Every August something rather funny happens to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The city transforms itself almost overnight into the world’s cultural hub as it’s descended upon by thousands of comedians and performers with their acts. I am of course referring to the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
For one month only the Scottish capital becomes a bustling metropolis of entertainment, catering to every genre and taste. Spread over 258 venues, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors making it the biggest arts festival in the world. The Fringe has been responsible for launching the careers of some of our best loved comedians such as Stephen Fry, Steve Coogan, John Cleese and various other Monty Python alumni, so as you can see, the bar has been set pretty high. The Festival’s popularity continues to grow each year with a record 2500 plus shows available to choose from, therefore the pressure is on more than ever for new performers to stand out.
However this pressure also extends itself to the aforementioned tens of thousands of Fringe attendees when trying to pick a performance; not the easiest task to narrow down such a large choice. Luckily there are many great, affordable and often free review guides on hand to help people decide, such as The Scotsman paper and the official Fringe Festival 2012 Programme, making it a far quicker and efficient process thanks to their very helpful, clear and trusty star rating systems.
I am excited to be contributing to The Skinny – a free independent cultural magazine guide to what’s going on in Scotland – which can be found at many of the various venues around the city. Still, a rather daunting prospect, putting your name to something that could potentially upset someone if a dire show deserves an equally dire review, but I’m hopeful. I’m not a religious woman but have strangely found myself praying frequently this week for the same thing, “Please, please, please everyone I see be side-splittingly hilarious!” Not the most conventional reason to pray but rather apt for this week wouldn’t you agree?