Auld Reekie Roller Girls Present: Good Things Come to Those Who Skate

It's four minutes in and I find myself clapping harder than ever while singing “Auld Reeke you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind...” to the tune of Hey Mickey alongside the other 40-odd fans in the court. I am amazed because, despite this being my first roller derby, the match and it's energetic crowd have already absorbed me and made me one of them. I yell “get her!” as LL Cool Gay receives a hard tackle that sends her flying into the floor. Suddenly, someone rushes passing the blockers, she skates like there's no tomorrow. 'Furia, Furia, Furia!' we all roar, and the amazing Furia Poligonera scores another round of four points against their opponents from Finland.

What makes roller derby such an enjoyable event to watch is its combination of excitement, personality, adrenaline and easily graspable rules.

As part of this year's Fringe, the Edinburgh roller derby league, Auld Reeke Roller Girls (or ARRG, as they like to call themselves) brings two fantastic matches against some of the top teams in Europe: the ARRG's all-star reserve team, also known as the Cannon Belles, face the unforgiving Finish team, the Dirty River Roller Grrrls; and a most anticipated match between ARRG's all-star team, the Twisted Thistles, and their main rival (currently ranked No. 2 in Europe), the London Brawl Saints.

What makes roller derby such an enjoyable event to watch is its combination of excitement, personality, adrenaline and easily graspable rules. Each team has five players on the track: one is the jammer who is in charge of sorting all sorts of body obstacles in order to gain some points (one for every blocker she passes). The remaining four are the blockers who both aid their jammer, and prevent the other team's jammer from moving too far in the track.

This is definitely far from any traditional contact sport; it requires skill as much as a lot of personality. Each player has a made-up name that often describes their ability on the track. From Violet Death to McPain and Temple of Doom. Of course these names shouldn't be taken literally, but they do add to the fun of this sport! If you feel like seeing a lot of flying bodies, excited commentators, a very energetic crowd, and some funky skating, my only word of advice is that roller derby can become addictive. Oh, and prepare folks, 'cause next time the Auld Reekie is taking on London!

Reviews by Natalia Equihua

Edinburgh College of Art

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Just back from putting a spell on the American West Coast at The Big O tournament in Oregon, Edinburgh's Auld Reekie Roller Girls are ready to take on some of England's skaters in two, full-contact, special Fringe bouts. Come and watch the all-star team, the Twisted Thistles, face London Brawl Saints, and the Cannon Belles throw the gauntlet at another superb team from down south. For more details on the Auld Reekie Roller Girls visit www.arrg.co.uk.