juggling show unlike any other in the world. If you thought keeping a bunch of balls in the air was just a party trick, you need to see this magically expressive form of art. To experience something new, don’t miss the world’s first interactive drum-theatre experience Drum Struck! in the Assembly Hall. Volcano’s LOVE at the Assembly Roxy is getting some hype, and you can bet Jekyll & Hyde in the same venue will be excellent.
The scattered C Venues all over the city are full of hit-and-miss student-y performances. Jamie Wilkes’ Bunker Triology is being heralded as the thing to see, but as ever, you’re likely to stumble across all sorts of interesting things if you walk the Royal Mile during the day and collect a bundle of fliers.