But then yesterday – bang! I suddenly found myself nodding off mid-conversation with fellow cast members and between mouthfuls of dinner. I’ve never (yet) run a marathon, but I’m sure that this is something very much akin (probably even more tough) to the so-called ‘wall’ I’ve heard long-distance runners talk of.
I guess the tiredness alone isn’t too bad – the end is in sight after all. But that brings problems in itself. There are so many shows I desperately want to catch and haven’t managed to yet.
For the first few weeks your thinking is, "I must catch that but, well, I’ve got ages". Then suddenly the time is ticking away. You can almost see a giant Countdown clock suspended above Edinburgh Castle. The diary comes out, and a frantic scheduling game begins – trying to book in shows at similar times on different days, working out if you can really run from the Pleasance Courtyard to the Gilded Balloon in that space of time, asking yourself how many shows you can realistically absorb in the space of one evening.
All in all – and this is my third Fringe in a row – I think I’ve been better this year at getting to the things I really want to see, and catching friends’ shows. I even used our day off to see two shows that clash with our time slot (which is in the Gilded Balloon at 4:00pm, in case you were worried I’d forgotten to plug). The problem is that the Festival is so big, with so many shows, that you can never see everything you want to. And at any moment a friend can highly recommend something you’d never even heard of before the show’s title came out of their mouths!
I think an attitude of stoic resignation is called for. The Festival is too big for any one man or woman. You can never see everything you want to, or everything that’s worth seeing. Money, time and the laws of physics prohibit it. But maybe that’s OK! I’ll still see more that surprises, delights and inspires during the month of August than I probably will in the rest of the year combined.
The Fitzrovia Radio Hour
Gilded Balloon Dining Room
3-29 August (not 17)
16:00 (60 mins)