Hurrah Edinburgh!


I’m in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – the world’s largest arts festival or Glastonbury for culture vultures. It’s my first time here though I’ve visited vicariously through friends for decades. I’ve know people who’ve come here and bag a Fringe First Award and never look back, career wise – I’ve also had friends who have had their hearts broken here, lost their shirts and all other sorts of clichés. Some have partied for 25 days, others have honed their craft, been inspired, made contacts, others have been mistreated by slave driving ego monster directors. But everyone comes away with an Edinburgh story and everyone tells me I should go. So, I’ve heeded their advice at last, deciding I’ve definitely got to see the Fringe before I leave the UK for good. Moreover, I’m hoping to bring my own stage play here next year, so this is also a rekki of sorts.

I’ve only booked four shows in advance, preferring to wait to see what was buzzing when I got here. I’ll report on highlights and must-sees but please, please, please any suggestions on what to see (or avoid!) would be gratefully received. And, as I’m a first time Edinburgh visitor, any other tips regarding the Scottish capital are most welcome.

Good veggie restaurants? Hidden café gems? Cool bookstores? Meet ups, gatherings etc… You never know I might bump into one of you here.


About suehealy

Award-winning Irish writer/playwright Sue Healy’s work has been supported and developed by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Arts Council England. January 2018 sees her play Imaginationship run for three weeks at the Finborough Theatre. Previous productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s work has also been performed at the Finborough, Arcola, Hackney Attic and Sterts theatres, and at festivals including the Claremorris Fringe (New Writing Award winner), the Brighton (Sussex Playwrights’ Award winner), the UEA Contemporary European Drama Festival, Norwich. Her work will also be showcased at the Criterion theatre on Dec. 4th. Radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has been a finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, Eamon Keane Playwriting Prize, Nick Darke Award and the Old Vic 12 New Voices. Sue's prose has won the the Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award and has been published widely. Sue has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from juried artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. Sue is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She is currently London-based, completing a Ph.D. on the Royal Court Theatre. Sue is an Associate Lecturer in Playwriting at the Universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, and tutors Creative Writing at City Lit. She is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre. View all posts by suehealy

5 responses to “Hurrah Edinburgh!

  • Gabi Coatsworth

    Have a great time and keep us up to date if you have time.

  • Ben Naga

    Sadly, my experience of the Fringe, and indeed Edinburgh, mainly date from the early 80s, when I was living and working in Stirling, so it is probably far too out of date to be worth sharing. The woman I went there with still lives in the area, but never frequents the Fringe these days. She says it has become very commercialised and also very expensive. To what extent – if any – that is sour grapes, or simply a result of the ageing process and emotional sclerosis I cannot of course judge. I do remember some wonderfully good times, and I hope you are able to lay down a few memorable experiences of your own 🙂

  • Colette

    Hey there…and welcome to Edinburgh!

    I follow your blog and I live in Edinburgh too and I have to say I love both! Probably the city a little bit more as I’ve lived here for seven years having narrowly escaped London with a little of my soul left. I still love the fringe though most of the folk I know who’ve lived here for ages kinda get weary after a while…I think I’m stuck in a prolonged honeymoon stage of sorts!
    The thing with the Fringe is you have to tread cautiously! There are a lot gems out there but there are some shows that will leave you scarred for life, and a little out of pocket too! Yes, follow the buzz but remember everyone is too and if the papers miss something, then you do too. I think this article sums it all quite well…

    As for cafe recommendations etc. Spoon on Nicholson Street for a tasty inexpensive lunch, Kilimanjaro on the same street for the BEST coffee in town, avoid the Royal Mile like the plague when it comes to food and drink (think frozen food and tourist prices) and definitely make time to have a wander along to Stockbridge or Morningside for a lovely Sunday brunch and a stroll.

    Hope you have a great time here and maybe we’ll bump into each other at a relatively good show!


  • suehealy

    Thanks so much for this, Colette! I’m loving it up here – will blog in full when all is digested. Speaking of which, am heading to Kilimanjaro now.. : )

  • Vikki Thompson

    I’m behind (due to being away for a week) so I hope you had fun! 🙂


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