Take 5: Festival venues
This article is from 2009.
Five essential places to experience the festival
Milking the bovine theme suggested by their original Cowgate grazing ground, Underbelly moved into purpler pastures in 2006 with the gigantic upside-down tent creature known as the udderBELLY. A metaphor gone mad, and a work of glorious, unfettered, preposterous genius.
Another Underbelly creation, this one new for 2009. As well as a patch of real grass (and at time of going to press it’s still grass and not mud soup) it’s home to the lovely cutesy Bosco Theatre, which proclaims old-fashioned theatricality with every curlicue of its being.
Whether they like it or not, these venerable old cobbles are an integral part of the festival, a performance space both for official street performers and for the flamboyantly dressed flyerers who make is such a chore and a pleasure to walk up the Mile in August. There’s a show every step of the way.
This leafy pleasance is usually closed to the public, but for two weeks in August it transforms into a village of tents and literary types. Sit and read on the grass, go and pay your respects to Prince Albert on the plinth in the middle, or listen to free music in the Highland Park-sponsored Spiegeltent.
If the youth hostel’s starting to get under your skin and small, darkened performance spaces are bringing on early myopia, maybe you should head round and help Holly with the dishes in At Home With Holly on 22a Albany Street. It’s a strange old world – after a fortnight at the fringe, even a kitchen sink seems exotic.