City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

A to Z of Venues on Fringe Minus Four

By Edinburghs Festivals - Posted on 01 August 2007

The Fringe doesn't officially start until Sunday, but already the city is in the grip of Festival fever. The High Street is milling with street performers and actors peddling their shows and venues at both ends of the festival programme are today having their press previews.

I'm just back from the Zoo Southside where press huddled into the steamy, little cabaret bar in the converted church to get a taste of three of the Zoo's shows. As soon as I finish writing this I'm off to the Assembly Launch. A to Z in day, you could say.

Self-described "grumpy old man" of the venue (certainly he seems to have a few years on the other Zoo people) showed us a few of his tricks for his evening Magic Show.

Kendall (pictured) a towering Scotsman with a booming voice, has amazing dexterity for someone with such large hands.

I've known Ian on and off for a few years now (it was a total surprise that he was the first Fringe preview I've seen), and I've always been impressed by his talent. But really it's not just about the magic. Ian has a dry, self-deprecating humour that keeps shows rippling along.

Skipping ahead... The final act of the preview, a dance act called State of The Matter by 2FaCeD DaNcE Company, really raised the temperature in the already hot room.

They are a fairly rare thing - an eight-strong all-men's dance group. The group came together some years ago after connecting at break dance lessons.

As you might expect, this was intensely physical, muscular dance (see pic), even if it was done in black jackets rather than tees.

The boys afterwards were saying that choreographer Tamsin Fitzgerald has instilled much more choreography into their act, but the shoebox sized stage (not the one they'll be performing on which is much bigger) didn't leave much room, but for old-school breaks and some some impressive spit percussion on the mic by one of the gang.

Edinburgh Fringe Venues