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

Mobile Neon Workshops: Edinburgh 2014

★★★★★
Assembly Hall

Haka

★★★★
theSpace on Niddry St

The House of Bernarda Alba

★★★★
The Edinburgh Dungeon

Deadly Dungeon Murder Mystery

★★
Whitespace 25

Zoon Politikon

★★★
Hendrick's Carnival of Knowledge

Fear and Loathing

★★★

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

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.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets