My Edinburgh: The Boy with Tape on His Face, comedian

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The Independent Culture

As a silent act, I enjoy the noise of Edinburgh during the Fringe. The tourist shops selling "Scotty" caps complete with ginger hair wouldn't be the same without blasting bagpipes covering "Fly me to the Moon". The shout of street performers, who block off the mile and all read from a universal script, would be a mere whisper if it was reduced to slow hand claps and the smell of jugglers (white spirit and cabbages). It's the constant babble of people summing up their shows in 10 seconds that you manage to tune out. Occasionally, it is nice to tune it back in again and have a listen.

Should you venture to the festival, I recommend headphones, you won't need anything that actually plays music but it's a nice public symbol that states "I can't hear you". Pick and choose what you let in. The sound of a stand-up comedian who has had some time to plan a show is very different to the high-pitched panicked voice of someone who is funny at parties.

Make your own noise at some point. Laugh, cheer, interact.

If you really want to keep quiet, just smile. You are having fun, remember?

The Boy with Tape on His Face, Pleasance Courtyard (0131 556 6550) to 28 August, then touring (

The boy with tape on his face's must-see

One show that will ease you into this fringe experience is Lili La Scala's "Songs to Make You Smile", a collection of vintage songs sung by a vintage bombshell at the Assembly Gardens. I saw this show at the Adelaide Fringe and when I saw it was here, I smiled and remembered the sounds.