This Fringe, Riddle’s Court, the oldest tenement in Edinburgh, will play host to an exciting event involving (gey near) every child’s favourite toy – LEGO. The venue, situated on the Lawnmarket near Edinburgh Castle, has just re-opened following a £6 million restoration by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust so it is completely apt that it will house LEGO versions of iconic buildings while showcasing itself, a truly iconic Edinburgh building.
Riddle’s Court has a long history as a Fringe venue, boasting Maggie Smith and Stephen Fry as having played to audiences there early in their careers (as well as far less famous performers like myself!) But this year sees the unique behind the scenes workshop experience that is Brick City - The Backstage Tour that has been skilfully created by renowned LEGO® artist Warren Elsmore.
Step through the brightly coloured LEGO arch and be guided through this warren of a building where the ancient and modern live side by side in a stunning harmony. Before entering the workshop, where you have the privilege of watching Warren and his team in action, you can see a showcase of their intricate work in LEGO of landmark edifices like the Empire State building, Coventry Cathedral and, nearer to home, an intricate column from Rosslyn chapel. No jaggy bricks strewn randomly on the floor here. Instead a meticulously ordered system of boxes storing the various bricks required for their craft.
The event will feature a fantastic City diorama including historic buildings from Edinburgh’s Old Town linked to Patrick Geddes, the 19th century polymath and town planner who gives his name to the new centre for learning in Riddle’s Court. As well as this, there are more contemporary features such as the airport and a fairground where you can have fun finding wee well- known figures hidden in the crowds. Ambitiously, and right on the cutting edge of what is happening in Edinburgh while retaining the Geddes botanic connection, will be a LEGO version of the foul smelling Amorphophallus titanium that has recently bloomed in the Botanics.
Commenting on the exhibition Warren, who last exhibited at Riddle’s Court in 2014 and has an astonishing 4 million bricks at his disposal said, “Living in Edinburgh, I have long wanted to put on an exhibition of this scale, and to be back at Riddle’s Court following the wonderful refurbishment is a privilege. This year’s show will involve the creation of our first ever Brick City night scape complete with street, fairground and airport lighting to add an additional touch of magic. I always look forward to meeting fellow LEGO® enthusiasts and sharing news and views on what’s new and upcoming.”
Warren will also host a 1- hour evening masterclasses entitled ‘How to get paid … to play with LEGO®’ as he explains how he turned a hobby into a full-time career. This event will be held on 5th, 8th, 12th, 15th, 19th and 22nd August @ 8pm in Riddles Court with tickets costing £15.
Brick City - The Backstage Tour has linked up with Lothian Buses by not only creating detailed models of some of their vehicles but by holding a competition where tickets for the tour can be won. See link for details.
So, all you LEGO fans, make your way to Riddles Court for a Fringe event like no other!
August 4 – 25th 10am – 6pm