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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Edinburgh in the Shadows

Beatiie and Scratchmann

Genre: Drama

Venue: The Pilgrim Bar (Venue 100) PBH Free Fringe


Low Down

A spoken word show about the city’s sinister side with tales of murder, muck and mayhem that reveal the truth behind some of Edinburgh’s most celebrated sites and characters. All over a lunchtime drink!


Edinburgh in the Shadows is a collection of some of the lesser known, and thoroughly dark, Edinburgh stories. It is part of the Free Fringe at The Pilgrim Bar (100), in Robertson Close on Cowgate.

The stories are all of death and mayhem ranging from coven’s of witches to an alternative ended for Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde via some fairly unpleasant crimes, cover ups and Chlorophorm.

It seems that not only was King James VI responsible for the Authorised Version of the bible but also for a tome on dealing with witches (who were always women) ‘Daemonologie’ published in 1599. Among those famous for witchcraft in Edinburgh were the daughters of Meg McNulty who, no doubt with her guiding hand, can make young men cast their seed while they sleep and

Alec Beattie and Max Scratchmann are both Edinburgh locals and experienced writers and performers. They take turns in telling the stories; they have different styles but both are warm and engage confidently with the audience – everyone around me was completely absorbed. It was the second show and there were still some slight issues in technical matters in the space which affected the smooth flow of delivery occasionally. However, it didn’t affect the overall enjoyment of the stories.

As a bonus, there is a book of the stories available with stunning illustrations by Gracia Navas. Some of those are also available as greetings cards – both the book and the cards are modestly priced at £3 each.

The Pilgrim Bar is a fitting setting, deep in the Old Town, slightly gloomy with a bar created out of suitcases and a sofa that seems to have had a previous life as several dozen pairs of denim jeans. However, although the venue number was clear but the entrance wasn’t – none of the usual posters, flyers, blackboards to entice us in. I hope that the performers there have addressed that as this show deserves to be found and enjoyed by a much bigger audience.

It is a warm and entertaining hour of stories that will appeal to local and visitor alike – perhaps especially to regular fringe visitors keen to hear a little more of the city’s dark and murky past, of which there seems to be much…