Eight Steps Q&A

Eight Steps Q&A: The Thinking Drinkers

Published on Wednesday 21 August 2019

Fringe veterans The Thinking Drinkers offer some tips on how to get the most from the Edinburgh Festival, in eight steps…

1: Beyond posters and reviews, how do you suggest people pick shows to see at this year’s Fringe?
Try and pick up on word of mouth, speak to people in pubs and coffee shops, have a look on Twitter and listen to any Fringe podcasts. But more importantly than all that, just buy a ticket for the next show that’s on near you – especially if it’s not something you’ve heard of or it’s something you’d not normally choose. It may be rubbish, it may be absolutely brilliant. It’s what the Festival is all about.

2: What tips have you got for people trying to see as many shows as possible in one day – how can you power through?
It’s essential that you completely underestimate how long it takes to get around – thus making sure that you’re constantly running up and down cobbled hills in inappropriate footwear and rain jackets that will make you sweat profusely. No more than five shows in a day. And follow the Thinking Drinkers’ motto – “Drink Less Drink Better”.

3: When people are reaching peak Fringe, what tips do you have for chilling out during the Festival?
Wander out to the Meadows and sit on the grass for a bit – maybe play a bit of pitch and putt. Or you could walk up Arthur’s Seat – but it’s bloody massive. It’s always good to go to a proper Edinburgh pub or bar as well – The Oxford Pub is an iconic Edinburgh boozer and Bramble, one of the best bars in the world, does a cracking cocktail.

4: What things do you think should be on every Fringe-goers Edinburgh Festival bucket list?
‘Thinking Drinkers: Heroes Of Hooch’. Seriously, it’s the best show up here. It got five stars from “Out of 100” Magazine. Other than that, we always check out the brilliant Tony Law – just to make sure he’s doing OK.

5: Beyond the flyer, what tips have you got for performers trying to get people into their shows?
Talking to people always helps. Get involved in any of the live chat shows. Social media is important too – but beyond that, let word of mouth do the work. And it does actually work. Oh, and try not to stress too much about it all – it’s just mucking about really and if you’ve got a good show then you’ve done all you can.

6: The Fringe can be great for finding a new audience. What tips would you have for staying connected with that new audience beyond Edinburgh?
While we are not fans of social media, it seems to be rather popular with people. Get a mailing list – we did. The only person on it is Ben though. So that may not be the best idea.

7: Performing at the Fringe is partly about building a network. What tips have you got for people looking to make connections in the industry?
Sleep with as many people as possible. Not really. It sounds a bit pretentious but the VIP artists bars are a good way of meeting people. Also, go and see as many shows as you can handle and introduce yourself afterwards. It’s always good to meet folk who are in the same boat. Again, stuff like Twitter is also a good way of connecting with people.

8: How would you recommend performers stay healthy during all the Fringe madness?
We have a military daily moisturising routine to cope with the fluctuating weather conditions – and suggest you do too. Run around the Meadows, go to the lovely old swimming pool in Marchmont, eat fruit – the bendy yellow one is a favourite – and don’t be fooled by pastries, they look light and fluffy but they’re full of flipping butter. Take several forms of footwear as you will get trenchfoot if you only wear one pair of shows for the whole month. Apply chaffing cream to your botty if you’re going to be walking around all day. Always wash your hands after going to the loo – even if it’s just a wee wee. Brush your teeth. Don’t do drugs – drugs are for mugs. And, of course, follow the Thinking Drinkers’ mantra – “Drink Less, Drink Better”.

The Thinking Drinkers performed ‘Heroes Of Hooch’ at Underbelly Bristo Square at Edinburgh Festival 2019.