Tales from the Fireside

Edinburgh’s infamous ghosts descend upon The Fireside venue to retell the gruesome stories from the past. Did I mention it’s a children’s show? But surprisingly enough, Tales from the Fireside presents these otherwise graphic and gory tales in a way that is appropriate, sometimes relatable but most importantly funny for all audiences - children and adults alike.

Perfect for any budding fans of horror and history.

Two actors bring these ghostly characters to life, one as the host and main narrator of the tales, the other playing several of the forty five ghosts that will appear over the course of the afternoon. A storytelling show at its core, this production heavily relies on improv. One may say it needs to, with potentially forty give different ghosts who could potentially make an appearance. With that being said, both the actors do a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and recounting their stories, often in an impromptu manner.

At times the audience is moved from location to location, a mechanism which provides the historical backdrop for many of these stories (either from Vault three or outside around the remnants of a fire pit). Naturally or supernaturally, this means that each show will offer a different experience. You might hear the story of Deacon Brodie’s adventures, or observe the host haggle with William Burke over what constitutes a business (and more importantly how not to spend your money). My personal favorite, the tale of Alexander “Sawney” Bean, is portrayed in a more contemporary adaptation. Both actors do a terrific job in finding the balance between improv and narrative, even if they occasionally slip up once or twice.

Fireside does have its potential drawbacks. The show is two hours long, something that is listed in the program and mentioned at the start of the show. An intermission is included. It’s also located centrally to all the Fringe action, which might be difficult to manage with small children. Additionally, the majority of the show takes place outside around a fire pit, so in inclement weather it may not be the best setting. All in all, this show’s pros outweigh the cons and Tales from the Fireside proves to be a delightful hidden gem that is terrific for audiences of all ages and tastes. Perfect for any budding fans of horror and history.

Reviews by Linnie Moulton

Pleasance Courtyard

Norris & Parker: Burn the Witch

★★★★
Fireside

Tales from the Fireside

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Join Edinburgh's most infamous ghosts for an afternoon of storytelling and adventure! Explore the remains of the fireside and discover just how gruesome life used to be in the old town. Tales from the Fireside is a brand-new show for 2018. An interactive and free-form storytelling experience that allows audience members to come and go as they please. A huge variety of stories to tell and a wonderful array of characters ensure that no two days by the Fireside are quite the same.