Showing posts with label high street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label high street. Show all posts

Friday 31 August 2018

Edinburgh Festivals 2018!

The fields are golden, the sun getting lower and a chill begins in the evening air as the first leaves are starting to fall. 
 Its dark now late Sunday and the men are busy packing up the large tents on George street. We know the festival must end, and a normal and quieter Edinburgh return – but also the festival lifts us all higher for a short while, and makes the impossible possible, offers new horizons. 

EIF provides a glorious and golden end of summer bash each year celebrating the best of theatre, comedy, music, dance, art and much much more...Edinburgh offers a festival for all tastes – from the intellectual rigour of the book festival, its significant comedy festival, and extensive theatre.  

Under luminous skies, I entered with the book festival with a heady mix of anticipation, bolstered by the beaming exuberance , shared laughter and well rehearsed singers of the high street.  

The sometimes new and tacky mixes with the unique individual histories. Perhaps I might hope for more of the latter. Some worry Edina is turning into a Theme park and moving downmarket – do we want a Butlin’s image or to attract the more sophisticated traveller? 
Edina has a rich seam of authentic heritage - not only the deep stories of the dark rugged castle rock, but the majestic Georgian new town and the hidden alleyways below and beyond its Royal Mile. 

 There were 4.5 million ticket sales, second only to the Olympics – and this festival takes place every year; but the diversity means there is little TV coverage. From the grand Tattoo show on the castle esplanade,  the main international festival and the youthful Fringe shows and offers a platform for new theatre, 

Paris Riots 68, with Nael Ascherson
Yanis Varoufakis
Karl Ove Knaasgard
Michael Marra: Arrest This Moment
Gina Miller

**SHOWS that caught my attention
The Beggars Opera - The Kings
Mhairi Campbell, Auld Lang Syne, Storytelling centre
The Red Guitar - 
Midsummer - The Hub
Caledonian Soul - Queens hall
Ulster American - Traverse theatre

I managed a few shows, sadly not time for all.

Monday 14 September 2015

Edinburgh Fringe festival 2015

Last year Robin Williams died during the start of EF. Williams suffered  from severe depression and he committed suicide. He was one of the most respected actors and it was felt as a sad loss. This year at EF themes of depressions were explored by several shows. I have read that isolation in today's society leads to depressions also.

**I am on the train, it’s August again and I’m off to Edinburgh festival. Another year gone. It’s been hectic.  It is a balmy hot day which is good – perhaps we’ll have a late summer? There’s a beautiful still fluffy blue reflection on the lake as we head over. I browse through the festival literature.

EIF is such a carnival of the extremes – from the sublime to the ridiculous, the daring to the intellectual; great thinkers to the clowns. It provides a platform for new creatives; brings together the great and the good and encourages collaborations.

Does it all matter? What does culture and the arts mean for societies? A great big fat and resonating yes.

At EIBF; Edinburgh International book festival 2015
‘Around the world’ brochure and Trading Stories. ‘We would be a much poorer culture had those wayfarers not persisted in gazing beyond the next horizon.’
The centre for the festival action is the Royal mile that leads from the Edinburgh castle to Holyrood (crag and tail volcanic formation). Here you can see performers from many of the fringe shows. It can be quite manic!! Mind you if you enjoy crowds it is great fun. Take change to give the performers something for their efforts. This year I saw some rather gay Australians in Mohawk headdresses; a South African high school choir; Korean dancers; more.... I have only a limited time on the high street. 

Sunday 13 September 2015

Edinburgh 2015

On Rose street I pass the old hotels such as the Kenilworth. From my first Edinburgh festival images I decide to focus on the old and the new. – the way they sit so cleverly side to side in Edinburgh’s historic lanes, closes and stairways. A town built on hills always has its long range views. It is good to venture off the main pavements – where you can see the unexpected. Edinburgh is a good place for walking and cycling – and with the castle, gardens, dips and valleys – often easier to get around than by car. At Biblos restaurant I remember they play an original playlist – how nice.

There is now Blackwell’s where Thins bookshop used to be. Beside the Scott monument is a large Ferris wheel. There are now large maroon and white trams running along the centre of Princes street.

