Edinburgh Eight Steps

Eight Steps To A Better Fringe: Q2

Published on Sunday 28 July 2019

This summer we are asking some of our favourite Fringe people to offer their advice – sometimes sensible, sometimes silly – for getting the most out of the Edinburgh Festival in eight steps, by answering out eight quick quiz questions. Here are the answers to question two…

What tips have you got for people trying to see as many shows as possible in one day – how can you power through?

Sukh Ojla: Firstly, don’t! There are nearly 4000 shows at the Fringe, you won’t be able to watch everything you want to see. So choose your ‘must see’ shows but leave some space in your schedule to eat, dry off and just take in the atmosphere!

Julia Croft: Honestly, I am not a fan of trying to squeeze in ten shows a day. I would say aim for three max and give yourself time after each show. Drink a beer, have a think about the show, have a chat about it. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to see everything.

John-Luke Roberts: Bananas are a great source of energy and potassium. And water – bring water – those rooms are hot. Also try and put the more soporific productions at the beginning of the day, when you are alert, and save all the loudest ones for the end to keep you awake.

Ian Smith: Allow enough time for toilet stops! I’ve tried to cram in three shows in a row before and the third one I just spent the whole time thinking about how much I needed to piss. I have no memory of that third show at all.

Ed Night: This is a tough one. I appreciate that there are way more great shows to see than any of us have time for, but I think you can probably do too many. If you’re rushing from one venue to the other, I’d imagine it’s harder to stay alert or really take in the show you’re seeing.

Oliver Forsyth: Plan your goddamn meals, people! No one ever munched their way through a plate of nachos with two pints and then thought, “Let’s go concentrate in a dark room for 60 minutes”. If you want that elusive seven-show day, then bananas, mixed nuts and water are your friends. Sounds unbelievably boring though.

Jordan & Skinner: Take a walk outside in-between shows, preferably somewhere green. Take some tasty snacks, like those protein balls. And make your programme as varied as possible – a bit of circus, a bit of theatre, a bit of music, a bit of Book Festival, a bit of comedy.

Al Samuels: Two words: Diet Irn-Bru. Is that two and half words?. Also, mix it up. See an improvised musical (we have a great one), then a dance piece, then a two-hander, then a musical parody of ‘Game Of Thrones’ (wait, we have one of those too!) I have a hard time packing too many shows into any one day, though. I get show fatigue.

Joz Norris: Red bull and cranberry juice keeps me going during the Fringe. I think it rots my insides, but it sure keeps me awake.

Scream Phone: Coffee, coffee, coffee. Then, more importantly… cocktails, cocktails, cocktails!

Samantha Pressdee: Book shows consecutively that are geographically close. Meditate in between the shows. Get up from your seat just before the show starts and do the yogic power pose in the aisle followed by the downward dog.

Micky Overman: As someone whose show is later in the day, I would say make sure you’re not laughed out. Sometimes a lot of shows is just too many shows. Make sure there’s still an anticipation and an excitement there. Otherwise: drink lots of water!

Robyn Perkins: In short: Diversity, coffee and well placed alcohol. I think it is crucial – for everyone – to fill their days with a variety of shows. Go see circus, theatre, improv, solo shows, compilation shows, chat shows and more. There are compilation/panel shows with really great concepts like ‘Set List’, ‘Hate N Live’ and ‘Comedy In The Dark’. The change in style will keep you engaged.

The Thinking Drinkers: 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”.

Natano Fa’anana: Go hard I reckon! I mean, if you have only one day at the Festival, then go hard. Though, maybe if you are doing three days in a row, have half time oranges. Then get back on that horse and go hard again.

Alex Gwyther: Take a break. Have time to process one show before moving on to the next. Eat bananas. Drink water.

Eric Lampaert: Schedules are useful, but allow room for improvising in case you’re intrigued by a different show. You didn’t come to the festival to sleep, so wake early, exercise, eat well and you should have plenty of energy to get you going all day. I’m not your Dad, you know what’s best for you.

Just These Please: As people who don’t particularly excel at Excel, we’d opt for allowing room for spontaneity. Let yourself be flyered by people and be surprised by taking a chance on something you’ve never heard of. Especially if it’s sketch comedy at 12.15pm.

Naomi McDonald: Wear your comfiest shoes possible. This sounds obvious but I once wore heeled boots to the Fringe… WRONG. Pack your bag with an Irn Bru and a flapjack, insert a catheter, and you’re good to go!

Andy Field: If you start drinking early you’re going to end up in a position where you need to pee more than once an hour and that’s going to be an issue if you’re in an audience. I wouldn’t say don’t drink of course, but it is worth investing in some sort of catheter/piss bag! That way, you never have to disrupt a show with your drunken bladder and you’ll be all set to have a great day.

James Rowland: Make time for meals, it’s impossible to take in a show if you’re hungry. And plan your routes, so you never have to cross the entire city in fifteen minutes.

Tanya Agarwal: Pints and Paracetamol.

Susan Harrison: Spreadsheet, raincoat, caffeine! The holy trinity of serious Fringe go-ers!

Chelsea McGuffin: Sugar, coffee, beer and wine as the day progresses. You will slump at some point but push through the madness, it will blow your mind.

James McNicholas: I eat a packet of Haribo before every show to keep me going. One bag of Tangfastics per show should see you right.