An Exhaustive List of Everything (EVERYTHING) I Saw at #EdFringe in No Particular Order (Except the Order that I Remember Them In)

1. All the Men We’ve Never Slept With (Sugar & Vice)

2. Squidboy

3. Red Bastard

4. Confessions of a Sex Addict

5. The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

6. All Roads Lead to Rome

7. Beats by Kieran Hurley

8. The Bloody Ballad (not to be confused with…)

9. The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project (Northern Stages)

10. Peep (Lobsters)

11. Circa: Wunderkammer

12. The Bread and the Beer

13. Breaker

14. The Mushroom Cure

15. Cape Wrath (Northern Stages/Third Angel)

16. Under Milk Wood

17. It’s Dark Outside

18. There Has Possibly Been an Incident (Northern Stages)

19. What I Heard About the World (Northern Stages/Third Angel/mala vaodora)

20. Shylock

21. Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel

22. Dark Vanilla Jungle

23. That is All You Need to Know

24. Fleabag

25. Hunt & Darton Cafe (the only thing I went to more than once. I went to it 5 times in fact, because they gave me a loyalty card and I wanted to see what happened when I got 5 stamps. Well, what happens is that you get a Loyalty badge. Amazing.)

26. Lockerbie: Lost Voices

27. Major Tom

28. Monkey Poet

29. Be Careful What You Wish For

30. Bec Hill: Bec by Popular Demand

31. Bec and Tom’s Awesome Laundry

32. Wild Thing, I Love You (Forest Fringe)

33. Sappho… in 9 Fragments

34. She Was Probably Not a Robot

35. Stuart: A Life Backwards

36. Jem Rolls (spoken word)

37. I’m Sorry I Forgot to Haiku

38. Popaganda

39. Alfie Brown: The Revolting Youth

40. Andrew Maxwell: Banana Kingdom

41. Benny Davis: The Human Jukebox

42. My Name is Sue

43. Kate Smurthwaite: The News at Kate

44. Calum Lykan’s ‘Bold & Brave: Traditional Tales from Scotland’

45. Social Animals

46. Playhouse Creatures

47. Awkward Hawk

48. Dave Callan: The Psychology of Laughter

49. Hedluv & Passman: Two Cornish Rappers and a Casiotone Two: This Time its Similar

50. Luke Toulson – I Don’t Know How I Feel About My Kids

51. The Noise Next Door: Soundhouse

52. Rob Auton: The Sky Show

53. So You Think You’re Funny – heats

54. Death and Gardening

55. The Awake Project

56. Adam Strauss – The Sordid Sex Life of the Montane Vole

57. Stand by for the Tape Play Back (Forest Fringe)

58. A Cure for Ageing (Forest Fringe)

59. Purge (Forest Fringe)

60. Nothing to Declare (Forest Fringe)

61. Edinburgh Comedy All-Stars (well, I worked at it, so I *sort of* saw it)

62. Jason Byrne’s Special Eye (as above)

63. Hot Dub Time Machine (as above a hundred times over)

64. Metamorphosis (actually technically the International Fringe, but I didn’t pay for the ticket, so we’ll just pretend it was the fringe as well)

Plus a whole heap of street performances, flyerers doing excerpts from their shows and things I can’t otherwise remember.

Which means I saw, on average, about 3 shows per day at the fringe? Which I think is not doing too badly. Sure, I could probably have squeezed in another show per night, but I’m guessing my bank account and body wouldn’t have allowed it. As there were 2800 shows at the fringe this year, I saw less than 10%. I’m thinking about 2.5% of the Fringe? No, even less than that. Let’s say 2% of the fringe. Oh well. I tried.

Based on the numbers (and taking out Underbelly, as I worked for them so I got into their shows for free, meaning I saw more of their shows because when presented with a choice between a good show at Pleasance and an equally good, but free, show at Underbelly, I always chose the free one), my favourite venues/programmers were clearly Northern Stages (a Newcastle based theatre company) and Forest Fringe (a side program that supports more experimental work). This is interesting to me. Northern Stages, in particular, seemed to have a very political bent to much of their work and the stuff I saw at Forest Fringe was often very provoking as well. I find this interesting as I am not certain that the work I make myself is necessarily as political or provoking as the work I’m clearly drawn to.

I do feel like writers need to say *something*; that one of the key aspects of being a significant writer (that is the difference between someone who is merely able to string words together in an elegant way and someone who is actually SAYING something with those elegant words) is insight. These days I feel I more convinced of my ability to string words together in an elegant way than of those strung together words to say anything worth listening to. That said, a few years ago I was not convinced of my stringing together ability at all, so perhaps the insight will come with time. Time and confidence. ‘Something to say’ often comes with age, I suppose – you see and experience as much as you can and then you spit out your judgement on the world. Of course, many successful writers have been the bright young things, the people who tear apart the world the minute they are released into it, but to do that you’ve got to have a kind of youthful confidence (arrogance?) that I never had at the age of 20. Passing defiant judgement on the world has never been my strong point. Seeing both sides of an argument is much more my style. Along with holding my tongue and hoping not to get in trouble or make people dislike me. Where or where oh where did I get these useless, subservient personality traits from?

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