City of Edinburgh Tours
Monday 7th August 12.30
For our next show we took to the Royal Mile to meet for the Children’s Underground Ghost Tour. We meet at the Police Box next to the Tron Kirk, the home of Edinburgh City Tours who offer such tours throughout the year and not only as part of the festival. As a ‘Tourist attraction’ rather than a stand-alone Fringe show it perhaps doesn’t have the same polish or wow factor of many of the Fringe specific shows and perhaps this is to be expected.
We are led across to and along South Bridge (pausing more than once to make sure that no-one has got lost in the
masses that are inevitably in the area at lunchtime during the Fringe. Once there we are led underground and then
deposited in a dark room where we meet ‘Mingin’ Annie’, a 400 year old ghost who takes us on a tour of the
underground streets and vaults beneath the busy Edinburgh streets. It is perhaps a little disappointing that ‘Mingin’
Annie’ isn’t a genuine Scot, our 18th Century Edinburgh ghost having what sounded to be a French Canadian accent
and seemingly a fairly new actor in the role. She does however impart all of the information well and the kids come
away spouting all kinds of ‘Horrible Histories’ type facts and love the idea that they have been underground.
The rooms are particularly atmospheric as a rain shower just before the show means that water is dripping slowly from
the ceiling and the stone walls glisten in the low light. The rumble of traffic from above reminds you how close you are
to the modern day traffic but in a different world. It was probably the last ‘show-like show that we saw all week and
also maybe not so much a ghost tour as a history lesson in an extremely atmospheric setting. Maybe not something
that I’d do again during a Fringe but if you are in Edinburgh at any other time of the year looking for a tourist experience
you could do a lot worse than take a trip underground.
Reviews by 8 Year Olds
The ghost's name was Mingin' Annie and she taught us a lot. One thing that she taught us was that children were chimney sweeps in Victorian times. Another thing she taught us was that the underground where we were standing on used to be a street. When their was a plague people bricked up the door of a family's house and knocked 3 times in reply the family would knock 3 times back but one day their was no reply which meant they were all dead!
The only sunlight Annie gets is from a small window. It was interesting and fantastic. We learnt a lot.
It is very dark down there. People should see it.