|By Morgan and West|
Staring at Street Performers
Date: 22 August 2010
Good morning magic fans,
The peeling soles on my shoes and the large array of takeaway containers strewn over the room suggest the the Fringe is more than half way through, so what better time to turn our attention to those people that really make the Fringe what it is, without ever being mentioned in the guides, listings or reviews.
It is all but impossible to walk down the mile without encountering a large stationary crowd intently staring at one individual, who happens to be shouting at them and waving their arms a lot. I refer, of course, to the many street performers that fill Edinburgh's streets, although the description also fits the walking tours that seem to spring up out of nowhere...
Street performance comes in many shapes and sizes, from the living statues atop concrete bollards, subtly tipping their hats to the mile photographers, to the jugglers and circus artists, surrounded by hundreds of people at a time, defying death and gravity with well rehearsed aplomb. You'll see magicians, dancers, balloon modelers, musicians and all manner of "speciality" acts doing their thing in order to earn their living. Some of these performers have been working these pitches for longer than Bo Burnham and Daniel Sloss have been alive. Some have travelled from the other side of the world, 6ft unicycle in tow, just to perform at the Fringe. They are the true veterans of the festival, returning day after day, year after year, bringing their show right to the feet of the public.
So next time you are walking down the mile trying to look like you are to busy to accept flyers, stop to watch some of the acts at their pitches. You'll see some masters of their craft, working the crowd with talent and panache, giving a fair better performance than plenty of shows on at this year's festival and asking for a fraction of the cost.
And remember, this is how they make their living. So chuck them a couple of quid. You'll have spent more on less this month.
All the best,
Morgan and West
Morgan & West: Time Travelling Magicians, Gilded Balloon, 15:45, 4th - 29th Aug
Twitter: @WestMagic @MorganMagic
- by Morgan and West
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
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