Gary Flockhart: How was it for you? We’ve never had it so good

The Fringe is over but the memories stay fresh in the mind

The Fringe is over but the memories stay fresh in the mind

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THE flyerers have stopped flyering. The actors have left town for well-earned rests.

The comedians are probably off to rehab and it’s possible to get from one end of town to the other without having to use Lionel Messi-style footwork to avoid street performers who want to make you part of their act, clipboard-carriers who want you to fill out surveys or American tourists who want directions to the famous ‘Edinboro Castle’, while standing directly below it.

But in the light of the morning after(ish), with the Fringe still fresh in the memory, everyone’s asking: How was it for you?

Really good, thanks. I probably caught more shows than ever this year, and it’s a sign of the sheer amount of quality on offer that I was able to see two or three every day and still end up regretting the dozen-odd I wasn’t able to squeeze in.

Comedy-wise, the highlight was the new show from Andrew Lawrence, who gets funnier and funnier the more I see him. Few comedians make me laugh as much as this fella and, in hindsight, I should’ve given him five stars instead of four. Bit late.

Theatre standouts included an eerily-atmospheric production of Albert Camus’ The Stranger, and Dorian, a play based on Will Self’s reworking of Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, which transposes the action from fin-de-siecle Victorian society to the London gay scene of the 80s.

Other highlights were the chilling Punk Rock, starring Skins actor Will Merrick; Camille Claudel, a compelling portrait of the eponymous French sculptor; and Salome, a better-than-expected student adaptation of Wilde’s biblical tragedy.

All had me entertained, though if I was giving out my own Fringe award, it would probably go to Christine Bovill, who got a five-star review in the Evening News for her cabaret show, Piaf.

Of course, it didn’t do Bovill any harm that Charles Dumont, the man who composed Je Ne Regrette Rien, had flown into the Capital to perform with her.

That’s more ringing an endorsement of her talents than any review could ever give her.