Nothing much on the telly tonight…..

As I type this the UEFA Euro 2020 final is half way through, England are beating Italy 1-0. Yes I have the football on, well, it is quite unusual, for England to make it to a Final. To be honest I’m not fussed who wins, ’cause, one – it’s only football, and two, I have a soft spot for Italy. I had a good mate in school who was Italian and really football mad (we had the same taste in music); he tried his damnedest to get me into football but it really wasn’t to be. When we met up again in the nineties we’d watch the Italian matches shown on telly on Sunday afternoons, then I understood more about his passion – it looked like a completely different game compared to British football at the time, it flowed. I wonder if my old mate is watching tonight, last I heard he’s in Japan.

Outside its quite a pleasant evening now, mind the drizzle could start up again. I was walking in the Park this afternoon when it came on, so my hike up to the top (getting in practice for next month) was rerouted to home before I got too soggy. Umm, I could go out later, perhaps, the bats in the Park are quite lively now and I’ve discovered another couple of great spots to watch them. Oo, Italy just drew level. This is a tricky one for some Scots, the ones who aren’t hardcore ABE (anyone but England), as long as there’s no dodgy call that helps England, then I think many Scots would be okay with a win.

In other news, George Square Gardens had the beginnings of the Assembly Festival garden going up, one bit definitely looked like a spiegeltent skeleton. I don’t think Assembly have announced any In-person shows yet, at least, when I looked through this week’s additions to tickets there’s only a venue numbered for Assembly Showcatcher (Online). There’s now forty eight numbered venues;four are venues that are both physical and digital, so they have a venue number for each. The Fringe Player is back, with venue no.65 (a quick look back, in 2000 venue 65 was St Ann’s Community Centre, South Gray’s Close, Cowgate). I counted fourteen online venues and twenty nine physical venues. Yes, that leaves five unaccounted for; those are just meeting places on the street for walking tours.

All the big four (Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly) are still to announce any In-person shows. The up-and-coming Summerhall have been busy bees and already have In-person, Online Scheduled and Online on Demand tickets available for plenty of shows, yay them. ThespaceUK also has plenty of tickets already available at three venues and online; the garden in Hill Square has been upgraded from just an outdoor bar to an open-air venue, the Garden Theatre (there’ll still be a bar, of course). Greenside, a slow-grown company with three sites, always worth checking out the shows on offer here, announced back in April that they would be digital-only this year.

Of course, the online content this year will make plenty of the Edinburgh Fringe available around the world, especially the On-demand shows, the Scheduled online shows will be available depending on one’s bedtime (you’d have to be really certain it’ll be a good show to watch from Western Australia). Families with young children should get a good deal with any children’s shows online – one ticket bought for a whole family! Of course, that means much lower incomes for the shows, or maybe enough extra families will come on-board that ticket sales won’t dip.

Italy just won a few minutes ago on penalties 3-2, ben fatto, Italia. I’m guessing there may be a connection with the car horns I can hear outside! Commiserations to the England team, I’d say they played well, but I was only half watching and what do I know about what I just saw?! Hey, it is only a game, it’s not like it’s a matter of life or death ūüėČ

Time to call it a night, I reckon, it’s a night! Toodle pip!

Fringey things are afoot….

Hi there! Bruce here, coming to you from deepest dankest Yorkshire, yes, even in summer the damp is never far away. I may be away from Auld Reekie but I’m keeping tabs on what’s happening, like Fringe tickets now being on sale! One thing I managed to miss is that social distancing will be down to one metre as of the 19th July (how did I miss that?!) On the Edinburgh Fringe website it says that the Scottish Government has advised that even the one metre could be lifted on 9th August; two thoughts on this, i) I’m not going to hold my breath, and ii) its a bit bloody late to appease anyone. Did the decision for allowing the drop to one metre come too late for Underbelly? Whatever, apparently Underbelly will not be going ahead with plans for a Circus Hub venue in the Meadows.

