Slowly, like ivy climbing up a wall, I noticed posters for Fringe shows appearing around Edinburgh last week.
By today the city will have taken on a multi coloured mantle as they begin to cover walls and railings all over the place gh
I often say that if I stood still for long enough I’d probably get fly-postered by someone promoting a comedian who I may or may not actually consider going to see.
However, what usually surprises me most about the Fringe is how many of my friends actually bodyswerve it completely.
“I meant to see a couple of things, but somehow never got around to it” is one of the most common things I hear come September. For goodness sake – this is the biggest arts festival in the world and there really is something for everyone here. Even if you don’t speak English. One of the best shows we saw last year was The Boy With Tape On His Face, pictured left, so called because this performer does have tape on his face and says not a word during the show, but still manages to have the audience in fits of laughter.
I mean, when else in the year can you find yourself having a cup of coffee with Arthur Smith sitting at the next table or, more likely, be in a bar with Rory McGrath supping a pint across the room.
Famous faces off the telly are two a-penny. Within days of arriving they realise there is no point in wearing sunglasses. First, because no-one really bats an eyelid, and secondly for the simple reason that the usual lack of sun means that they would probably end up walking into a lamp post. Which isn’t a very cool look at all, especially if everyone recognises you.
So, people of Edinburgh, get off your backsides, prepare for the unexpected and you might actually have some fun. Don’t complain that it is too expensive these days – just go to the Fringe 2 for 1 hut by the National Gallery and you’ll be surprised at who isn’t selling out on a Wednesday afternoon.
Log on to venue websites and all sorts of offers will be piling into your inbox – a couple of years ago friends and I saw a great show called Miaow Miaow half way through August for a fiver a ticket.
Of course there are always the shows which are appallingly bad, but in the end you’ll be telling stories about them for longer than many of the brilliant ones.