As you may or may not know, this year I’m making my solo debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after two years there as a member of the Eat Your Heart Out family. You also might not know that I’m throwing a bit of a fundraiser at the RVT on Wednesday, the 6th of June, to make a bit of cash towards it. I’ve pulled out all the stops with performances from some of the cream of cabaret that didn’t say no and I’d love for you to come. More importantly; I’d love for you to give me the fiver it’ll cost to get in.
However whilst the news is littered with corrupt politicians claiming for money on their rent free accommodation, I thought it only fair I justify myself to you in how I’ll be spending your fivers. I also feel I should do this whilst continuing in my capacity on TIC as a sort of Cabaret Guru so I’ve gone and identified three components of the ‘Edinburgh Experience’ in which I feel my advice will prove to be invaluable. In reading this advice, you’ll get a fair enough idea of how I’ll be spending your money whilst picking up a few tips yourself.
Before we continue, I ought to point out the advice has been given with the presumption that you’re a cabaret artist taking a show up to Edinburgh for the very first time. If you feel you’ve earned your own Edinburgh stripes, hell maybe even more than my own, please feel free to distill your own advice in the comments section below. In short, don’t bitch to me.
Here we go:
This’ll be a big shock to your system. In London, you’ll have free booze thrown at you by the bucket. When you get to Edinburgh, not only will you be expect to pay for anything you do drink but performing under the influence of drink is actively frowned upon. I KNOW! I even had to sign something in my contract for my show confirming that I’d be fit to perform on a daily basis! The nerve. Little tip: avoid hip flasks. You might as well tattoo ‘I’m Drunk’ across your drooping eyelids. Get yourself a large bottled water and choose a clear spirit. Nothing says ‘trained performer’ like bottled water and you’ll be able to drink the contents like a fish. You’re welcome.
Whilst in Edinburgh you’ll find you’ll be taking multiple cabs on a daily basis. This is for two reasons: finance and ignorance. Financially, it seems true of most UK cities that once out of London, the price of a cab can often equal the price of London bus fare. Because of this you’ll find you’ll resent walking anywhere. As for the latter, you know the famed common tourist mistake of catching the tube from Leicester Square to Covent Garden when it is in fact quicker to walk? THIS. WILL. BE. YOU. Oh sure. you’ll learn to bark “Princess Street” and “Cowgate” like a local, and you’ll take pleasure in convincing yourself you’re better than a tourist because of it, but there’ll be many a street you won’t even be able to pronounce, let alone find. Give in to cabs.
The Local Cuisine
In my experience you’ll do one ’big shop’ at Lidl in an initial burst of efficiency before eating out for the rest of the month. My crowning glory of Edinburgh 2011 was three Battered Sausage Suppers in one day. Now remember, in your standard Edinburgh chippy a ‘supper’ will contain of two of the main feature. That’s SIX battered sausages each with Scottish Salad (that‘s ‘chips’ to you and I), all in one day, and all drowning in salt’n’sauce. Which reminds me, if this is your first time in Edinburgh, ORDER SALT’N’SAUCE! You’ll thank me when you get back.
As always, I wish you love and luck and I’ll see you at the Tavern. It’s going to be special!
If you have a fiver that needs a good home, my fundraiser Myra Aid will be on 6 June at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern with a line-up including Scott Capurro, Jayde Adams, Audacity Chutzpah, Fancy Chance, Dusty Limits and many more. And if you want me to have enough money for a return ticket, bring a friend. See www.rvt.org.uk/event/myra-aid for more details.