Underbelly will be back in George Square as well as having an outdoor stage in Bristo Square. Assembly Festival will also be back in George Square Gardens with one spiegeltent and an outdoor stage. The Pleasance will be creating an outdoor stage in the Courtyard, let’s face it so many of their spaces are cramped, they couldn’t happen this year! Summerhall will also make use of their courtyard as a venue space – where will folk do their boozing and schmoozing?! Gilded Balloon will as ever be in Teviot (I guess the Wee Room won’t be used this year). Heaven knows how the smaller venues will manage, or if they’ll bother even trying.

The Edinburgh Farmer’s Market may benefit from having a new venue right next to it; the top floor of the NCP car park on Castle Terrace is to be an open air festival hub run by the Gilded Balloon, Traverse Theatre, DanceBase and Zoo Venues. At least I hope the Farmer’s Market will still be able to be in its usual spot over August, okay, yes, I am slightly troubled about this development.

Tickets for over 170 shows (but less than 180 shows, I’m guessing) are now available from the Fringe website. These can be In-person or online shows, the online shows may be scheduled or on-demand, or a show may be a mixture of the aforementioned. At quick glance it seems that if a show is both in-person and scheduled online it’s listed twice, this could take some time!!

One show that I spotted is back is that bloke atop Arthur’s Seat! Oh yay, Barry Ferns is going to back on Arthur’s Seat at one in the afternoon from 7th to 28th August, oh, with Wednesdays off and as long as his knees hold out. What with the Ferns’ return and all these outdoor stages, better pray to all the gods for a dry month!

I should have had a coffee first!

Yesterday would have been a grand last Sunday for the Fringe, a sunny day right through, not hot but not too cool either. It was the day to try out Gilded Balloon’s Fringe Search Party, so armed with a fully charged phone I headed up to Teviot Square. I really should have had that coffee before I went out. The first clue took me what seemed like ages to figure out what I had to do, and that was even after the hint! (after a few attempts the game takes pity on you and gives a hint). Then I was off and strolling!

It was fun to do though I did find some of the clues a tad obtuse, maybe it’s just how my brain works (give me a killer sudoku any time) and maybe that’s when a team of four heads¬†are better than one. The brains that devised Search Party made the most of an emptier Edinburgh, some bits would have been way trickier with too many bodies obstructing the view.

So did I find Isla Fallot? Indeed I did, I laughed out loud when I realised where she was. If I’d had that coffee and thunk about it some, I maybe could have figured it out, gone straight there and taken a selfie with her. But that would be cheating, Brucie, I hear you cry, don’t worry, I like my glories unsullied, mind it would have been pretty sharp to have figured out her hiding place. No, the pleasure is in the hunt, just as well as my time was almost twice that of the leaders! Did I take a selfie with her? Well, no, because I was told to, bit like being told to have another drink at Christmas do’s, I felt a bit irked.

Edinburgh actually felt reasonably touristed yesterday. Plenty of folk milling about, still nowhere near normal levels though. I wonder how many were up because they’d booked to come when there was still a Fringe being planned; a very different stay than intended! How many were coming back and bringing a Fringe virgin with them? Nevermind the Search Party, the NotFringe2020 Walking Tour could have been a thing!! Oh my,¬†that’s¬†what I can do with those sad photos I’ve taken. Let’s see, where first?

20200825_215501Ah yes, Charlotte Square at the west end of George Street, this would usually be full of books, tents, authors, books and the best portaloos in town. It’s all locked up, can’t even get in for¬† sit down.

20200830_234512

 

 

Next to Adam House on Chamber Street. It was simply the Adam House Theatre before becoming C venues flagship for many years, but last year saw it under the Gilded Balloon banner. I did ask a number of different folk about their take on what happened. Some very interesting, enlightening listening!

 

20200830_233924

 

What’s missing from this picture?

A BlundaBus and a Spiegelyurt, oh and picket fences, and some really chill vibes. The string of lights you can see are in the Potterrow Underpass, very useful when rushing up from the Cowgate to the university area.

