City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The People at The Fringe


By Toby Williams - Posted on 20 August 2016

Creme Brulee Van SASG

The best thing about the Fringe is the people.

Hands down, without a doubt, it's the folk you meet. Whether it's other workers, punters, or bumping into your favourite comedian. My flyering job has allowed me to meet lots of people, and I've spent probably more time than I should have done talking to and getting to know these people. Let me talk about a few.

First of all, let me say that I believe everyone has an interesting story. Stories are the way that we express ourselves, whether it’s a true story about something we'd done, a made-up story about something we'd like to have done, or even a wistful story about something we aspire to do. Stories are the way that we link ourselves to the things around us.

With that rather high-flying idea out of the way, let's meet people.

Kirsty is a PA in a bank. She got herself a BA in Musical Theatre and together we sang some Disney songs. Frances recently went to a wedding and met someone there that she liked. Kirsty and I talked to her about what she should do, and somehow found ourselves in a KFC eating popcorn chicken and discussing our ambitions.

Aishling is from South Wales. Like her name suggests, her parents both lived in Glasgow when the steel mills were still open, but moved to Port Talbot (where my grandparents are from) when the industry suffered a hit. She joked that she had a fear of sheds – the conversation took a silly and surreal and hilarious turn from there on. Her friend Hannah works in a café, where she creates the most amazing cakes and sweetmeats. They drank gin with me and I fashioned Aishling some glasses made from straws and a flyer.

I met Dom and Robin. Dom thought I was from the TV (for those of you who watch Game Of Thrones, I bear quite a close resemblance to Samwell Tarly, the perennial coward and everyone's secret favourite). I probably did less than I should have to set Dom straight about my acting credentials. Robin decided she would marry me, simply so she could be Robin Williams. I wrote them both a note on the back of a flyer and recommended a total of 6 shows to see. As far as I know, they saw them.

I've been flyering a lot for a comedian called Martin. He's travelled the world, has been teaching me to juggle, and wears a khaki kilt in his shows. He's broken the world record for the highest comedy show and beard almost as long as his track record. I've also met John, the nicest comedian you'll ever meet, a true wonder of a man who has a surprising show about embracing your inner kink.

The point I'm trying to make, I think, is that the Fringe is all about meeting new people and extending your own experience into theirs. Whether it's a smile and a nod, or a chat over coffee, or a late-night discussion over a takeaway, the Fringe brings people together.

Also, today I met Mary Lynn Rajskub from the TV show '24' earlier and had to fanboy a little bit. Just saying.