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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Friday 01 August 2014
Words Ailis Mara

The largest arts festival in the world returns this month for three weeks. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe begins today, 1st of August, ready to showcase even more artists after the 2,871 shows that were held last year. With over 250 venues showcasing extraordinary talent, there is no doubt that there is something for everyone. The only problem may be not knowing where to begin.

This year we have another set of exhilarating presentations from the performing arts sector. On offer are hilarious cabaret shows such as ‘Dizney Rascal’ that questions Disney’s moral messages, burlesque group Illicit Thrill, and The Lady Boys of Bangkok make a flying visit. Also travelling from across the seas includes Taiwan dance troupe ‘Jade and Artists’, and Japanese group ‘The Sake’ who show us aerial acrobatics.  And for those that want to get in on the action, there’s even a Beyoncé dance workshop. Work it.

Exhibitions will be held during the 3 week period covering pottery, sculptures, photography and artist’s open studios. Fairs and garden parties where artists can exhibit their latest designs will be on, where attendees have the chance to make some purchases. Other events include the Cinefringe Film Festival, the National Museum After Hours, whisky tasty sessions and underground tours.

An array of ‘How to’ seminars and networking opportunities will be held throughout the festival, with a Creativity Panel hosting a series of discussions. ‘Creatively Curious’ invites a variety of Fringe artists to share what inspires them and arts journalist Elaine Liner gives insider tips on getting better media coverage. Thought-stimulating talks will explore diverse topics from The Art of Voodoo, the Memory Clinic Installation and Bizarre Bodies, where scientists use the mind to make guests feel as though they have a missing limb or a third hand. Neuroscientist Anil Seth also explores how much of the world is a construction of our brains in a talk titled ‘Consciousness.’

If that all gets a bit deep for you, then there is of course the renowned comedy shows to lighten things up. Last year’s sell out Absolute Improv return with their fast paced sketches based on audience suggestions, whilst hotly tipped Abi Roberts makes her debut with Twerk In Process. Other rib-ticklers include, 50 Shades of Grey: The Musical, An Americans Guide to Being Like, Totally British and 101 Jokes in 30 Minutes.

And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. Head to the website for the full program

Words: Kayla Joleen