My Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh Festival is my favourite time of the year and this year the festivals are back and bigger than ever before. Here is a short guide to enjoying the festivals from someone who has spent many years seeing hundreds of shows – some better than others! 

My favourite venue has always been Gilded Balloon. The only female run venue at the Fringe, Gilded Balloon was started by Karen Koren over 35 years ago, since then she has been joined at the helm by daughter Katy. It continues to be a major platform for new talent - who often go on to become household names - and hosts a huge variety of theatre, comedy and cabaret across a number of venues including Teviot House, Museum of Scotland and Rose Theatre.  

Here are a few recommendations and tips to help you enjoy your time at the festival -  


One to watch - Finlay Christie in his debut show “OK Zoomer” - Gilded Balloon Teviot Wee Room 18th -28th August 6pm 

Fringe Favourite – Henning Wehn – a regular guest on “Would I Lie to You” and the self-styled “German Comedy Ambassador to London”. - The Queens Hall 18th - 20th and 25th - 27th August 7pm  

Not to be missed – Reuben Kaye - “The Butch is Back” Australia’s favourite comedian is back in town and putting the world to rights. - Assembly Checkpoint 17th-21st and 24th-28th August 9.30 pm 

For the insomniac –“Late’n’Live” – the original and still the best late-night comedy show at the Fringe - Teviot Row House 4th-29th August 11.30pm 


“Afghanistan is Not Funny” by Henry Naylor – multi award winning play making its European debut - Gilded Balloon Teviot Dining Room - 19th -28th August 4pm 

 “Svengali” - a gripping tale of a young tennis star and her hypnotic mentor and master coach - Bunker Two – Pleasance Courtyard 19th - 28th August 1.45pm 

Hot Scots 

Miranda Menzies, Photographed by @josie_jones_photography

Miranda Menzies photographed by @josie_jones_photography

Miranda Menzies La Clique – sensational hair suspension act from local Edinburgh girl – Underbelly Circus Hub on the Meadows - 19th-21st and 23rd-27th August 7.35pm 

Larry Dean Fudnut – Glasgow born Larry is a multi-award-winning comedian and has been described as a national treasure - Monkey Barrel 19th-28th August  

Scottish Ballet – Coppelia – sadly now finished at the Edinburgh International Festival but touring Scotland from the autumn. Ballet meets artificial intelligence - an absolute masterpiece that shouldn’t be missed.

Food and Drink 

No trip to the festival is complete without eating and drinking! Here are my favourite spots to stop between shows: 

Soderberg, Middle Meadow Walk – perfect for a flat white and a cardamom bun whilst running from one show to the next! 

Red Box Noodle Bar, West Nicolson Street – for something a little more substantial and perfectly located.

Assembly Gardens – ideal for a drink in the sun (hopefully!) and some celeb spotting – think Jay from Love Island! 

The Loft Bar – the ultimate and very cool roof- top bar where all the leading performers and celeb visitors meet for a drink! You do need a pass for this one - so bear that in mind before visiting. Who knows, if you become a Biscuit regular I may just tell you how to get your hands on one - for this year or next!