I’m off to the Edinburgh Festival this this week. My whole year’s theatre-going accomplished in four days! With over 45,000 performances in 379 venues in the Fringe alone, the postman practically had to use a jemmy to get the programme through my letterbox.
I’m not going mad this year. I once famously over-purchased and found myself physically unable to complete my exhausting itinerary and ended up re-distributing my tickets to passing tramps.
Being a producer and journalist (or blagger as it is known) I get offered quite a few free tickets but I think I can do without seeing Bin Laden the One Man Show or something listed as ‘absurdist mime’ (or any mime for that matter). I might however try the Senior Musical Theatre Company Hokkijuko, a group of Japanese pensioners performing a parody of Swan Lake. You couldn’t make it up (and nice of them to invite me)
There are five versions of Romeo and Juliet to avoid this year, one of which is set in rival supermarkets. And at least three productions of Titus Andronicus. One claims to include free pie, another mixes timeless traditions with gritty modern themes (ugh!) and one describes itself as farcical, fresh, funny, fast, furious and all-female. Nearly all the f’s then…
No, I’ve gone for more sensible things this year, like a show from Chile where the actors move seamlessly from live to film action and back (with surtitles). I’m treating a friend to a ticket but, quite understandably, he doesn’t really want to come. And a dance version of Chekov’s Three Sisters. Believe me, in a programme that offers a whole show in the back of a car, these are sensible choices!
Half of Bath will be there with me. What with Bath Comedy Festival trawling the late night venues for possible talent with which to amuse us back at home, and Widcombe’s favourite crooner, James Lambeth, presenting his very own show, there will be plenty of people with whom to share my deep fried Mars bars.
What I’m most excited about however is the new bus service from Bath to Bristol airport. It passes my door, and if I catch it before 4am I can go free on my bus pass. I must tell the Japanese grannies about that.