Each year as August dawns, the streets and rooms and corners of Edinburgh fill with music, art, laughter and song. Wander into grand halls and pokey pubs, as the morning sun rises or in the dark of night, to see creations of every kind as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In honour of this wonderful celebration of the performing arts (and as a little treat), here’s a special edition Dishoom Loves, covering all the acts we’ve circled on our festival programme.
We’re finding front row seats:—
To catch comedian Sapan Verma – who’s flown in from Bombay – make his much-anticipated Fringe debut. Expect Bollywood songs, very real (albeit often absurd) newspaper headlines, quips about life as a middle-class Indian, cheers for being internet famous and gasps when he recounts speaking about (and sometimes against) local political parties in his videos online.
We’re laughing, but with a tear in our eye:—
As Sid Singh regales us with tales of his journey (not to Edinburgh, but as a comedian and human rights advocate) as part of his show Table for One. Did he beat a powerful administration to save 70,000 refugees by accident? Perhaps. Will he be donating 50% of ticket sales and donations to the Centre for Gender and Refugee Studies? Definitely!
We’re going from Instagram:—
To IRL as we watch Urooj Ashfaq’s show Oh No!. Show up for the occasional punchline in Hindi, but don’t show up with a pair of sunglasses (for you’ll soon become aware of Urooj’s aversion to them). Sit through sessions with her therapist and brave through her lighthearted teasing. Mainly, as Urooj herself will say, “Why don't you just show up, be surprised, and go with the flow?”
We’re hunched forward as we:—
Listen to Evening Conversations, a warm-hearted monologue about identity and heritage. Written and performed by middle-class, middle-aged, multicultural mother of millennial sons, Sudha Bhuchar – who is also an award-winning actor/ playwright. The show is inspired by dialogue she has with her ‘dual heritage, fiercely British, mono-lingual’ sons.
We’re marvelling at:—
Spellbound, the new show from Suhani Shah, the world's most-subscribed mentalist. Sit transfixed as she reads minds, hacks memories and performs unfathomable card tricks. Just don’t give her your phone – she already knows your passcode.
We’re being transported:—
Through history, stories, backgrounds and time, by way of these two delights:
FIND ALL SHOWTIMES BELOW:—
With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.
“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.
January is a most divisive month. For some it heralds the hopeful turning over of new leaves; for others it is a month to trudge begrudgingly through towards the promise of spring. Whichever camp you find yourself in, we have plentiful diversions to share. See them as the cherry atop your already gleeful January cake, or a welcome distraction while you await winter’s end.
I AM HERE, dear reader, slovenly and slouched, staring into my drink at the end of the bar in our new restaurant in Battersea. My mind is still down and out, sifting around in the dregs of ’23 but of course it knows that I should really straighten my back, raise my chin and look squarely up into the cold new light of ’24. My drink – Choti’s Punch – clear and strong, sweet with a little salt, may help.