Wednesday, August 7, 2013

UK Theatre Trip Day 7: First Full Day in Edinburgh

By Eusyher Mendoza and Mary Castro
Picture of High Street
(busiest street of the Fringe Festival)
 in the morning.
Taken by Brenna.
After taking the day to travel to Edinburgh, settle into our new hostel, and get a taste of the Scottish culture, it was time for the Fringe Festival. Our seventh day of our UK theatre trip we ventured into the world of performance and theatre at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Just like we learned from the class presentation, the Fringe Festival provides all kinds of performance from cabaret to theatre, comedy to spoken word, music to dance and much more. There are literally hundreds of shows going on throughout the day at venues spread across the city of Edinburgh, that it's impossible to see everything.
Thankfully to make the day go smoothly, we were required to have a minimum of three shows lined up with times and venue locations when we met for class at 8 in the morning.

Passing of flyers on High Street was very common.
(Brenna's Picture)
This way we had some idea of what we wanted to see for the day. After our meeting, I collaborated with a few of my classmates to see some of the shows they spoke about because I was very interested by their choices. So after I went to the Fringe Shop on High Street and bought my tickets for the day, Maria and I set out to our very first show, which was some distance away. In the process of finding the venue called, "The Assembly" we ended up lost for a bit, but luckily we were able to find our venue with time to spare. To start my Fringe experience I attended the theatre show entitled Austen's Women, where one actress alone on stage went through 13 different female characters from Jane Austen's famous novels. I was completely blown away by the actress's ability to transform into each of the characters including the narrator. After that, I went to a stand up comedy that was tailored to my sense of humor entitled, First World Problems. Followed by a hopeless romantic play called, I love Ikea, and while it didn't turn out to be what I expected, I enjoyed the performance and learned a lot about my preference of theatre from this play.

Brenna's picture
of performers
on High Street.
Brenna's picture from
her Burlesque show
Just when I thought I was done for the day, Susan graciously invited one of us to join her to a show called, Smashed. All she said was the show was a juggling act and that she had bought an extra ticket. I was about to decline, but something persuaded me to join her. I am glad I did!

After finding the venue, we met up with our professors Tyler and Gerritt in line. Once inside the beautiful venue, I was prepared for juggling tricks and techniques, but what I didn't expect was the deep emotions and themes the jugglers touched on during their show. Composed of seven men and two women jugglers, they played on light themes like unrequited love to more serious topics like women discrimination and the pressures and stereotypes of being a juggler. This show by far was the most inspiring, surprising, and captivating show I watched that day. I enjoyed my first taste of the Fringe festival, and I was excited to see what other shows had in store. I especially enjoyed learning the ropes of the Fringe Festivel by learning the system of obtaining tickets and finding my way through the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Included above and below are some of the other participant's choices from the festival, as you can see it highlights the festivals versatility.

Melanie's picture before the start of the show
Peter Pan

Taken from Susan's pictures, this shows
how quick some shows filled up at the Festival

Before my day ended, there was still something I needed to accomplish that didn't involve the Fringe Festival. I still needed to complete my assignment of taking on the city of Edinburgh by myself for the minimum of half an hour. That very morning, our professor challenged us by giving us the task to discover the city on our own. After Smashed, it started to rain and get cloudy, so I decided that I needed to take that time before the weather worsened.

Sunset view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill.
Picture of Calton Hill from the Edinburgh Castle.

Before I went on my little journey around the city, I decided to put away my map and head down towards the other side of the bridge. Luckily it stopped raining after crossing North Bridge, then out of coincidence I found a steep slope trail and that lead me to the top of Calton hill. While there I found the city's most amazing view of Edinburgh as the sun was setting on the water. I took one picture of the view, when my camera died. After that, I was able to enjoy the city's beauty and people watch without the pressure to document everything. It felt amazing having the cool breeze hit me as I sat on the hill side.

I wanted to spend more time at Calton Hill, I wanted to see inside the city's observatory but it was closed. I also wanted to look around at several monuments located there, like the national monument, the Nelson monument, and St. Andrew's house. However, as the city was getting darker, I decided to head back to the hostel while there was still daylight. I was saddened by the thought that I would not be able to return to this place because it was a good distance from where we were staying. That's when I made the resolution that I one day I would come back to Edinburgh and I would take the same trail and come to the same spot I watched the sunset. It might be an optimistic's promise, but if you had seen the view I saw and felt the air I felt, you would want to get back there as soon as you could.

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