The roof of a circus tent, red material drapes down toward a row of stain glass window panels

A weekend at the Edinburgh Festivals 2021

I’m so glad I managed to squeeze in a trip to Edinburgh at the end of August to catch the last weekend of the festivals. It has been quite the two weeks since then so I’m pretty late to the party but I’m wrapping it up now in this post.

On the first day I scooted down the road and met up with the lovely Ethan and his boyfriend Andrew who kindly hosted me over the weekend. We headed out for dinner at Bentoya (mucho recommend) then went for my first Fringe show in two years! First up we saw Piccolo Theatre‘s Screen 9 which was a verbatim piece about survivors of the 2012 mass shooting at the Colorado premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. It was sobering, emotional and really powerful. To lightenn our spirits we then went to see a Best of Burlesque showcase – the festival is all about range and that rollercoasteer of emotions! Special shout out to the ‘we love dumplings’ food truck in Assembly Gardens who I must visit every festival or it just doesn’t feel right.

On the second day Ethan was working so I was kind of out doing my own thing. I went for a big wander across Edinburgh and treated myself to a new green amber ring. I also got these gorgeous summer rolls for lunch from The Banh Mi Bar down in the Arches. My first activity of the day was seeing author Emma Dabiri speak about going beyond the anti-racism ‘How To’ guide at the Book Festival which was great and really provocative. I headed back to the EICC to see a play called Patricia Gets Ready (For a Date With the Man Who Used to Hit Her) by Martha Watson Allpress. It was a one-woman show telling the story of a woman reflecting on her abuse relationship and reckoning with how she might see him again. Angelina Chudi was outstanding, in equal parts charming and moving. In the afternoon I met with the lovely Deby and we hung out around the Book Festival gardens to grab a drink. The vibes over at book festival are truly the best and most chill atmosphere. And finally in the evening we headed to see the festival classic Ladyboys of Bangkok who after all these years I had never seen before, it was a lot of fun.

I seized the day on Sunday setting out early to meet my lovely friend Duncan before his work to see some 9.30am circus from Circolombia which was fun. Stepping away from the festivals for a bit, I met with my dear friend Nathalie for lunch at Six By Nico in celebration of her new job! The menu at Six by Nico was based on the Amalfi Coast and the food was beyond delicious as always – if you wanna know more about my visits to Nico then you can read this blog post. We then hopped over to the gorgeous new venue Multistory which sits right beneath the castle and watched a dance show called Your Tomorrow by Éowyn Emerald & Dancers which I was reviewing for Theatre Scotland. We had such a good time hanging out in Multistory which had foodtrucks from The Pitt Market downstairs, chatting about flipping everything and it didn’t hurt that there were a load of puppers running around. Then that evening to round things off, Ethan and I went to see the brilliant Alan Cumming at the International Festival which was so good. The new EIF outdoor tents are amazing and though we were pretty chilly we didn’t mind because Alan was so engaging, he is an incredible storyteller and his song selections were unexpected but so right.

So, yeah, all in all I had a banging weekend back at the Festivals! While it was smaller than usual and there were less shows to pick from, I still had a great time which is testament to all the companies who committed to putting on shows but also to all of my wonderful friends who I’m so lucky to spend time with. Roll on next year when we’re even more back to normal!

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