Edinburgh Fringe

Our Edinburgh Review Coverage Introduction.

The Fringe at The Edinburgh Festival has been running now for 76 years. Aside from the odd global pandemic, every year new stars are discovered, while more established stars of comedy strut their stuff at the biggest arts festival on the planet. Mark Ritchie returns to one of his favourite places on Earth to pick up where he left off and write a few reviews.

As soon as my press accreditation with The Fringe media office was confirmed recently, the inbox of my office e mail has been crammed every day with invitations to go and review Fringe shows. Gleaning and using publicity is the name of the game for those on the up and up, hence their courtship and attempts to engage with accredited press members.
The problem is that, although members of the press tick box’s On our media accreditation forms, which indicate what types of shows we are interested in covering, the flood of invitations come anyway. This time around I was invited to see anything and everything, from a South African tribal culture dance show to a Queer lip-synch Burlesque.
At UK Cabaret we cover anything and everything which does not concern or involve actors, so we have a broad remit.
This year brought with it some rather painful mobility problems for me. Having only recently undergone a hip-replacement operation, I was not ready for exactly jogging around the cobbled streets of Scotland’s capitol city with the same vim and vigour as I used to back in the days when I first began attending The Fringe back in the 1990’s. The Stage newspaper employed me back then, although oddly enough they used to employ a gaggle of Oxbridge types to do all the real work and the partying.
The sheer expense of staying in The Edinburgh area during August is almost prohibitive these days. With no-one but myself to pay my expenses, UK Cabaret- UK-Live being my company, I had to plan things carefully and with financial prudence in mind. In order to provide what is a mere splash in the ocean in terms of review coverage.
There are many thousands of performers appearing this and every year at The Fringe. I was determined to see some star names, but I was equally determined to dip into the Free Fringe, where enterprising acts of all kinds hire what are often makeshift and temporary performance spaces. The idea is the audience pay nothing to see the show on a first come-first served basis and are asked, or in some cases implored, to chuck something in a bucket collection or make use of a card machine in order to show their appreciation after the show.
As our Fringe coverage continues, reviews containing a few household names will appear in this publication. Hopefully we will also unearth a few precious gems amongst the aspiring stars of tomorrow.

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