Let's talk about the things that make Edinburgh Fringe so unique, unlike any other festival in the entire world. As you step off the train at Waverley, you're hit with a smell that awakens the senses (and no, I'm not talking about the smell of desperation oozing out of performers everywhere). It's a warm, thick smell that comes courtesy of the hops used in a brewery nearby. It glides up my nostrils and sends tingles along to my fingertips as I know I'm back in my favourite place.
It strikes me as joyfully juxtaposed that the biggest arts festival on the planet, with thousands of international showbiz creatures descending for the month is also one of the least glamorous places in the world. The venues are often damp and dank, with suspicious stains on the walls and sticky floors. The toilets can get a bit feral (hint- ALWAYS carry tissues with you), and yes, people wander around in phenomenal costumes but these are somewhat dulled down with the essential waterproof cagoules that we are all forced to wear thanks to the reliably wet Scottish skies. Ahhhh, I can just about remember a simpler time when I didn't have wads of soggy flyers balled up in every pocket.
But oh, the things you will learn! You will learn to only drink pints out of plastic glasses; you will master the art of hot-footing it across the city to shows that start within ten minutes of your previous one ending; you will covet lanyards; you will know to take the term ‘reviewer' with a pinch of salt; you'll find yourself dancing at 1am to a pop-up busker's band on a far-flung cobbled street somewhere. You can even learn a range of new techniques at a masturbating masterclass should you wish to develop that specific skill set (11.45 at Gilded Balloon).
You'll see a shit-load of stuff man. You'll also see a load of shit stuff man. But then, seeing a huge range of work is what makes the Fringe so unique. Where else in the world do amateur youth operatic societies from the coast of Norfolk get to share a billing with the biggest names in comedy?
And you will be tired. My word, my love, will you be exhausted. Doing the Fringe for the month is a marathon, not a sprint. You can tell we're all a bit tired now, after three weeks of performing, partying and praying for audiences. It's just under a week left to go everyone. Let's strap in for the final push and make Edfringe 2016 the best yet.
Katie Brennan's Quarter-Life Crisis is on at Underbelly Wee Coo at 22.50 until 29 August.
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