First on our list was a wildlife show at the BBC’s venue on Potterrow that we had tickets for early on Saturday afternoon.
When we got there it turned out that it was actually a Children’s BBC show, but it was interesting enough, taking the form of a quiz based on animal noises.
The audience were divided into two groups and teamed with Dr Rhys Jones and Doug Allan on one side, and John Aitchison and Euan McIlwraith on the other. After the event we spotted Doug Allan (a great BBC Wildlife cameraman) outside.
There were various animals for people to interact with, including frogs, snakes and this lizard.
The BBC at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue is quite cool, with refreshments provided by a bar and café, a couple of performance areas and a large studio tent, all arranged around a central courtyard.
We made our way back along Nicolson Street, passing a venue we haven’t made it to yet – theSpace @ Surgeons’ Hall.
We were on our way to Bannerman’s Bar in the Cowgate, a pub nestled underneath the South Bridge within one of its arched vaults.
The comedian Paul B Edwards was performing here as part of PBH’s Free Fringe, with a good mixture of jokes and songs.
Next we headed up onto the Royal Mile to see what was going on there, and as usual it was packed with a mixture of Festival goers, performers keen to attract attention and distribute fliers for their shows and people dressed up and more or less just standing still, including this person in a Predator costume.
The flier posts are of course full up by this point, and performers are forced to go to extreme measures to find space for theirs. Although I’m not sure that people generally look that high!
In the middle of the Royal Mile were a group of actors from the Youth Action Theatre company dressed in Restoration costumes promoting their show “The Way of The World”.
Further along the street was a moustachioed boxer promoting Pekka & Strangebone’s Comedy Showpiece.
Next to St. Giles’ Cathedral were a troupe of young musical prodigies from Korea, collectively known as the K-Sori Project.
Standing on a stage beside the cathedral were Aberpella, an a cappella group from the University of Aberdeen.
Looking miserable in the middle of the street were a group of performers who, as people walked by, would momentarily light up, then revert to their depressed state.
As well as those promoting their shows, there are also a multitude of street performers taking the opportunity to perform in front of a huge audience. These included Eugenio Martinez playing the Spanish guitar….
…. an Amelia Earhart performance….
….and a guitarist in a kilt standing on top of a bollard….
Wandering amongst the crowds was a guy dressed in a tiger suit, promoting The Legion of Doom Comedy.
This guy’s party piece seemed to be standing still while holding a sword.
Taking a different approach to most was a performer from Gabriella & Octavia’s children’s show BonBon, who was sitting down in the middle of the street to promote their show.
There was a large crowd gathered in Parliament Square, next to the cathedral. We couldn’t really see what was going on besides seeing a guy standing on a plinth looking agitated while wearing a striped Victorian bathing costume.
Looking back down the Royal Mile showed just how busy the street was.
Rising above the crowds were actors from FR Productions’ show Cymbeline.
We started to make our way back down the Royal Mile, passing a member of the show “Who Ya Gonna Call?”, a fan tribute to Ghostbusters.
As we made our way through a packed Hunter Square we were treated to the sight of a guy wearing a kilt on a unicycle while juggling knives and playing the bagpipes. Really impressive! Unfortunately due to the crowds i didn’t manage to take a picture of him mid-juggle.
Across the road we went into Ciao Roma for to see Jack Jerome, a spoof motivational speaker. It started quite well but after about 10 minutes he introduced a couple of other alter egos which weren’t as funny and it went a bit flat after that. I don’t have any photos as this was a show that involved some audience participation, so we were hiding at the back trying to to draw attention to ourselves and the camera stayed in the bag!
Back outside we started to make our way home down the North Bridge, passing the University of Bristol Pantomime Society promoting their show Dick Whittington.
As we passed the Balmoral Hotel we spotted one of Peter Liversidge’s “Hello” flags flying from the top of the clock tower. The artist has placed “Hello” flags all around the city on many landmark buildings.
On Sunday afternoon we headed up to the West End via the Stockbridge Market, aiming for the Edinburgh International Book Festival which we had yet to visit. The book Festival is located in Charlotte Square with large tents around the edge of the park and seating in the centre around the statue of Prince Albert on his horse.
The tents contained performance areas, mini theatres, and several bookshops.
In one of the tents we spotted Richard Holloway, a former Bishop of Edinburgh turned author, signing autographs.
I must confess that we were here for less than highbrow reasons – my girlfriend really wanted to see Rupert Everett. Tickets were sold out, so she had to make do with hanging around outside the entrance to the tent. However there was still more than an hour to go until he was scheduled to arrive, so we decided to make our way over to the West End Craft Fair to pass the time browsing the stalls. On the way I stopped to take this photo of the view down Princes Street towards the Balmoral Hotel.
Just after 6pm we returned to Charlotte Square and took up position outside the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre to await Rupert Everett. While we were waiting I resorted to taking photos of Prince Albert again.
There was a steady stream of people entering the tent, including Pete Irvine of Unique Events.
Finally the man himself arrived, waltzing in with a glass of wine in hand.
With my girlfriend’s celebrity-spotting quota filled for the day, we headed along George Street on our way home, stopping at Castle Street to take a photo of Edinburgh Castle basking in the evening sun.
Further along George Street in the Famous Spiegeltent.
At the east end of George Street is a statue of James Clerk Maxwell, a pioneering theoretical physicist and not, as some people think, the inventor of the pizza cutter (he’s actually holding a colour wheel which he used while researching the nature and perception of colour).
The light was great this evening, and it felt as if there was a good sunset brewing. A feeling that later on proved to be correct.