Edinburgh: Reality and Theatre


Farmers, merchants, mayors, prostitutes, drunkards and brigands once stumbled down this cobbled pathway; laden with history and lying proudly in the shadows of the city’s grandiose Gothic architecture, today it is known by most as the Edinburgh Royal Mile.

Thousands swarm from all sides like theatre-starved minions, a man in stripes is seemingly suspended from the sky, a psychic in space goggles clasping a pigeon waves a sign promising to reveal prophecies for food, the Most Pierced Woman in the World sits hunched in a doorway, cradling back and forth behind a parasol and a red skinned magician delicately twirls his crystal ball into mid-air whilst vibrantly clothed street players in top hats passionately shake their arms and proclaim Shakespeare is not dead- the eclectic mix of comedic, theatrical, musical and acrobatic street performers one encounters on the Royal Mile during the world renown Edinburgh Fringe Festival are as equally eccentric as the comedy-craving crowds they attract.


Whether hoping to laugh in the underbelly of a cow, shed a tear for the ill-fated Valjean in Les Misérables, sit nervously in the free comedy arena as unlikely comedians pull dead rabbits from a hat, weave in and out of vintage shops and museums or dance til dawn on the castle steps – from tree huggers to ravers- Edinburgh festival goers are all here for one rather curious thing, culture.

Edinburgh prides itself on its status as not only Scotland‘s political, but also cultural capital; boasting a long celtic history, a host of annual cultural festivities (among them are the Art Festival, the International Book Festival, Edinburgh Festival, the Cycling Festival, Hogamany Street Party and the Torchlight Procession), grand ornately carved castles and secret literary pockets, it is a cultural treasure that the Scottish no longer wish to share with their longstanding English adversaries. With the White Paper on Scottish Independence being released just last week, the question on everybody’s lips is, can Edinburgh survive Scottish independence?

Is Scotland financially strong enough to support itself? Will Edinburgh, a once thriving cultural hub collapse under the economic pressures of political independence from a global economic leader? Will the breaking of this sensitive political bond empower a historically repressed nation to take command of its own fate and enable its cities to further flourish culturally, economically and politically? 

For those curious about the highlands there is an abundance of resources relating to Anglo-Scottish tensions throughout history and the Act of Union, arguments for and against Scottish independence, Scotland’s Future, the Scottish economy and Culture in Edinburgh.


Hogwartsesque towers reach high into rose-coloured skies.


Much like a Shakespearian play, reality and theatre begin to intertwine as festival euphoria spreads through the air- charismatic street performers work their theatrical witchcraft and onlookers are left entranced by a bewitching world of drama.


The Most Pierced Woman in the World shelters from the sun whilst busking during the Edinburgh Festival.

The Most Pierced Woman in the World shelters from the sun whilst busking during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


One of Edinburgh’s festival-going treehuggers finds a perfect pale-green partner.


Dark imposing architecture looms over the city like the ominous opening of a  Victorian Gothic novel.


From cardigans and pearls to grandma’s lace stockings- Edinburgh is home to one of the largest ranges of charity shops and vintage boutiques in Europe.

Check out these enticing blogs if Edinburgh intrigues you: Edinburgh Fringe Poetry, Theatre Blog, Extraordinary Acts, Edinburgh Fringe, Word up Edinburgh, Secret Scotland, Scots history and Scottish Independence.

If Scottish culture takes you’re fancy, you may also enjoy Scottish music, some of the 10 best Scottish movies or the following films set in Scotland.

The case for Scottish Independence by Ewan Mcgregor (Trainspotting)

Filth, a newly released film set in Scotland starring James Mcavoy

Scottish Band from Selkirk- Frightened Rabbit

Glaswegian musicians- Belle and Sebastian

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Street Performers – Hang Playing Hedge Monkeys

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19 thoughts on “Edinburgh: Reality and Theatre

  1. Hello there and thank you for visiting my blog. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. “Will Prophesy for Food” was definitely my favorite. I also liked your caption about the “Hogwartesque” towers. The two together made me speculate that, if Umbridge had succeeded in evicting Trelawney, she probably would have ended up here. I look forward to visiting your blog again. Until then, happy travels!

  2. Speaking as a born Scot, living in Edinburgh, I am certainly happy and willing to continue sharing our city with our English fellow Brits. I’m also very happy to continue to share our beautiful Isle, as part of a united nation. I have yet to meet many Scots who plan to vote to divide our land in two.
    The media of course love a good story…….

  3. Pingback: Edinburgh Rush | see something

  4. I like my city, too 🙂 The pierced lady runs a shop down Candlemaker Row next to Greyfriars Bobby’s statue (if you ever went there); she’s quite sweet.

    Also, a belated thank you for following me!

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