Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012
Words: Lauren O'Toole
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012
Well the programme has been announced and we are only salivating at the prospect of a jaunt to Edinburgh for a few days of mildly debaucherous and wholly blissful lapping up of the theatrical and comedic delights on offer. For the cooler among us, August spells tents and portaloos as festival season is truly in full swing, for us nerdy theatre types it's all about traipsing from plays to slam poetry, to dance performances and physical theatre as Edinburgh buzzes with the excitement of the Fringe.
With approximately 2500 shows programmed there is an intimidating amount of festival fodder to indulge in. While the variety is a thrilling prospect for a Fringe virgin, before blindly plunging in, you may want to bear in mind the ethos of the festival organisers: there is to be no vetting of the programme whatsoever and "anyone who has a story to tell" is welcome to do so - an honourable, yet terrifying prospect.
But fear not, Fringe goers - you concentrate on booking flights and a vaguely clean hostel and we'll provide you with a few fail safe picks for this year's festival. There are one or two personal festival staples - the first being Irish comedian David O'Doherty. This year O'Doherty is back with his usual affable humour, appearing at the Pleasance Courtyard with new show Seize the David O'Doherty from the 1st to the 27th of August. Be warned, O'Doherty always sells out, so book in advance or risk missing out on his often bizarre and generally inoffensive (I mean that in a good way) fare.
For a fantastic afternoon show, check out Love All by Cheery Wild Productions. After a critically acclaimed run in Bewley's Café Theatre earlier this year, securing 5 stars from entertainment.ie's own Caomhan Keane, the show will descend on The Assembly Roxy from the 2nd to the 22nd of August. Based on the true story of Irish Wimbledon finalist Vere St Ledger Goold this "joyful farce that will keep you giggling and guessing as to what is going to occur next" comes with a guarantee to delight.
After hearing rave reviews of What the Folk, initially performed at the Absolut Fringe 2010, it was a nice surprise to discover it on the programme at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe - surprise that was swiftly followed by disappointment when it was cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. Needless to say there was much excitement when we discovered the storytelling-come-dance show is back this year in Dance Base from the 3rd to the 19th of August. This is another show that we will be making sure to book well in advance at www.edfringe.com.
Other must-sees in entertainment.ie's book are Sonya Kelly's hilarious The Wheelchair on My Face and The Royal Shakespeare Company's The Rape of Lucrece (strictly speaking in the Edinburgh International Festival). The former is a lovely auto-biographical piece, developed with Fishamble, which depicts Kelly's struggle through a myopic childhood, while the latter features the magnificent songstress Camille O'Sullivan in a piece she has developed in conjunction with The Royal Shakespeare Company.
While it is always wise to do a little prior research, just like sticking rigidly to a guide book when travelling, if you don't take the odd risk with your Fringe choices you could miss out on some real gems (or some truly awful stuff that could make for highly entertaining anecdotes in the future). As is standard practice in Edinburgh, you'll no doubt find yourself completely bombarded by fliers advertising shows that have miraculously all received 5 stars (look a little closer and you'll find that half of these star ratings are from some cast member's mother), but don't disregard the fliers, or those brandishing them, entirely. If you chat to the people behind the fliers, those sharing your hostel, or propping up the many bars you'll no doubt be inundated with suggestions to supplement your schedule.
So that's it, book what you can in advance, go forth, dabble in the odd chip butty and some pints and enjoy (and steer clear of the Royal Mile about 2pm, its terrifyingly mental).
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Wednesday 20th June 2012 | Theatre
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