Any performer, show off or wannabe will tell you how awkward / amazing in equal measures the Edinburgh festival is, after spending the last two weeks here I've realised this isn't for me.
1 million people come to this town to suck up some culture endorsed by a select few critics, sit cross armed, imaginary buzzer ready to be entertained in a post 'Got Talent' Britain. The festival is a wash student productions the 'they' may like to see - A Clockwork Orange is a great example of something cult, the middle classes are happy to endure - for a successful show on at the fringe this seems to be a popular formula...
Old film / book your Dad likes + played by someone you'd find in a Camden boozer = Sell Out show.
Equally if you've ever been on the tele, punters are more likely to take a risk with their Scotish notes - this year a smattering of Holby City actors are slap lined with their past endeavors to get bums on seats. Fading, semi-racist, white magicians looking to make a quick buck are a win here too which leads me to my conclusion 'this isn't for me' - it seems that this once risk taking exploration of the arts is now pandering to middle england for its bread & butter. Now before I sound like a scorned woman my show this year has been well received by both critics, artists & producers and I'm happy with the product we've produced but nothing here that's taking risks, pushing an agenda or politic has had the acclaim I think it deserves. Simon Callow in 'Tuesdays at Tesco' is a great example - I fell asleep four times but 600 bums a day - Is this mass appeal or the work of a genius? Is this what we're bored of calling 'due to the credit crunch?' - I think this may have something to do with the lack of new companies trying out ideas for the sake of it, money has become so important to these companies as the Arts Council snip their pocket money, but where are the audiences willing to pay £8 for something by someone who isnt on the tele / radio / channel 4 panel shows? - They are not here this year.
I've been coming to the fringe for 6 years now, my first experience was a raw, unapologetic festival that encouraged punk performance, with the departure of some key producers, Forest Fringe's future in the balance, Fosters taking over and the pressure to please Lyn Gardner at the forefront of creativity I'm interested to see how the fest evolves in future years.
Either way I'm back next year with 'Violence' but this year felt lack lustre. I genuinely applaud Assembly for taking the risk in programming leftfield work at the forefront of their program this year - Bryony Kimmings, Le Gateaux, Neil Hamburger, Two Wrongies & us (EYHO) - maybe the hope lies with them. No pressure.
Here are some backstage snaps of the EYHO gang. Lorra Love X