With over 3000 shows at the world’s biggest arts festival, here at The ReviewsHub,we want to make the job of choosing your Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows that little bit easier. So here’s Tom Sandham from Thinking Drinkers answering our annual Five Fast Fringe Questions.
In one sentence tell us about your show.
A piece of comedy theatre where you taste five free drinks and learn some amazing drinks-related anecdotes to tell your friends in the pub.
What made you decide to bring a show this year?
This will be our sixth consecutive year and I suspect we’ll be bringing a show every year until we get found out, or bankrupt ourselves, or die – all three of which can easily happen while we’re on stage. We come because it’s the world’s largest cultural eventif you like comedy, music, theatre, art, dance, even the circus. Edinburgh in August caters for pretty much every taste. We could spend time at home with the family, making money, socialising with friends and that, but if you want to be inspired by creative people there isn’t really anywhere else on the planet that compares.
Any advice you’ve heard or can give to anyone coming to the Fringe for the first time?
Don’t come – having said all that stuff about creative inspiration, it’s quite hard work. Don’t run off with circus performers. The festival is a bubble; when you burst it your whole world will crash down around you and you won’t be covered in soap, just tears. Go on holiday in September, or at least have access to a dark room where no one can bother you. Drink responsibly.
What makes your show stand out from all of the others on offer? (Don’t say that it’s because you’re in it!)
We always struggle to tell people what the show is, which makes the flyering a challenge. It’s about alcohol, this year specifically themed on how humans drink around the world; it’s comedy theatre with plenty of mucking about; it’s also a tasting and very informative. What makes it stand out is that it isn’t one thing and increasingly Fringe-goers are looking to get a bit more out of their hour, we’ve managed to find a formula that ensures almost everyone gets something out of it, assuming they’re over 18. Certainly what sells it is that we give each member of the audience five free drinks. This is not a lie, nor is it a joke. Were it a joke, it would be an unfunny one and we have more than enough of those to enjoy while you sip your free drinks. Our background is drinks writing, we’ve been doing it for 15 years and are now columnists for the likes of the Telegraph and Metro. As a result, we can select some incredible free drink to hand out – this year Jameson Irish whiskey, Bulleit American whiskey (nothing Scottish, the Scots wouldn’t give us any) a Meantime beer we actually brewed ourselves, Plymouth gin (the king of gins) and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, perhaps one of the world’s finest rums that tastes like chocolate. As you sip them, we tell you about them, how they are made but more importantly the wider social context of the drinks, why we need to ‘drink less, but drink better’ and we wrap it all up in some corny jokes and partial nudity.
What show, other than your own, do you not want to miss?
We’ve got our kids up this year so it’s all about theatre for little people. We’ll also check out everything around our venue, the Med Quad, we’ve not played there before but we’ve got a suspicion it’s going to be a very cool area of the Fringe, not least because we are there. It’s nice a varied, the key to a successful Fringe is trying to get in variety.
Finally, the boring but essential bit…
Name of the show: The Thinking Drinkers: Around the World in 80 Drinks
Venue: Underbelly Pasture, Ermintrude
Dates: 3 – 28August 2016 (not 15)