Fiona Duff: Seaside Fringe something special

Mica Paris
Mica Paris
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So, while I was away in Italy last week I missed the Fringe launch. Well, more importantly I missed a party or two which mark the lead up to the biggest arts festival in the world. I do love Edinburgh in August.

However, over the past few weeks I’ve been getting messages about another Fringe in August. Just 30 miles on the train from Edinburgh, in North Berwick, where there is Fringe By The Sea from 3-12 August.

I mean, a few years ago I remember it appearing on the scene – a few good gigs, some comedy, kids’ events and author talks over a few days. Well, this year it has stepped up a gear. The festival is now ten days long and has oodles of events and performances.

It started with us all getting excited about Mica Paris (pictured) singing Ella Fitzgerald and the idea of seeing The Sugarhill Gang and the Furious Five in this East Lothian town.

They would be joined by people such as Judy Murray, Jerry Sadowitz and the ever funny Arthur Smith; friends with little children were looking out their dancing pants for Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall and those with older children were booking up the Major Minor Music Club with Broken Records.

If all that wasn’t enough yesterday they announced three more big names who had been lured to the seaside. Badly Drawn Boy, Terry Hall (yes, him from The Specials and Fun Boy Three) and Hipsway all went on sale last night.

FBTS (as the locals say) have obviously got someone with a magic wand in charge of the programme.

So if you are wondering where I am at the beginning of August, it may be that I have jumped on the train to head for the coast.

There’s so much to do and apart from anything else there is the Lobster Shack, ice cream galore and, of course, delicious fish & chips. Oh, and did I mention the donkey rides on the beach?

I may have to find a straw hat.