Between Tuesday 8th August and Friday 11th August, myself and Mr Alexander Denley Spencer III saw seventeen shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival because we forgot how bank accounts work. We labelled the whole thing as a ‘research trip’ for our own Fringe campaign, which we are doing as the Biscuit Barrel next year, but blatantly that’s just a misleading professional term for ‘watching lots of stuff and pissing about’. Through shows, chips, Tennent’s beer and a couple escapades with the brilliant Miss Lucie Strannack and co, we really enjoyed our fleeting time in Edinburgh – the best city in August (who needs the sun?).
Despite the prior three times I’d gone – though this time I did remove Alex’s Fringe chastity belt – this year definitely felt different; if it were ever possible to stand on a horizon, that was what this year felt like. The excitement of channelling through the flyer-wavers and street performers down the thriving current of the Royal Mile evoked daring thoughts of ‘this could be us next year’ like they’d never done before. Since I was fifteen-years-old, I’ve wanted to perform on the Fringe, but it wasn’t until this year that the idea had real a weight of reality to it.
Of course, this weight carries a pound of angst in it too: this dream project is a gamble and, like any big gamble, a lot of dollar’s involved. A Fringe performer puts the best they can do out to the public, just to see if it can do anything and that is terrifying stuff. With this in mind, as I do my reviews of what I’ve seen this year, and whilst I do not expect any of these performers to ever come across what I have just dribbled onto my blog, I will not forget the effort that has been put behind these shows and will try to be as respectful as I can, whilst still giving an honest opinion of how I felt about them. With sketch shows, improv shows, character comedians, late-night stand-ups, awkward self-aware shows and physical theatre to cover, I better get cracking.
But, as a general comment, thank you to this year’s festival for giving me the most well-rounded Fringe I’ve ever had and next year, with a bit of luck, we too will be on a makeshift stage in a converted workhouse.