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My Edinburgh: Will Adamsdale, comedian/actor


Look, Edinburgh's insane, it doesn't make sense at all as a viable idea. If you try and understand it rationally, you're liable to end up swaying on a bench half way up Arthur's Seat, half-crazy. They should stop calling it the Edinburgh Fringe. There are fringes on the fringe and fringes on the fringes of the fringe. Sometimes it's brash and gaudy, other times handmade and naive and great. It's everything. It's maddening but beautiful. It is also – as a pal once said – all we've got.

You have to find some kind of system in the middle of it: a breakfast David O'Doherty recommended to me of poached eggs, smoked salmon and spinach; a table in a café that you know doesn't wobble; a good luck walk that takes me past the phone box I got my A-level results in 21 years ago...

Really what keeps it all happening is the astonishing fact that more than anything we humans like being in a room with other humans and then another human getting up and showing us some of what he/she has got. Edinburgh audiences are fantastic because they're into it. They want it to be great and you do too. So it's a collaboration.

Tips for the punter. Go to out-of-the-way stuff too: Free Fringe, Forest Fringe, all of it. There are some great buskers. On the last Monday night, stick around to watch them chainsaw off the metre-thick wad of posters that have been pasted on to the Royal Mile street lamps daily. It's sad but great. Always carry an anorak.

Will Adamsdale stars in 'Stuart: a Life Backwards', Underbelly, 3.30pm, to 26 August; Work-in-Progress, Underbelly, 11.30pm, ends tomorrow (0844 545 8252)

Will Adamsdale's Must-Sees

Theatre: Holes; The Secret Agent; Black T-shirt Collection. Comedy: Tony Law; Ben Moor; Wil Hodgson; New Art Club; Barry from Watford; the Horne Section; Tim Key; Tom Bell