Ancient Shrines and Half Truths (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Ancient Shrines and Half Truths

Droll app-guided walking tour of the festival city

Want to discover the real Edinburgh? Want to experience the city that only the locals know, its ancient rituals, its unknown histories? That's just the kind of insiders' guide that New Zealand's Binge Culture offer in their promenade, app-guided walking tour of a particular Edinburgh district, which manages to mercilessly send up the whole traveller-vs-tourist ethos while also gently questioning the museum mentality of homing in on supposedly significant artefacts in an unfamiliar location. Armed with a mobile, headphones and electronic map, you find yourself heading towards obscure sites, discovering little-known objects and entrances, and maybe even encountering a few bizarre locals on your way.

To say more would spoil the fun of the show – and there's plenty of fun to be had in the droll, almost credible commentary explaining what's clearly preposterous (much of the time at least). It's a show – or maybe experience is a better description – that dares to be downright silly at times, with homespun props and matey introductions, but hits home in lampooning visitor expectations, whichever unfamiliar locale you happen to be visiting. You'll find out astonishing things you never knew about some of Edinburgh's most commonplace objects – and you'll scarcely believe anything you hear.

Summerhall, until 27 Aug (not 14, 15, 21), 3.15pm & 6.15pm, £11 (£9).

Ancient Shrines and Half Truths

  • 4 stars

Join performance alchemists Binge Culture on an immersive audio experience to discover the city's hidden gems and meet Authentic Locals™.