"Sadly, and/or luckily, I’m of an age not to remember the Fringe being a stomping ground for new ideas thrown together by students on a budget. As far as I can recall, it has predominantly been a place for new ideas, thrown together by students, which have subsequently met the selection criteria for producing and funding organisations. Some estimates suggest the average Fringe shows costs the producing theatre company in the region of £10,000. That is a sizeable amount for anyone to scale, let alone groups of students … As a student I will always love the Edinburgh Fringe; but, I have to admit, over the last few years I’ve felt that it doesn’t quite feel the same way about me."
"Yes, your costumes and props are just as vital as those belonging to the other companies, and yes, the dressing room and backstage space is as much yours as everyone else's. But, as we have gradually been discovering, it is so very necessary to respect other peoples' property in those areas. To see spotless replica uniforms and hats lifted from their rail and strewn across the floor and to have fruit juice spilt over electric plugs and surfaces that are to be used on stage is not a nice thing, as I'm sure everyone else will agree!"
"It was our day off today but we've been busy being interviewed for Radio 4 Extra's Four O'Clock Show with the lovely Mel Giedroyc, a personal hero of mine. We laid on a private cucumber trumpet-making workshop for Mel and her two charming children at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The cucumber trumpets were a big hit with the kids and with Mel. They all took their trumpets away with them to play/eat in their hotel."
"Having stepped off the train yesterday, I barely had time to lay my rucksack down at our flat in the shadow of Arthur's Seat before I headed to Fringe Central to meet the other member of the Musical Theatre Matters Awards judging panel. Twelve shows have been selected for the shortlist this year, with a much broader field having been seen by assessors before I got here. They have been scored and ranked and only a select band of new work and revivals is now being judged for prizes in the Best New Musical, Best Musical Production, Best Book, Best Music and Best Lyrics categories … Although in raw numbers, there are fewer musicals at this year's Fringe, I have it on good authority that the quality more than makes up for it. I look forward to seeing all of the nominated shows and more much besides."
"The mid-point of the fringe has arrived, and unlike many of my fellow performers the mid-point is in fact my end-point. I must return to my grown-up job tomorrow, having used all my annual leave to come to the fringe for just eleven days. But what an eleven days it has been! The sadness and regret I feel as I leave, a feeling akin to leaving behind the love of your life or abandoning the place you feel home, is a testament to the fun and fellowship I've had while I've been here … United by a common love of being silly on stage, having fun off stage and a song about a snowball (ask one of them to sing it to you), the imps welcome anyone who shares their passions. I have met people this week who I feel like I've known all my life, and who I very much hope will be my friends in years to come.”
"En route to the High Street through the Meadows yesterday morning, I bumped into Oliver Senton of Showstoppers and School of Night, pushing his little boy Albert in a buggy. It was Bertie's first birthday, a date he now shares in perpetuity with my grand-daughter Connie Marie (from Connemara), who arrived in the wee small hours … Gyles Brandreth's son Benet, who is garnering five star reviews from the comedy critics for his show at the Gilded Balloon, is awaiting the arrival in town today of his new son, Cornelius. We are already planning outings next festival for Corny and Connie - a salubrious change, I feel, from Butch and Topping, or Frisky and Mannish - the new kids on the block, and hopefully part of the irrepressible future on the Festival Fringe."
”I have had two reviews this year - one from Brighton and one from Edinburgh - which have gone some way towards confirming a worrying suspicion. Namely that I remind people of Alan Bennett … I guess that I've always thought of myself as being a pretty rock-and-roll kind of guy. Most of my youth was spent hanging out in indie clubs, watching rock bands and drinking things that were not very good for my liver and whilst, having recently reached the end of my twenties, I've definitely slowed down a bit, I wouldn't want to think that I'd reached the Alan Bennett stage of my life just yet. After all, he might be a National Treasure but, like the nation's other favourite homosexual, Stephen Fry, he is fundamentally unsexy - a cerebral, non-threatening and slightly tweedy kind of presence that even the world's most homophobic grandparent could love.”
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