Shakespeare for Breakfast is a venerable Edinburgh Fringe Festival institution that has been selling out its house for twenty-six seasons and is still going strong. Every year they offer a quality Shakespeare parody, free coffee and a croissant. They don’t need their gimmick, but by God they stick to it. I never regret going, and a Fringe trip would feel incomplete without it.
This year, the team that performs the morning show also gives you the lunchtime Dickens for Dinner. The title introduces something of a controversy, as in the south of England, where many if not most Fringe visitors hail from, the mid-day meal is known as lunch. Calling it dinner, and the evening meal supper or even tea rather than dinner, are far more common in north England and Scotland. These distinctions have class connotations as well as regional ones.
“So it’s not really for dinner, is it?” said my vexed girlfriend, who is very from the Home Counties, of the matinee performance.
“A Northerner will come and eat you if you keep saying that,” I begged.
“But it’s NOT ‘dinner’!” she pressed on, heedless. I’ll miss her.