Moving to Edinburgh at the height of The Fringe [an annual festival for theatre, comedy, and such] could have screamed excitement for this theatre geek, but hundred of events and one week of festival left is, well, overwhelming.
Birthday list in mind, I searched for some new Shakespeare, but alas, nothing I hadn’t seen. I did, however, find Shakespeare for Breakfast ^, a morning mash-up of the Bard’s characters with coffee and croissant included. Yes please.
Another no-brainer was A Play, a Pie, and a Pint ^, since I’d been fascinated by the concept months ago: a play, pie, and pint are all included with admission. The actual play was not announced, but it turned out to be the perfect introduction to Scotland: a solo performance by a lively Scottish diva.
After breakfast and lunch at the theatre, it hit me: I need to find dinner. I can break down this impossible Fringe guide by limiting my search to shows that give me food. I turned to the D section just to see. Sure enough, I found Dinner is Swerved. The description didn’t give away much, but that’s how I like my theatre: mysterious and unexpected. All I knew: it was immersive, and seated only 14. I purchased my ticket right away, and later realised that I would be dining at midnight.
In the foyer, we were given nightcaps and name tags. We shifted awkwardly, but once inside the playing space we sunk into cushions, and were encouraged to hug the provided teddies. My kind of thing.
It turned out to be an evening of mindfulness, engaging the senses with each bite. We were advised to view the world like a toddler, and of course, I felt right at home. I only wish I had brought one of my own cuddly friends. By the end of it, gone were the awkward shuffles, and everyone was chatting and sharing tea like old friends.
A combination of the right people – the daring, open-minded Fringe-going types – and the perfect environment was exactly what I needed to feel at home with myself again. After months of near isolation, exercising my social muscle in a way that reminded me that I don’t have to be formal or “correct” or cool, but simply enthusiastic and attune to the world brought out the magic I needed.