Beyond the Fringe


On the streets of Edinburgh during the festival it is sometimes hard to distinguish art from real life.

Yesterday morning as I strolled along the Royal Mile thronged with Fringe performers touting their shows, a small crowd watched expectantly as a black clad local hard man punched a student dressed as a nineteenth century fop. It was only when the student lay sprawled on the floor that we noticed no one was handing out leaflets to promote the rest of the show. The crowd moved on.

Last night in a Grassmarket restaurant, diners at the outside tables listened to street entertainers as a woman was clubbed with a broken bottle. Our waitress bustled outside with a handful of paper napkins and called an ambulance before returning to take our order. The ambulance arrived, two weary looking police officers took statements and the street entertainers played on.

Back on the brighter side Norfolk Youth Music Theatre brought tears to the eye with their sparkling performance of The Secret Garden (Augustine’s, venue 152, 2.50pm all this week). Don’t miss it if you are in town.

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