The First Fortnight of the Festival

I already reviewed the incredible Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, but here are my other highlights from the first fortnight of August in Edinburgh…


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. One of Edinburgh’s, if not Scotland’s, biggest exports, the Tattoo is always quite a show. Avoid it if you’re not a fan of bagpipes. This year’s show was louder than ever with a fabulous group from South Africa, who stole the show for me, and the New Zealand lot, who seem to come back every year because they’re so popular!

Massed pipes and drums

Massed pipes and drums

Dizney Rascal. Rebecca Humphries loves Disney, but she has a few issues with some of the storylines. This was irreverent and hilarious. Amazingly, it was free, but I would have paid to see it. You can still catch this until Sunday, 2.45 p.m. at Fingers Piano Bar.

Advice for Humans. Matt Haig did a short reading from The Humans, then took part in a Q&A session. He touched on his battle with depression, Twitter, failed vegetarianism and gin, since the session took place at Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge (normally One Royal Circus, a hotel). It was a really cool venue, so I took a few photos:

Polar bear

This greets you at the door.

This suit of armour speaks.





Six litres of gin

Pirates of Men’s Pants. Based on Pirates of Penzance – and not as far from the plot as the title might suggest – this musical ticked my ‘see bizarre show’ box on the Festival checklist, but wasn’t a complete waste of time. I have had one line of one song stuck in my head for days: ‘He taught Beyonce how to sing and Miley Cyrus how to twerk.’ Yeah, definitely a variation on the original.

On Monday we had a bit of a wander around the market on the Royal Mile and I fell in love with the jewellery on the Copernicus stall. I picked up two gorgeous pairs of earrings, then went back today for a bracelet made up of imperfect pearls. I also saw two cute handbag mirrors on another stall, but I didn’t catch their name. Either way, the robot playing bagpipes made me laugh.




I’m spending another day off in Edinburgh on Sunday to fit in a few more shows before going to see Lauren Oliver at the Book Festival. The only downside of there being about 4000 shows to choose from is that there’s no way to see everything of interest!


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