Scotland has become a cultural magnet for festival-goers across the globe, with the Edinburgh Festival being crowned the largest arts festival in the world, and consequently seeing thousands of weird and wonderful performers flock into the city every summer. But while Edinburgh takes centre stage during the month of August, that's not to say its equally thriving Western counterpart is to be tossed aside amongst the customary heaps of unwanted flyers.
During the Fringe, Glasgow comes into its own with its annual array of pre and post-Fringe performances being hosted in several bars, clubs and pubs in Glasgow, as well as sending performers east, to represent Glasgow in Edinburgh. So, if you’re a Glasgow-goer who's experiencing an extreme case of FOMO this summer (fear of missing out) - don't fret – as in Glasgow, you can catch some of the biggest and best performances without having to do the dreaded tourist-dodge through the jam-packed Royal Mile.
On Thursday 1st August, West Brewery will be hosting a rib tickling evening of comedy hosted by 'Scottish Comedian of The Year 2011' Jamie Dalgleish. The show will also see a performance from The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolf III, who will be introducing his hilarious chat show with a twist to the Glasgow pre-Fringe crowd. The far from run-of-the-mill reverend will be performing at the Teviot venue in Edinburgh until the 26th August - however, if you're unable to head east this summer - make sure you head to West for his well crafted and scandalous punch lines. Not one for the faint hearted.
Up4ameet? is a hilariously poignant comedy show looking at love in the 21st century, featuring X factor's hearthrob Lloyd Daniels and Big Brother legend Nikki Grahame. The humorous bunch will be performing at the Electric Circus during this years Edinburgh Fringe - however - you can also catch their banterful nakedness and witty observations at the Oran Mor on Friday 9th August.
will be hosting a number of comedy characters at their '10 o'Clock Show' this month, where they will be bringing the crowd plenty of fringey banter but conveniently missing out the enormous queues and overpriced pints. On Friday 2nd of August, Tony Jameson will be strutting his fun-filled stuff before he hits the madness of the Edinburgh Fringe with his Football Manager Ruined My Life performance. Alongside the Scottish merry man will be Rod Hunter, Richard Pulsford and Gus Lymburn, where they will be riling up the Glasgow crowd with their comical wit and genius one-liners. Tickets cost £8, concessions £6.
Lauren Crown will be playing an intimate gig at The Arches Cafe on Friday 2nd August. The Aberdeen born singer-songwriter has already graced the crazy crowds of Edinburgh with her haunting vocals and chilled out R&B style melodies - so she will be wrapping things up with a more personal performance in Glasgow on Friday.
As for Glasgow stalwarts making the pilgrimage to Edinburgh to perform, a couple of Glasgow bars are sending shows to the Fringe. Oran Mor's afternoon theatre troupe, A Play, A Pie and A Pint will be representing Glasgow with an incredible ten plays at the Fringe. As part of the Made in Scotland Showcase, ten Oran Mor-produced shows will take over a selection of Fringe venues throughout August, from Chalk Farm by Kieran Hurley and Julia Taudevin at the Udderbelly to God Bless Liz Lochhead by Martin McCardie in the Assembly Rooms; shows not to be missed if you make it to the Fringe.
The Arches will also have a Glasgow show in Edinburgh with critically acclaimed production, Whatever Gets You Through The Night. Set to be performed in the magnificent Queen's Hall on 20th-25th August, the award-winning show, created by Cora Bisset with Swimmer One and David Greig, combines and showcases the work of over 20 writers, musicians and artists from across Scotland, for a performance that combines music, theater, circus and cabaret. A really special Glasgow addition to the Edinburgh Fringe.
So, if you're in Edinburgh wading through a sea of shows, check out the very best Glasgow theatre on offer. And if you're in Glasgow and feeling a little out of the loop with the Fringe festivities, be sure you catch the intimate and wallet-friendly pre-Fringe and post Fringe gigs in Glasgow, where you can get the first and freshest laughs in, before madness descends on the Scottish capital.