I walked up the steps from the galleries of the mound, which take you quit suddenly from the busy thoroughfare of Princes street to the Edinburgh old town. Instead of heading to George IV bridge I decide to take the old steps past the Lady stairs close and the tiny turret of the Scottish writers museum. There is a plaque which states that when Burns came to live in Edinburgh, shortly after his first book of poems was published, he lived here in the close. It is very near to the castle and these hidden places are very unexpected. Burns must have felt right at the heart of things. It must have felt like a bustling cosmopolitan place to the Ayrshire born lad. Here he became the toast of the Edinburgh intelligencia class.

I walked past the statue of William Pitt on George street - a seagull sat on his head. In 1783 Pitt, at 24, became prime minster. There was a great deal of corrupt government he claimed he’d reform, but on gaining office he put all these thoughts aside. Nothing ever changes....There is also a statue on Hanover street to King George who came to Scotland and even wore a kilt here. I also passed Martyr's monument Edinburgh I read of the radical Thomas Muir - an incredible Scot - who along with others, set up the Convention of the Societies of Friends of the People in 1792 and dared to march for democracy. For which he was sent by the then Scottish Secretary of state to Botany Bay. A true radical thinker.

Each year I travel over to Edinburgh for the August festival. It’s one of the highlights of my year.
 Edinburgh is known as Auld Reekie. I grew up here and walked its historic streets without realising all the stories around me. Perhaps I sensed then though along the winding closes; the tall narrow buildings; the elegant Georgian new town; and always the castle high street that led over to Arthur street and the distinctive historic skyline.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

The fringe Edinburgh High Street


It's always part of the Edinburgh festival experience to walk from Fringe central near George square down the Bridges to the high street, just to savour the atmosphere and colour and sample some of the shows on offer for another year.

Thursday 4 October 2007

Edinburgh International Festival 2007

Ah how does it feel – another year has passed – and the EIF is here again. I have put in my order for warm sunny days. On a dull Tuesday I ventured rather late in the day up the High Street and I met John Kielty, writer, actor, musician, leaning in the St Giles doorway. John is now shuttling between San Francisco and Edinburgh the past year. The Martians performed their cover songs and the designer and the producer of their musical the Sundowe are there. John's lyrics in a show at the Underbelly are nominated for a Lyric Fringe award. The good news is that John is doing one of his ghost tours on Thursday evening. The Martians are so much fun!

‘INTERPOL’ gig at the Corn Exchange with Macabee supporting who were also good, although they kept us waiting an hour rudely. Very hot, sweaty venue with light coloured walls ( used to be a slaughter house!) They were powerfully dynamic and full of energy with strong harmonies and interweaving rhythms, recommend them.
The sun’s here! and the Martians busking on the High Street. This is the weather I expect for my festival visits, it makes all the difference. I went to the Andy Warhol exhibition at the mound.

I took the Ghost tour to Greyfriars Bobby’s graveyard and the Covenanters Grave where there are many buried and you can feel the passage of time. The spooky dark graveyard has inspired many writers including John and he quoted from his Sundowe musical which was about the dead rising in Edinburgh. In this dark eerie place you can feel their very presence and their lost voices. 

Friday - I went to see the play - A History of Scotland in 60 Minutes. It was highly entertaining.
I spent time at the Book Festival, which is quiet after the High Street madness. Later we took one of the rickshaws down to the Traverse theatre behind the castle! Fribo gig at the Acoustic Centre who are an innovative mix of Norwegian and Scottish traditions.

Saturday - I went to the C venue where Oxford students do their shows and I saw Out of the Blue, which was an  entertaining show.  I had lunch in the café and enjoyed the young costumed artists having fun with their shows.  I read of an Irish fiddle player who did his show ‘Around the World on 80 quid’ with no advance PR or venue. Travelling the world he got involved with drugs and ended up on a beach with no violin and thought to himself, what’s the point? Then he decided he could play anything at hand.  He played a few sold out shows in Ireland and people said to him – ‘Why not play the Edinburgh Festival?’
While there are many fun things such as the Speigel tent and more, a festival needs to evolve and Edinburgh has been going since the 40s! More streets available for new musicians to perform – say blocked of streets near Princes street with a central place to buy their cds – similar to Montreal’s Blues and Jazz festival. The sun casts late rays across the High Street blinding anyone walking towards the castle. Playing any festival is a buzz, there’s that exaggerated feel to it all and the heightened senses - the odd street performers and people of every nation brought together in a melting pot- from Australian scouts to north Americana Indians. Here’s hoping for sun and fun shows next year. See you there 2008!  THE  SUNDOWE musical plays in Eden Court Inverness Nov 2007 - before touring.