The End of the Fringe | Drunk Shakespeare and Comedy Royalty

We are officially into September which sadly means that the Edinburgh Fringe festival has come to an end. Like most people I can imagine, this comes with a dual sense of emotions; on one hand I am sad to see the high level entertainment and opportunities disappear from our streets but I am also absolutely shattered from what has been quite the intense month (performers I have no idea how you do it).

George Square Gardens at Night/photo from The Edinburgh Reporter

I ended the Fringe on a self proclaimed high, filled with two wonderful shows and plenty of opportunities to make the most out of the outdoor drinks and food courtyards in George Square gardens. I think to some degree these opportunities will be the ones I miss the most, sitting outside in a busy atmosphere, still feeling like I am tucked away from the centre of town, which all presented me with the opportunity to drag friends to the hub of the excitement.

The first show I watched to finish my stint at the Fringe was the infamous ‘Shit-faced Shakespeare’s’ Macbeth which got more rave reviews through word of mouth than any other show to my ears. If you couldn’t tell, the company is famous for getting one of the cast members drunk while the rest of the cast have to put up with said drunk characters antics. It is a show that brings everyone together, no matter your opinion on Shakespeare, and the cast are fantastic at engaging the audience.

The production was at the ‘Pleasance at the EICC’ (Edinburgh International Conference Centre) where the venue boasts an impressive theatre for the Fringe alongside some extremely comfy seats – you’re not going to complain about leg cramp or sore backs here.

We were lucky to witness Lady Macbeth as the drunk actor on stage and boy was that a lucky day! She brought ounces of fun and modern references in spades, to juxtapose the classical Elizabethan production. If you’re worried that you aren’t going to connect with the show itself because of the content, I wouldn’t worry.

Said cast member is given four hours to drink prior to the show and a few members of the audience are given permission to stop the show at any point, to give the actor more to drink. It is a hoot and a show that is perfect prior to a night out.

Shit-faced Shakespeare tours the country and is based in the UK, USA and Australia. So if you want to watch it, check out where they are next!

Have you seen any of the other productions from the ‘Shit-faced’ Shakespeare company? What do you think of the concept? I’d love to know in the comments.

Lastly to finish the Fringe was the incredible Nish Kumar. I had booked to see Nish before the Fringe kicked off as I was desperate to see his comedy act.

If you don’t know Nish Kumar (where have you been), he specialises in political comedy and quite often annoys the press, much to his (and everyone else’s) delight. Besides that, he is a class act comedic genius and is a fantastic storyteller.

Nish’s show titled ‘Your Power, Your Control’ delved into his comedy horror stories (corporate gigs are not the perfect place to make fun of the Conservative government… who knew) and focussed on the political climate and the inequality present in todays society and system.

Like he states in his gig, he uses this for comedy to bring it to an audience who also understand, who can appreciate both the gravity of the situation and feel relief in poking fun at it because undoubtedly it is hard. I implore you to see Nish Kumar live, you’ll be guaranteed a night of laughter!


And suddenly we’re already into September. Shit-faced Shakespeare and Nish Kumar were the perfect way to end the 75th anniversary of the Fringe and, if I must admit, I am glad for some time to rest and recuperate. The Fringe is no joke and although Edinburgh was quieter than expected, it is still an intense month for most.

However, small, independent acts need your help just as much as these bigger productions so if you are already blocking time out next year for your plans, it is never a bad idea to get to Edinburgh to see some fantastic, eclectic performances. The Fringe is never guaranteed and coming out of a pandemic I can only assume that there are in more need of your support than ever.

But for now, that is my Fringe content done for this year. You can catch all of the articles on the Review page of my website and now I will revert to my usual programming! Thanks for tuning in and I hope you enjoyed it.

Much love,
Sophie.


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