The Fringe is a contentious issue for Edinburgh residents. I’ve lived in the city for 11 years and not once have I embraced the crowds, the extended journey times, the pushing, the shoving, the increased volume of dried sick patches on my walk to work in the morning. Something happened in 2017 though, I decided to roll with the punches and actually try to enjoy the vibrant, electric cultural explosion that you can only enjoy in Edinburgh once per annum. Out with festival time, we moan about how quiet Edinburgh is, how uninspired the nightlife is and how little there is to do. When an outsider makes this criticism though, we quickly jump to our city’s defense. It’s only ok when I say it! No, 2017 is the year I finally welcomed the festival with open arms and actually invested time and energy in it. It was well worth it.

I was strategic, only picking shows based on recommendations. Here are the shows I’ve seen so far, what I thought of them and in all cases you should go and see them if you can. You can click out to booking pages from the images or titles. I make things so easy for you, Jesus:

This is a find. A friend saw it in 2016 and recommended it, however the brief commentary on this powerful live interpretation she gave me was intense enough and I chickened out. 2017, the year of a brave new me. I went and I was no less shocked than I thought I would be. Prepare yourself for a visceral performance, incredible acting, nudity and toilet water. I won’t say anymore.

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