Only two planned trips into the Edinburgh Festival this year, and both with my 6-year-old daughter. I have been working in the centre of Edinburgh this year though so got to soak up some of the Fringe atmosphere a little more often.
I’d planned the first on my iPhone and agreed which shows my daughter wanted to see – Danny the Champion of the World at Lower Theatre in theSpace @ Niddry St and Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show at Auditorium in Gilded Balloon at the Museum – only to find that the Danny show was only running for a week later in the festival, and the Science show was sold out and the day we were heading in, Tuesday 6 August.
We revised plans the morning before and booked The Snow Queen in theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (Fleming Theatre). We’d also pencilled in a couple of free events in the Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters, which is always a good venue for free kids shows. We ended up seeing Science Magic: Play with Your Food and then just wandering around grabbing some lunch, ice creams and watching some of the many street performers on the Royal Mile.
The Snow Queen show was a little strange, to say the least. It was the only show of the festival for the performers, which should have set alarm bells ringing. A fairly small crowd of around ~50 saw a young group of Americas put on a modern-day take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen story, which both my daughter and I thought didn’t really work. So much so that she wanted to get straight out and not have any pictures afterwards and in the rush left her cap, so we ended up having to go back!
The Science Magic show was better with the single performer doing a number of science experiments with things you’d find around the house, like the classic cola fountain and a telekinetic sauce sachet! It was a free show, but well worth the £10 donation at the end, which matched the cost of The Snow Queen tickets!
Given we’d missed the two shows she wanted to see, I’d said we might get back in on the Monday before starting back at school, which we managed to do on the 19 August.
Both shows were better than the ones we’d seen on our first visit, although I think my daughter thought the 2 science shows were better than the plays. I think she was probably right!
We also managed to spend a couple of hours in the Museum of Scotland, which in all honesty, was actually better than ANY of the Fringe shows and a great place to spend a few hours if you have some time in Edinburgh.
We might be a little spoiled when it comes to the Edinburgh Festival, living so close, and being able to get in almost every year. Edinburgh transforms during August and is a great place to visit, although a less fun place to work!