Taken from Blackford Hill
'...the sunshine and laughter on Blackford Hill where I played and dreamed...'
Over the last 3 years, Edinburgh has become one of the places I feel most at home. Having spent months here – during the festival and outside festival time – it's a place I feel I've really got to know my way around – particularly on foot. Aside from the festival, we have come here to explore the life and home city of my great grandfather, David Maxwell Fyfe, whose life and achievements have been a huge part of English Cabaret's work for the last few years. We have visited where he was born, where he went to school and the places that were important to him. The quote above comes from his autobiography, Political Adventure. Although Arthur's Seat may be the best known of Edinburgh's hills, from Blackford Hill, home to the city's Observatory, you can see the entire city stretched out before you. It's a strange thought that we also have enjoyed the 'sunshine and laughter' on Blackford Hill as my great grandfather did. And as we look forward to the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials where he made his name cross examining Hermann Goering, we know him a little better, knowing the city where he grew up and was so happy.
Sunset on Leith
Taken from Arthur's Seat
One of the must-do things in Edinburgh, especially at Festival time, is climbing Arthur's Seat. The ancient extinct volcano can be seen from almost everywhere in the city and towers over Holyrood Palace. There is often competition between companies performing at the Fringe who have or haven't climbed this impressive hill. Visiting Edinburgh you soon discover just how many hills there are and consequently how many beautiful vistas there are to see. We scaled Arthur's Seat in our second year at the Fringe and took the most challenging route up, but, as we discovered later on, there is a perfectly comfortable and leisurely route on the other side. Ever since then, it has been a place of pilgrimage to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This photo was taken at sunset. The view was stunning and I couldn't get out my camera quick enough to capture it with my lens. The sky was streaked with gold and a slant of sunlight was peaking through cloud. Below, the castle was masked in shadow.
Secret Gardens of Dunfermline
Taken in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline
For the first time this year, we escaped the Festival Furore and headed out of the city over the Forth Road Bridge to Dunfermline each evening. Although the approach to the town is a jigsaw of unpromising industrial estates, the centre was truly a revelation. At the outset it looks like any other provincial town, full of the same high street shops. But through the gates of Pittercrieff Park you discover a hidden paradise. Following a tarmac path, you disappear into a dark and damp forest - I felt like I was in a secret garden. A patchwork of green overshadows a stream which tinkles down into mini waterfalls, down glistening moss-covered stones that make up the path. Over the cobbled bridge, following the river, there is a double bridge covered in ivy. Further downstream, you come across the beautiful abbey ruins overlooking the Park, enveloped in history. Here is a snapshot of the gardens – the secret gardens of Dunfermline.
C South - Our Venue
Taken at St Peter's Church, Lutton Place
For the last two years, English Cabaret has been 'stationed' at C South, 'the festival oasis' located within the surroundings of St Peter's Church, Lutton Place. Coming up the road, you are greeted with bright orange banners, fluttering in the breeze. Looking up you see the eye-catching church tower and below it, the pretty garden which for the duration of the Fringe is either filled with actors performing Shakespeare al fresco or a giant chess board. Immediately behind the church, are two huts – a box office and a Café selling crepes and hot drinks. Inside, the walls are plastered with posters of the different shows playing at C Venues all over Edinburgh. Our posters proudly shine out among the others and I feel a flutter of delight knowing we are the company putting it on. It's always sad to see everything packed up and put away as the Fringe ends for another year. But there is always next year!
Maxwell Fyfe's Edinburgh