City & Country sets new record at the WhatHouse? Awards 2023
Edinburgh is a city with a rich architectural and cultural heritage. This historic elegance is encapsulated by the palatial exterior of The Playfair at Donaldson’s, which scooped the prestigious Renovation of The Year prize at The Scottish Home Awards 2022.
The Playfair at Donaldson’s, much like the city around it, is bursting with surprises. The majestic exterior is complemented by strikingly contemporary interiors, with homes ranging from stunning mezzanine apartments featuring full-height period windows, to beautiful penthouses and three exquisite chapel apartments.
A stone’s throw from the famous Murrayfield Stadium, The Playfair at Donaldson’s provides outstanding access to the very best of the Edinburgh lifestyle. Shops, restaurants and leisure amenities in the local area deliver the ultimate convenience. Of course, at this time of year, the Edinburgh lifestyle is also about enjoying a wealth of creative talent, as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes over the city from 5th to 29th August.
Like Edinburgh itself, the Fringe is awash with surprises. Actor Kerry Gooderson, who has performed at the Fringe several times, including in a 5-star show of NewsRevue (the satirical sketch and song show which is an Edinburgh staple), comments:
“The atmosphere is always electric. The Royal Mile is always buzzing with artists and actors all hustling for an audience. I’ve played to 400-strong crowds and to an audience of one. I’ve been in hit shows and absolute turkeys and yet I’ve always found myself going back because the mad little bubble is irresistible.”
The Fringe spans a wide area of the city, from the Royal Mile up to St James Quarter/Cathedral Square. One of the main areas – Princes Street – is a pleasant half-hour stroll from The Playfair at Donaldson’s, or a quick, 11-minute hop on the tram.
One of the incredible things about the Fringe is the sheer range of performances on offer. According to the event’s official ticketing site, searching “What’s on” produces a staggering 3,279 results for the 2022 Fringe. Events span a range of categories, including children’s shows, comedy, cabaret and variety, theatre, physical theatre, circus, exhibitions, events, spoken word, music, dance and musicals and opera.
Fringe performers flock to Edinburgh from around the world. They include not just big-name artists but those who are trialling ideas for the first time and just starting out on their entertainment journey. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the potential highlights of the 2022 Fringe.
Between multi award-winning Australian children’s comedian Matty Grey, the Milkshake Adventure Bubble Show and puppet shows such as Bo Peep and Basil Brush, there’s lots to keep the little ones laughing at this year’s fringe. The Adventures of Sleepyhead and the musical theatre performance of Beauty and the Beast look to be two of the top-billed events.
There will be laughs for the grownups as well as the youngsters at the 2022 Fringe. Aidan Goatley’s Tenacious, the All-American Snack Attack, The Best of Scottish Comedy and Würk are all likely to produce plenty of chuckles. Musical Comedy Awards 2021 winner David Hoare is also well worth seeing, as are the 101 Comedy Club, 2022 Greek Comedian of the Year George Zacharopoulos and Scottish comedy scene veteran Vladimir McTavish.
Cabaret and variety
This year’s Fringe plans to wow audiences with a range of cabaret and variety acts, ranging from plenty of laughs in Absurd: A Live Cabaret Panel Show to the exciting spectacle of the 1 Hour Straightjacket Escape Magic Show. One performance not to miss is When the Body Breaks, which tells the story of a years-long recovery after a woman was left unable to walk or think after a complication during routine surgery – with all profits going to The Samaritans.
Theatre is one of the biggest categories at the Fringe each year, with the 2022 event hosting an impressive 932 different shows. Don’t miss 9 Circles for taut psychological thrills, The Beautiful Ugly for a new look at youth empowerment, The Heat Museum for a sound and movement exploration of emotional trauma and The Weird Sisters for a fascinating look at the role of women in today’s patriarchal society.
Physical theatre and circus
360 ALLSTARS is the show to see in the physical theatre and circus category this year, with this supercharged circus show having already sold out on Broadway and at the Sydney Opera House. Heroes, meanwhile, promises to take audiences on an emotional rollercoaster, while Pan Gu delves into Chinese myth in an attempt to inspire audiences to reconsider their relationship with the world.
Photography, paintings, sculpture and a whole host of other artforms will be available to experience at the 2022 Fringe. The Artists’ Open Studios and Exhibition will provide four floors of contemporary visual art, while Barbara Hepworth’s Art and Life exhibition is a must-see. Robert Blomfield’s Student of Light street photography exhibition is also one not to miss.
Visitors who want a more hands-on Fringe experience have plenty to keep them busy. Whether it’s a Bangkok street food masterclass, a children’s classical ballet workshop, the popular haunted vaults tour or an evening of Scottish Ceilidh dancing, there are events to keep visitors of all ages and abilities happy.
Spoken word performances have enjoyed a surge in popularity over the last few years and the Fringe certainly has plenty to offer in this area. Bàrdachd Cogaidh promises a powerful performance of Gaelic war poetry, Fife-born Ian Rankin will be chatting about Rebus, writing, books and music and political performer Mark Thomas will be sharing his insights into political activism, comedy and human rights.
The joy of dance takes many forms at the Fringe. Felt, Flamenco Fringe and Taiwan Season: See You, from one of Taiwan’s most exciting young choreographers, Lai Hung-Chung, all promise to be powerful performances this year.
The Fringe will be awash with sound this year, from show-stopping vocals from Aca-Pocalypse to Korean traditional performing arts in the Korean Yeonhee Concert. Don’t miss Liz Jones for a gutsy jazz/blues/rock set or the Tropical Jungle Cumbia Fiesta for some wild Latin vibes.
Musicals and opera
For lovers of musicals and opera, the Fringe has a rich offering. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee delightfully blends comedy with musical theatre, while Antigone: The Musical brings an ancient Greek myth walloping into the 21st century. Be sure to catch Living with Sin for an interesting look at self-discovery and Shrek the Musical from Edinburgh’s own Captivate Theatre.
A world-class city
Edinburgh is awash with creative talent throughout the month of August each year, but the city is also an amazing place to enjoy year-round. With world-class shopping, dining and entertainment options and a rich cultural life, it offers an outstanding cosmopolitan lifestyle. Those who want the very best out of that lifestyle need look no further than The Playfair at Donaldson’s for the ultimate Edinburgh home.
Providing one-, two- and three-bedroom city centre apartments, The Playfair at Donaldsons delivers an exclusive concierge service and a range of communal spaces. Residents can connect, work and unwind in the boutique Club Room and Chapel Room, while the beautifully landscaped internal courtyard and 16 acres of parkland provide plenty of space to enjoy the fresh air in the heart of the city. Prices start from £415,000.
*prices correct at time of publication, August 2022