City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

All-Weather Fringe


By Toby Williams - Posted on 13 August 2016

The Royal Mile Fringe 2016

It’s not raining. I can’t believe it’s not raining.

I mean, I’ve brought my coat along anyway because in all my years living in Scotland, I’ve learnt that the weather likes a challenge. If you go out without a coat, that’s the meteorological equivalent of staring a silverback gorilla in the eyes. Just.. don’t.

But it’s not raining right now, and the Scottish sun – an epitome of the word ‘optimistic’ – is peeking through the clouds. I’m not sat at work just yet, but I know without doubt that St Andrew Square, the Mile, and all the other Fringe locations in Edinburgh will have show-goers sipping gin, families sharing food, and performers enjoying the break in the weather to sit outside before their next show.

It won’t last, of course.

Knowing my luck, the clouds will break as soon as I turn up to work. But I don’t really mind. Rain is just a thing that happens – I have a coat, I have a hat. I can hand out flyers in the rain. In fact, if the rain gets very heavy, I abandon all pretence and start telling people the flyers would make good hats – wear ‘em then read ‘em, I tell people, and the answering smiles are pleasing to see.

By now I’ve had chance to see all the comedians that I’m handing out flyers for, so my job becomes much easier. Rather than filling my patter with vague buzzwords – ‘very funny’, ‘good jokes’ and my own least favourite, ‘ground-breaking’ – I can tell punters what to expect.

For instance, Martin Mor is ‘a big bustling bearded bear of an Irishman’, a piece of alliteration I’m particularly proud of thinking up. Similarly, Bronston Jones ‘spends his hour celebrating the craziness of America’.

Ever since I’ve been able to add my personal thoughts to my flyering pitch, I’ve found it much more engaging and interesting. Even more so because I don’t get paid to talk, I get paid to put a flyer into someone’s hands. The talking part I do for free.

Soon I’ll be leaving to start my day – a late start, but comedy is best served after a day of good weather and good companionship. I’ll talk animatedly about one comedian for an hour, then when the clock strikes 7pm my loyalties will change and another comedian will occupy my thoughts and words, like a laughter lothario. A comedy Casanova if you like, a philanderer of funny.

This is a personal blog, and the opinions set out therein are the author's personal and un-sponsored opinions.