Scotland’s finest festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and with it comes dynamic new shows and old favourites. With hundreds of different acts from comedy to music and theatre and dance, there really is something for everyone.
What makes Edinburgh special is the street Fringe, with fire eaters, escapologists and musicians from all over the world entertaining the crowds in return for a donation.
2022 was a very different story from last year, when Covid put people off and crowds were down. This year with good weather thrown in, people have flocked to the capital eager for some fun and entertainment.
Accompanied by Ruaridh (15), it was time for ancient to meet modern and in between and we took in the following three shows.
Les Dawson: Flying High
Les Dawson: Flying High at the Gordon Aikman Theatre, George Square until August 28th, where impressionist and fellow Lancastrian Jon Culshaw is spot on with his portrayal of the great comedian Les Dawson.
From copying the famous gurning faces to joking about his mother-in-law Ada Shufflebotham, Culshaw was perfection in the play telling the life and times of Les.
With a simple 1970’s set, the one man play centres on Les as he pens his autobiography while flying out to New York on Concorde for a rare gig.
It tells of how Les rose from the streets of Collyhurst in Manchester and a series of dead end jobs, to become a national treasure.
Les was a gifted writer who could study people and come up with the most beautiful and hilarious comic situations and his greatest gift was to play the piano badly, quite a feat.
Culshaw’s play plays tribute to Les’s talent, the good and bad times and is 60 minutes of pure joy, with laughs and tears along the way and some really, really corny jokes, too corny for Ruaridh!
Basil Brush Unleashes and Uncut
Basil Brush Unleased and Uncut is at the Debating Hall, Gilded Balloon Tevoit until August 28th. The fox has been entertaining for 60 years and still making young and old laugh.
His latest show Unleased and Uncut is aimed at adults and is hilarious. Accompanied by Mister Martin, Basil tackles the latest topics of conversation from Boris Johnston to Love Island.
With perfect comic timing, Basil and Martin have the audience eating out of their hands with some seriously silly fun.
Part of the show includes audience participation and Basil had two slightly startled Americans pretending to play along.
Basil also turns interviewer to a new celebrity every night and during the show we watched, he was joined by history comedian Ted Hill.
There are plenty of innuendos and boom booms and the show is just the tonic for some good old fashioned fun.
Agent November: outdoor escape room – Major X Ploe-Shun is at the Assembly, George Square until August 29th. I dread escape rooms, my brain is just not geared for solving puzzles, but surprisingly this one proved to be really fun and I even cracked some clues!
Ruaridh and I teamed up with three other agents to spend 60 minutes trying to solve the case and detonate the explosion before it went off.
And it was tough going, five minds looking at the puzzles in totally different ways meant it could be challenging.
We were told our plot, a suspicious package has been planted, believed to be a EMP device and a threat to everyone.
Major X, acting as a mole on the inside, was on hand to help the agents crack the device and defuse the bomb before the crucial records were wiped out forever.
It proved to be a tricky assignment and showed that you really need to read all the instructions before you start, instead of jumping in with two feet. But it was fun, hunting for clues within the perimeter of the “escape room’’ proved to be my forte, while Ruaridh was a hot shot on the puzzle cracking.
We agonised over clues, broke out in a sweat as our brains frazzled and we persevered, but did we beat the clock – sadly no, we missed out on our last clue and “wipeout’’ was declared by Major X.
Time to depart to a dark room for a lie down and a cup of brain reviving tea!
For more information on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, please visit: www.edfringe.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.