Brick City – The Backstage Tour 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 09, Aug 2017
Brick City – The Backstage Tour! is in one of those teeny doorways off the Royal Mile that make it hard to tell where anything is – except for the archway of giant Lego bricks around this particular one.
Riddle’s Court itself is known as “Edinburgh’s Hidden Merchant House” complete with courtyard (and the Lego starts there!), ancient brickwork, and a surprise discovery in the refurbishment – a 16th Century kitchen hidden within the disabled loo. The staff are as happy to show you these gems as the Lego, knowledgeable about both.
Up a glass lift, with views of some of the oldest brickwork, the upper floor offers two rooms. In the first are Lego models of various things, from planets and spacecraft to everyday vehicles both tiny and huge, to recognizable buildings – Monument, the Empire State Building, Sky Tower. There is also some giant lego for small hands to enjoy crafting something.
The next room is what we’ve really come for – in front of a wall of drawers of carefully categorized Lego pieces, Lego workshop artist Warren Elsmore, with some of his team, are busy creating. As we visited, Elsmore was busy on an airport, complete with so much detail – right down to the rat under the flooring! A carousel moved steadily around, while others in the team worked on a telescope, and a harbor / opera house complex.
These pieces are all due to form the downstairs full city, piece by piece, until the end of the Fringe. Within this city there is already a fair part of a F1 race course, numerous shops, and a harbor full of boats and sea planes.
Just outside this room is a part of the Forth Road Bridge. From the feet, just above the water and covered in specially commissioned seagulls, to construction workers busy at the top, the piece looks impressive, and it’s no wonder Elsmore has had it internally strengthened to travel to exhibitions.
If you like Lego, this is fun. If you like ingenuity, this is fascinating. If you just want a good nosey around a fascinating old building once visited by King James VI and Queen Anne of Denmark, among other luminary figures, you’ve got it. If you’re worried half an hour wont be enough time to see it all, don’t panic; if it’s not busy, they aren’t strict. Having said that, this is a fascinating diversion off your fringe beaten track, so go make it busier.
Reviewed by Gill
10.00 to 18.00 – tours begin every 30 minutes.