Arthur Smith: My 75 Years at the Edinburgh Fringe

There are some things as regular at the Fringe as Biblical downpours and overpriced street food. And Arthur Smith, (self-appointed) Mayor Balham, Grumpy Old Man, is one of them.

A love letter to the shenanigans of Auld Reekie in August

In what he tells us is his 75th Fringe, Smith takes us all on an hour’s love letter to one of the constants of his adult existence; explaining what brought – and has kept – him coming back for more silly Auld Reekie shenanigans year after year, August after August.

This nostalgic potter has a daft, homespun quality in which Smith takes us through love affairs, Leonard Cohen, Arthur’s Seat, his parents, dependencies, snippets of verse: with him reading at a lectern from an old buff folder with a ‘75’ sharpied on the front. His deadpan delivery has something of the quality of a colleague giving a euology, and whilst the Fringe is far from dead, in this anniversary year, there are reasons aplenty for us all to just take stock of where we've been and where we're going. But it’s not all low-tech stuff, a projection of his photo collection gives us plenty of gigglesome memories and there’s a sense of glee in his delivery which is reminiscent of sinking a few beers and some NSFW anecdotes with your deliciously inappropriate Uncle.

Smith is very very funny, dry, surprisingly moving, naughty. He is honest without becoming maudlin, and loving without sentiment. He is one of the best kinds of storyteller - truthful with just a little bit of fantasty, and funny with a smattering of filth - and we can only hope that what he describes as a potentially terminal case of CBA does not in fact stop him from returning for another (sic) seventy five years.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Rebecca Vines

Pleasance Courtyard

Second Summer of Love

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

The Last Romantic

★★★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Surfing the Holyland

★★★★
Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Boy: Looking for Friends

★★★★★
theSpace @ Niddry St

Battle: A Modern Mystery Play

★★★★
Assembly Rooms

Earwig

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Arthur Smith’s love letter to the playground of the imagination that is the Edinburgh Fringe on its 75th birthday. Recalling some of the triumphs, disasters, love affairs and arrests of his many Augusts in Auld Reekie. Hamlet, Colditz, Leonard Cohen, Dante, dementia, Arthur's Seat, Gary Lineker and the Leith Police all feature in this moving hour of revelations, songs, poems, gags and bad costumes. This is Arthur's last-ever Edinburgh show so you had better be there. ‘There are Fringe legends and then there is Arthur Smith’ (Bruce Dessau, Times).

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets