Fringe benefits. 19 August 2011

I always get in a bit of a huff when trying to pack for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Not wanting to lug my whole wardrobe across London to the airport (and certainly not wanting to queue to check-in any luggage) I tried to pack only the necessities into my rather small red and white polka dot travel bag.

This always poses a bit of a problem when faced with the ever-changing weather forecast of the stunning Scottish capital which plays host to a mere 2,542 events over the course of the Fringe.

So like any good traveller, I try to pack something practical and comfortable for all occasions.

My top items would have to be a Rain Mac (Corner Shop branded of course – I have no shame!), a sun hat (bargain find at the airport), Wellies (because when it rains, it really rains) and trainers (any hope of wearing your favourite summer wedges go out the window when you have 5 minutes to race to the next show).

After the success of last year’s Five Guys Named Moe starring the lovely Clarke Peters, this year’s trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival really had a lot to live up to. Ben and I are looking after the headline act at the Udderbelly - the high-octane, physical spectacular, Free Run and I must confess, it has, and continues to be, an absolute pleasure working with such a great group of down-to-earth, scarily talented and fearless young guys.

After giving the show-hungry crowds a sneak preview of the production at the Udderbelly press launch, the show is now selling out almost every night. Hurrah!

In the short time that I had in Edinburgh, I did what everyone always tries to do during the Festival - cram in as many shows as possible.

I managed a grand total of 6 (some great and some inevitably awful but I won’t name and shame!) along with a few sneaky G&Ts at the Hotel Du Vin and the Underbelly’s new member’s bar Abattoir (quirky but cosy hang-out away from the crowds).

Before I knew it, it was 4am and I found myself wandering sleepily through the poster-plastered streets of Edinburgh back to our wonderfully spacious, high-ceiling Edinburgh flat where I collapsed into bed, just as the sun began to rise.

After a naughty trip to the infamous Chocolate Soup for a sugar kick send-off the following morning, I headed back to London to greet the press at the tranquil setting of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for the opening night of the final production of Timothy Sheader’s 2011 season at the Park, Gershwin’s Crazy for You.

Transported from Bristo Square to Deadrock, Nevada, Crazy for You provided a much-needed evening of pure escapism amidst the riots. Sean Palmer’s effortless vocals coupled with the leggy blonde follies who tapped up a storm (not literally, thank God) left me grinning from ear to ear.

So whether you find yourself in London or Edinburgh, outside in a royal park or inside a giant upside down purple cow (Udderbelly), watching a chorus of follies, or Free Running champions, I think it’s safe to say that the variety and quality of theatre and performance on offer at the moment is really rather impressive.

Chloe Prichard-Gordon, Publicist, The Corner Shop PR


Edinburgh Fringe recommendations:

Regents’ Park Open Air Theatre:

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