ED2013 Columns ED2013 Comedy

I Am Bev: And this is my Edinburgh…

By | Published on Sunday 11 August 2013


Newly appointed Fringe superstar Beverley – star of Eleanor Thom’s show ‘I Am Bev’ – may be new to the Festival as a performer, but she’s an Edinburgh veteran as a punter. So for those just arriving in the Festival City, here are her all-important survival tips.

When ThreeWeeks asked me to do them a column during the Fringe festival I said, “I’d love to!” Sadly for my readers, my publicist tells me this is just a one off. In many ways that’s a blessing, as it was tricksey finding the time to write just this, to be honest, what with all my charity work, walking, and talking to my two little dogs Pablo and Ella. And, of course, getting ready for my debut show at The Pleasance.

Whilst this is my debut as a “star” at the Festival, myself and my partner Richard have been visiting Edinburgh for years, whether it be for business (he’s in easy listening music) or pleasure (various weddings).

“Bev it seems like so much is happening over this month – can you be our guide?”

Yes. With pleasure. Sit with the Fringe brochure and have a little look through, take lots of breaks – it’s a bit of a novel! Do it like I do; have a little G&T, pop some tunes on – take the hassle out of it all.

Look at the nice pictures, and when you see something you like circle it so you’re not having to go back and forward paper cutting as you go. Try to book shows that are in venues near a bar and a toilet – you’ll thank me for that advice later. As I say, my show is at The Pleasance, where, we’ll all be pleased to know, there are ample facilities.

What’s the worst thing you can do in Edinburgh Bev?

Good question – ALWAYS BOOK – for God’s sake!

Queues can be unpleasant at the best of times, but when you’re locked in a line with 50 people watching the chance of grabbing a white wine spritzer before the next show quickly fade away, it’s a very unhappy place to find oneself.

Sometimes enjoying the Fringe can get a bit much…

You’re right; it can. Running around like a blue-arsed fly “having fun” can be exhausting. Sometimes you just need a coffee and a sit down!

Take yourself away from the busy courtyard or the purple garden sponsored by cider. Perhaps pop down to the Grassmarket or Meadows, take a breather. Like I always say, Hakuna Matata.

I do like theatre and comedy and what not Bev, but what else is there to see up there?

Myself and Richard are huge fans of the Military Tattoo – if you like marching and celebrating war this is the place for you. Incidentally, if you ever find yourself in Scarborough, Peasholm Park do a very similar version on a Thursday afternoon at 3pm. Their version is called ‘Naval Warfare’; a bunch of grown men manoeuvre toy boats on the lake and blow each other up, it’s great entertainment and great to see people doing something with their lives.

Think of the Fringe as like a cruise.

I see Edinburgh very much like a docked cruise; we’re moored in this city and it’s our oyster to eat for the month. Having said that, too much seafood can make you bilious so don’t consume too much.

ALWAYS carry some hand sanitizer – God knows where people’s hands have been over the course of a month and norovirus is the last thing we want on top of everything else. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than having botty trouble during a show. I learnt the hard way at a Michael Bolton Concert in 2010, and it is not an experience I would wish on anyone.

What would be your three great tips for surviving the Month of Edinburgh Bev?

1. Think of it as a 29 Day Festival.

2. Invest in an electric cigarette to use while you’re in the shows themselves, it’ll help make that 55 minutes go faster and no one can get you for it – that’s the beauty of them!

3. Enjoy it, try new things and don’t be afraid of dipping into their language, if like me you have a penchant for these things. Nothing too strenuous, just pleasantries like ‘Slainte Mhath’ (Scottish for cheers) – it shows willing.

‘Eleanor Thom: I Am Bev’ was performed at Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Festival 2013.