My Edinburgh: Stella Duffy, writer
Wednesday 10 August 2011
I first went to Edinburgh in 1988, with an impro show, and was amazed at how much the Festival offers – the shows, the late nights, the later nights, the no-shows. Since then I've been up at least a dozen more times, as a theatre writer, as a novelist at the Book Festival, as a performer and last year for BBC2's The Review Show. So, in the spirit of don't do what I do, do what I tell you, here's my guide to surviving August in Edinburgh.
Do go to bed. Whether you're viewing or performing, sleeping, at least every second night, is useful. Go for walks – it's not all about the shows. Edinburgh has stunning Botanic Gardens, the view from Calton Hill is lovely and they say Arthur's Seat is even better (not done it, too many late nights). If you're a swimmer, get out to Musselburgh for a North Sea dip.
Eat. Food is good and, like sleep, will keep you well – Edinburgh is a very different place for eating than it was in 1988. I'm especially fond of the clutch of Middle Eastern places in Nicolson Square. And while you're being sensible, be a little excessive too – go to something like an exhibition or a dance piece or really push yourself and see a play. Contrary to popular belief, it's not all about comedy. Finally, when you've stayed up too late, stay up a little later. Edinburgh sunrise is a glorious thing.
Stella Duffy's 'Medea', Assembly George Square (0131 623 3030) to 29 August
Stella Duffy's must-see
Apart from Medea, Josh Howie's 'I Am a Dick' at The Stand Comedy Club V and Michael Legge's 'Curse Sir Walter Raleigh' at Just the Tonic at The Store
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tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
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tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
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- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader