Welcome to JFS School's official Blog. This is our third year of the blog and represents a chance for our new team of intrepid student journalists to write what's on their minds. The Autumn term’s blog theme focuses on “Inspiration” - so stay tuned for some fantastic creative writing.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

INSPIRATION: Edinburgh Fringe

Anyone looking for inspiration in the summer holiday would do well to consider a visit to the Edinburgh Fringe.  Here you will find a huge choice of theatre, music and comedy.  You will also encounter exhibitions, street acts, a separate programme for children and a Book Festival.  There really is something for everyone.

I’ve been twice and I think it’s great.  Where else would you bump into Jacqueline Wilson in the loo just after you’ve stepped off the not-so-glamorous Easyjet flight from Luton?  Where else would you find yourself so close to Eddie Izzard that you can see his amazing multi-coloured nail polish?  And where else would you find yourself at the end of a very long queue standing next to Andrew Marr?  However, the Edinburgh experience is not just about name dropping.  Part of the fun is in running from one venue to the next and never quite knowing if the performance will be astonishingly brilliant or utter rubbish.  This summer I saw a performance by an acappella group called Voca People.  Now I should say that most of the acappella at Edinburgh is very samey.  It tends to consist of groups of university students or recent graduates hoping to be spotted by an agent and whisked off to fame and fortune.   These groups often have `Oxford’ in their title or have names like Out of the Blue.  Voca People was different.  Dressed head to toe in white morph like outfits and with their faces painted white, they looked like aliens.  Their voices, though, were incredible.  They had the capacity to make their voices sound like any and every musical instrument.  They also used highly original choreography which cleverly succeeded in injecting humour into their performance.  They were a slick and polished outfit and I’m genuinely surprised that they seem to have disappeared without trace since their Edinburgh triumph.

Some of the acts seem to come back year after year.  The first time I went I was really keen to see the so-called Amazing Bubble Show.  The Bubble Man has apparently been coming to Edinburgh for at least eight years.  The show was advertised as being for `eight to eighty years old’.  Let’s just say there were rather more school children than octogenarians in the audience!  The Bubble Man had a sophisticated sense of humour which was just as well because otherwise he might have had a theatre full of tantruming parents on his hands.  This year I saw the Bubble Man in the street in Edinburgh.  Obviously, this encounter cannot be compared to the celebrities mentioned above but it does show that you cannot stray far in Edinburgh in August without bumping into someone at least partially famous. 

When you tire of the live acts and street theatre you can seek some literary inspiration from the Edinburgh Book Festival.  The enormous tented area which houses this Festival is an oasis of everything literary amid the bustle of the Fringe. Grab a coffee and a deckchair and, if it isn’t raining, you can sit back and enjoy the latest offering from Margaret Atwood or Salman Rushdie.  Then, feeling intellectually fortified and perhaps a bit smug, you can venture back out onto the streets of Edinburgh for some serious retail therapy.