20200830_231917

 

I would forgive anyone for not recognising this park with its Narnia-style lamp as being George Square Gardens, I know, look the grass is real! Sadly it never fully recovers any more from the bashing it takes from the Jazz, Food and Fringe festivals every year.

 

20200830_231543George Square 2020, one lonely Tuk Truk and a coffee kiosk.

And how are things looking at No.33? Well, the weeds need sorting out!20200830_233523

And let’s finish this little tour by heading down the Pleasance and left up the Cowgate. Oo, the council have finally resurfaced the road, it’s now silky smooth, unlike the pavements. In August the Cowgate is usually heaving with people traversing up and down and across it; you can’t have truly done the Fringe if you’ve never put a foot on the Cowgate!¬† One of the loveliest spots on it is the Rowantree Bar and Niddry Street South…20200825_135050

So ends my little walking tour, things ain’t what they used to be!

20200825_220214

 

But I did hear about one venue that despite the lack of a physical Fringe put up a banner outside as usual. Oh yes, ClubFest 2020 may have gone virtual but the Scottish Arts Club put a real banner up at Rutland Square. Good for them!

 

 

 

Toodle pip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A seat with a view

As today (well, technically yesterday) was the third Saturday of NotFringe2020, I took myself up Arthur’s Seat to sit awhile and stare out over Edinburgh. I would have stood but the wind was scarily strong, so I hunkered down low to stop from being blown away. Why today? Barry Ferns, for some years this was the day of the big Gala performance (well, he and three other comedians he’d manage to persuade to walk up Arthur’s Seat), it seemed fitting to trot on up and read a bit of poetry.

I say trot, more of a trotting start, slowing to an amble, with more and more pauses “to admire the view” as I went higher and higher. Oo, I took a different route to my usual up near the top, quite daring of me in the high winds and blinding sunlight. The views today were great, so pics were in order,¬† at least one to prove I made it up there! It was difficult to judge which bit of Edinburgh was in the background but I got lucky – zoom in and to the side of my ear is McEwan Hall and the university area, a smidgen further and there’s George Square Gardens, further again the Meadows and Marchmont.

20200822_233035

And, of course, a panoramic shot from the castle far left, taking in the Forth, across the city to Edinburgh’s Disgrace on Calton Hill on the right.

20200822_224343

Toodle pip!

Bruce loves candy

Hurrah! Those lovely people at Assembly announced on Friday that they are once again doing their Locals discount, that’s all Assembly shows from the 1st to the 5th for a fiver (to a maximum of six shows) at their box office, evidence of an EH postcode required. Woohoo! A swift perusal of all my cutouts and the Venue guide section of the Fringe programme¬† (it lists all the shows at each venue), et voil√†, five more shows picked out.

This is a particularly good deal as Assembly shows are not cheap, even the previews can be costly – I paid a tenner for¬†Thrones! The Musical!¬†preview show¬†just in case the residents offer wasn’t on this year. I can now happily snaffle sweets from the¬†Baby Wants Candy¬†flyerers as I’m finally going to see them (I’ve always felt a teensy bit bad taking their sweets as I never saw them or intended to). Again, their previews cost ¬£10, then up to ¬£14-¬£15, yeah a fiver sounds good to me.

Sleeping Trees have uprooted themselves again and are now in one of Assembly’s Studios. Couldn’t miss these guys but again, Assembly prices, so though they should really be in the middle week (see ¬†It‚Äôs the wrong order, Gromit!) I’ll be seeing them the first weekend for just the fiver and I can see another show with the change! Fingers crossed they do¬†Sleeping Trees and The Chocolate Factory¬†again, that’s oodles of fun. It’s not in the programme, never is, but watch out for posters around the Pleasance Courtyard.

Assembly already have their George Square Gardens set up and running as part of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, so when I ambled up to get my tickets I was able to check this year’s layout. There’s a new bar at the bottom of the garden that has an upper level. Silly me, I didn’t check the drinks prices to see how much I won’t be drinking, but I did notice that whilst there’s no decent cider, they do have a couple of IPAs, so I may treat myself to a Deuchars before a show.

Toodle pip!