Perfect Day: Benjamin Alborough

How to spend your time wisely in Edinburgh – Monopoly style!

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 4 minutes
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Benjamin Alborough
Photo by Matt Stronge
Published 17 Aug 2023

The Edinburgh Fringe is a bit like a game of Monopoly; the only goal is to crush your enemies. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or bad at Monopoly. Monopoly is a boring game; it takes far too long and ends in tears. In my show Benjamin Alborough: Absolute Monopoly we try to fix the problems of Monopoly by leaning into them even harder; the goal is to argue, the fun is in the disagreement, anything goes so long as the collective audience response is one of unrestrained glee. My perfect day at the Fringe would reflect these qualities wholesale. 

9am: I wake up – my first victory of the day. As the inventor of the grindset mentality I know that I must spend all my spare time working. But as the originator of the self-care movement I understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. These two balance out extremely normally and I sleep for eight hours.

10am: I advance to the kitchen. Breakfast: mayonnaise, white rice and beans. I call this “the Alborough method” and it prevents me from having intrusive thoughts. With fewer things to distract me, I can work on disagreeing with people. Later I will challenge an audience member to beat me in an argument for £100.

11am: Breakfast: mayonnaise, white rice and beans. It helps with my memory. 

1pm: I leave my flat. I take a deep breath and hold it. I make a mental note to let go once I’ve achieved something new. Two minutes later I achieve a blackout. I dream that I win second prize in a beauty contest - it’s OK for some parts of life not to be like Monopoly.

1.05pm: I pass GO. I almost get run over by a car. I briefly worry that Edinburgh isn’t exactly like Monopoly but these intrusive thoughts are immediately crushed thanks to “the Alborough method”. 

1.30pm: I land on Edinburgh Waverley Station. This was a mistake, having fallen off North Bridge. 

2pm: I rolled the dice on marketing this year; I recruited my flyering team through YouTube Shorts. They’re nice but obsessed with Bitcoin. I’m learning a lot about the blockchain and very little about my ticket sales.

3pm: By chance, I bump into my actual landlord. She reminds me that I’m behind on the rent. I tell her that this is an amazing coincidence as my show is about Monopoly. She reminds me that I’m behind on the rent, but louder. 

3.30pm: I take my landlord to see a show to teach her about kindness, the value of forgiveness and that money isn’t everything. She CANNOT learn about Absolute Monopoly.

5.50pm: I advance to Benjamin Alborough: Absolute Monopoly. Collect £200 - from someone else, an employer maybe, then buy 15 tickets for my show.

7pm: I’m in good company, some might say electric company. It’s my many fans, who flocked to my show in what I can legally describe as “numbers”. Due to “the Alborough method” I can’t quite remember how the show went (or experience emotional highs) and I don’t think I managed to crush any enemies today, but I’ll try to get some on the way home if my legs hold out.

What's on the cards?

Chance:You get into a fight with a family member about Free Parking and lose your inheritance.You’re caught cheating. Your punishment is you don’t get to finish the game earlier.

Community Chest: Charitably agree to end a 3 hour game without fully crushing your wearying opponents. A parade is thrown in your honour.You let someone else pick the Shoe. Your soul is temporarily spared.