The beauty of Fringe Festivals

pigoen and sister maryAugust is always a busy month for theatre goers. Tomorrow I head up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a week where I am planning to see 30 different shows in just 6 days! Crazy right? Well, not really as just about everyone who goes is doing the same. The Camden Fringe Festival, which kicked off this week, also runs in parallel with Edinburgh, allowing those who cant make the trek to Scotland, to still see new and exciting work.

Sister Mary McArthur kicked off the Camden Fringe Festival on Sunday at the Cockpit Theatre, with fifteen acts from the Camden Fringe Festival performing five minute slots, giving the audience a taster of their shows. For a blogger like me, shows like this are incredibly useful as it allows you to get a glimpse of lots of different shows, without having to actually dedicate a whole evening to one particular show. There simply aren’t enough days in the week to be able to see all the shows I would like to!

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival especially is a wonderful environment to be in. After the first day or so of adjusting to the craziness of running from venue to venue and show to show, you settle in and it feels like one big happy family. Actors, performers and audience members all mix together and there is no hierarchy or feeling that anyone is better than anyone else. Everyone is there for the same reason. A love of theatre. I guess it’s a lot like going to Glastonbury in a way. Everyone is there to see bands that they like and mingle with like-minded people.

You have to roll with the punches when you see shows on the Fringe as often these are being tried out in front of audiences for the first time. Fringe Festivals can quite easily become Cringe Festivals but you have to stay focused on the good things that you see. Most shows are around 60 minutes long and so even if something is terrible, you can usually close your eyes and think of England whilst they get on with it.

The Fringe is also an amazing way to go to the theatre without breaking the piggy bank. Shows on average are between £5-£10 each and some are even free! We like to complain about the extortionate price of Theatre tickets in London but we should also take a moment to appreciate the great deals we get when it comes to Fringe shows.

If you’re headed up to Edinburgh this year then have a great time and say hello if you see me! Don’t forget to check out what’s on at the Camden Fringe as well!