top of page

DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008


Do You Remember the First Time?

thumbnail_GREG PROOPS -  Please credit Michael SchwartzWireImage

Photo: Michael SchwartzWireImage

Continuing our new series celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe and DarkChat's own 10th Anniversary we've invited a selection of people connected to the festival to provide their memories of their first festival.   If you missed part one you can catch up here 



This time we spoke first to Brony Redman who we loved last year and are looking forward to seeing again in 2017 with her 'Theory of Positivity' at the Pleasance Courtyard.


I went to my first Edinburgh Festival when I was 3, so I don't really remember it. My mum is from Perth but I grew up in the Midlands. We used to come visit family in Perth during the summer and sneak through to Edinburgh to see the festival most years. I chose Edinburgh University mainly

because I loved the festival. On my first day at Uni I had to ask my flatmate where the

University was and was thrilled to find out it was the same buildings as most of my favourite



I have an early memory of my mum taking my brother and I to a Romeo & Juliet play in

Edinburgh. We didn't see it all because my mum walked us out about 20 minutes in. I think

living in Stratford-Upon-Avon had perhaps made her standards too high to watch amateur Shakespeare. It was great for me because the shorter version had a happy ending.


As a performer my first Fringe performances were with the Edinburgh University Improverts.

Getting heckled from the audience by our director who had got very drunk in the Bedlam cafe.

He's a police officer now. I still love improv and now perform with The Free Association who are

up at the Pleasance this EdFringe too.


One of my early experiences of performing sketch at the Fringe was in double act Bronya & Siony with Sonya Vine. We did a show that had a different guest performer each day. On our first day the only audience member was our guest and we did the whole show just to them. It was ridiculous and a lot of fun. Makes me appreciate any audience I get, whatever the size.


Hope to see you in Edinburgh!




Someone else we saw for the first time in 2016 and who is again on our 2017 shortlist is Louise Reay who this year brings 'Hard Mode' to The Stand.


My 1st show at Edinburgh I was a total little chancer, I felt like Delboy from Only

Fools and Horses. I even wore a stonewashed jacket and a large gold chain. Well,

actually I am still wearing this. I had only been doing clowning for about three months

and just decided to build an hour because I had an idea for a show so I just ran with

it. I spent the whole time worried I would be found out for not being a proper clown.


Having never performed in a festival environment before, because I hadn't done the

more common route of building up to an hour over a couple of years, I was knocked

sideways by the stamina needed to sustain a lengthy festival. Thankfully Diet Coke and

Reece's peanut butter cups got me through and I've never looked back.






Last, and by no means least (and we REALLY mean that) we also asked comedy legend Greg Proops for his first memories of the Edinburgh Fringe.  You can catch Greg at the Fringe this year performing in 'Whose Line is it Anyway - Live at The Fringe' until August 16th at Assembly Rooms and also recording 2 special 'Proopcasts' at the Gilded Balloon Teviot on the 9th and 16th August.


My first trip was in 1989 to see my pal Will Durst. I was over to shoot Whose

Line - of course I was only 15 years old. I remember eating haggis at the George

Hotel and liking it. Seeing Steve Coogan in a two-hander at the Gilded Balloon.


Getting very drunk and not being able to understand anyone’s accent. Eating spaghetti

at a bad Italian at one in the morning and taking a very bumpy cab ride home over

the cobbles.


I was hooked.

bottom of page