My Fringe, 2017
Here is a link to the reviews from our recent time in Edinburgh – certainly top of the list is Adam a really powerful and wonderful piece. Personally, I had a better fringe than previous years; whether that was my selection or the general quality I am not sure! So here are some of the more random thoughts that came to us in the gaps between shows …
Tickets, Brochures and Apps – wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were all in the same place. Well, most are, but increasingly venues, or groups of venues, are also doing their own. This has been the case for a while for Press, the central Fringe Press/Media Office handles all press ticket requests except those for shows at some venues when you have to (a) contact the venue directly and (b) pick up your tickets from the venue separately. I noticed this year several independent venue-based fringe brochures and even one app. The Fringe is hard enough to plan your way around without this separation – can we not just have it all in one place? I know, it gets in the way of the venue and show owning the relationship with the customer but this is the venue fixing their issue by buggering up the audience!
Locations – all the information you need is in the brochure and on the website … but … it is still possible, in the complexity and rush of trying to shoe-horn 30 plays into 5 days, to miss a trick … Summerhall @ The Army for example … not only “external” but way, way across the city and not near anything else and certainly nowhere near other Summerhall venues. It is not enough to simply group venue names together in your planning … it is the venue numbers that count … as for inter-venue travel times, well, don’t get me started, please get that into the app!
Nudity – what a lot of naked flesh I have seen this year. I am not complaining, and most of it was central to the needs of the show, I just find it fascinating that it is all out there and that if there is any awkwardness it is in the audience and not on the stage … it is also curious that there is less nudity in the Burlesque than in several plays! The Vagina Q&A at “You’ve Changed” had us all laughing of course and “Wild Bore” is a real delight!
Themes – there really isn’t a general one but for me, transgender seemed to hold the high ground this year … your mileage may vary
Food and drink – sometimes I felt like I didn’t need to get my own, just pick the right shows and I would get fed. From the five drinks at “The Thinking Drinkers” to A Cuba Libra at “Last Resort”, to tea and sandwiches at “Bright Colours Only” via the lovely breakfasts at “The Big Bite Breakfast” and the Traverse-based “B!rth” plays. Amazing.
Tall people – those who are above average height have as much right to go to the theatre as anyone, I wont even compain if you sit in front of me, even if you keep stretching up and swinging round to speak to your neighbour causing me to bob about like I’m at Wimbledon. Actually, I object to you speaking during a perfomance regardless of your height but I digress. What I do however object to is when you pile your hair up on top of your head in a bun or top knot thus adding several inches to the top of your head – this is a choice and shows that you have absolutely no regard for anyone sitting behind you because, strange as it may sound, your hair is not transparent. Several times this week I have been unable to get into the front row (my preferred location) and on more than one occasion the person in front of me has been tall (ok) and with a top knot (not ok!) … would you wear a top hat through a performance? For goodness sake ….
Enough? I think so … it is a truly great week and I’m already looking forward to EdFringe18!
My Fringe, 2017