Every August, the world's largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, transforms Scotland's capital, as thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows of all kinds. Dave, myself, and 6 friends traveled to Edinburgh to not only experience the Fringe but also perform the play 'Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead' at the festival. The hyperlinked text will redirect you to the Wikipedia page for this edgy play.
Welcome to Scotland ... the land of kilts.
We stayed in a great Airbnb that was only a short 15 minute walk to the Royal Mile. There was plenty of room and a great kitchen that Mary used when she cooked us a tasty Italian supper.
We celebrated Janet's birthday at a whiskey bar during our first day in the city. In the second picture below, seated left to right are: Robin, Katie, Mary, Steve, Dave, Gina, & Janet. I have no idea who Gina and Janet are hugging but he stayed at our table most of the night. In typical fashion, Janet got the owner of the bar to pay for a round of drinks in her honor.
After settling in at the apartment, our first priority was to get our Fringe credentials and the preprinted show tickets provided by the festival organizers.
With registration completed, it was time for some 'street marketing'. For Fringe, the city blocks off half of the Royal Mile for street performers and other festival activities. Any flat surface was fair game for tacking up show posters. We brought about 200 posters to advertise our show since we would be one of several hundred shows during the week.
Once we finished blanketing the area with posters, we walked to our performance venue, 'The Outhouse', which is a popular bar in the Broughton neighborhood. Our job was to transform the small stage where local bands perform into Charlie Brown's high school. We also got into the spirit by having shots to calm our performance nerves.
After the initial marketing efforts, we decided to perform random scenes from the show on the Royal Mile.
Storyline: The Peanuts kids have been re-imagined and are all grown up in this unauthorized parody—and, boy, do they have problems. CB’s dog has just died and he begins questioning the existence of an afterlife; his sister doesn’t know who she is; Beethoven is being bullied; Van is a pothead; Marcy and Tricia are sex-starved mean girls; Van’s Sister is an institutionalized pyromaniac; and Matt has anger management problems.
Meet the Cast:
Aug 7th opening night, the first of four shows. Pictured below left to right.
front row - Tricia: Robin; Van's Sister & Marcy: Gina; CB's Sister: Katie; Beethoven: Mary
back row - Matt: Steve; Van: Dave; CB: Cliff
Because our performances were at 11:00 PM, we were able to enjoy the various street performers and take in a few afternoon shows.
The street performers from 'Sentinels' were so powerful that we decided to attend one of their matinee performances. In 'Sentinels', old statues, positioned along the coast, come to life and each tells the tragic story why they were chosen to be immortalized as statues and guardians of the coast. The actors' amazing voices, great choreography and moving story line did not disappoint!
Despite the tight schedule, we managed to squeeze in a tour of Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh from its position on the Castle Rock, the plug of an extinct volcano. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633.
It was during the castle tour that we first learned about Mary Queen of Scots's famous sister 'Gina Empress of All Scots'. Gina's rule brought culture and Broadway shows to the castle. We were able to take a picture of her statue that sits in front of the Edinburgh Castle main entrance .... it was so life-like.
We had a group picture taken; we look like quite the fierce Scots clan.