Brian Ferguson: The Festival isn’t just about the shows

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Pleasance Dome bar is well worth a visit Picture: Ian Georgeson
The Pleasance Dome bar is well worth a visit Picture: Ian Georgeson
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It may be early days on the Edinburgh festivals circuit but one venue has already served up a “Critics’ Choice”, an “Encore”, “*****” and a “Fringe First.”

All of the above are on the list of cocktails specially created for the new-look Brooke’s Club Bar at the Pleasance Dome.

It is virtually unrecognisable this year after being given a makeover by Black Bottle whisky.

As The Scotsman organises the Fringe First Awards I felt duty bound to test out the drink they have inspired – which includes strawberry liqueur, fresh lemon juice and ginger beer.

Sampling it after surviving nearly five hours of Meet the Media pitches, I can confirm it lives up to its billing as “a hell of a pick-me-up”.

The team from CalArts Festival Theatre – who have brought three shows from California to Edinburgh – probably deserve some kind of award for making it to the very front of the Meet the Media queue at Edinburgh Unversity’s School of Informatics.

For the second year in a row, their entourage beat the crowds by arriving at 6am, a full seven hours before the doors opened and sparked an almighty stampede – with the biggest queue by far, as usual, to see The Scotsman.

Fair play to producer Brian Carbine for admitting the real reason for arriving at an ungodly hour.

“The best part of the event is standing in line and talking to everyone involved in all the other shows. So many people came along to see our shows last year that we had met in the queues.”