Sunday, 9 August 2015

Chapter 97: Edinburgh Fringe - To Go, Or Not To Go...

Photo: Channel 4

The Edinburgh Fringe this year is bursting with more circus than ever and I am dying to see it in action. Last year saw the installation of the Total Theatre Circus Award, won by Barely Methodical Troupe's Bromance, a show I have been trying to see for the past year. This year there is the new Circus Hub, run by joint directors of Underbelly, which is hosting 12 productions from all over the world, and there is so much more cutting-edge circus happening beyond that too, in venues and on the street. 

As I mentioned in the previous post, my other half is super-supportive of my circus adventures. Still, there is a time and a place, and maybe it wasn't the cleverest of moves to broach the subject of a trip on my own up to the Edinburgh Fringe for a couple of nights, after an evening of opera at Glyndebourne watching a flirtatious Spanish clockmaker's wife flit between her husband, a poet and a financier... and then running off with the hunk of a young muleteer (read circus strongman). Nevertheless, back in the real world, the amber light flickered with enough green to let me check out the Easyjet flights, where I found a humdinger of an offer. Only then I looked at the accommodation options in a central location and I just can't justify the cost. 

I was almost reconciled to that decision when I woke this morning to an email from one of my sisters.  She is going up to the Tattoo at the weekend, and as she's up there, having just read an article in The Times yesterday, has booked herself in to see ... wait for it ... Bromance! I am both excited that she is going, and that a Fringe listing dedicated to circus has appeared in one of the broadsheets, reaching an audience that may be new to the scene. If you are a member of The Times Online you can read the article here: Roll up! New circus is coming to Edinburgh Fringe. With a leading feature on Cirque Alfonse's Barbu (click on each show name for the promo video or further information), the other shows Donald Hurtera recommends are:

- Circa: Close Up

- Cirque Le Roux: The Elephant in the Room

- Gandini Juggling: 4x4 Ephemeral Architectures

- Ellie Dubois: Ringside

- Barely Methodical Troupe: Bromance

 The thing is, though, as Kate Kavanagh from The Circus Diaries points out, 

"Interesting that most of those are Underbelly shows... I am very excited about Wings In My Heart at Big Sexy Circus City, and also saw Something at Gilded Balloon yesterday which was excellent. All depends what you're looking for, but relying on the organisation with the biggest PR budget isn't necessarily going to give the widest selection"

I will add a few recommendations to the list that I've heard about recently:

- Lost in Translation: Hogwallops
- Cohdi Harrel: Smoke and Mirrors
- Cirq La Putyka: Dolls
- Mary Bijou Caberet: Hitch
- Bent Theatre Company: Pole

If you are on Twitter looking for updates, right now I'm following  Kate Kavanagh @BustingFree, Guardian critic @LynGardner, Flora Herberich @circus_flora, Jacksons Lane @Ade_Berry (there  from next week) and @DonaldHutera.

And who knows, maybe I'll find a way yet to get there and report back. Know of a place I can stay? It's now in the lap of the gods.

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