Michael Cox prepares for this year's festivals.
*Okay, this is a bit late. I could have changed the below entry to make it more current but have decided against it.
Dog-eared Fringe programme with numerous events circled, some of which I can’t remember why—check. Press pass—check (even though they have me down only as a blogger-a bit of a bone of contention, but I’ll get over it). Long list of productions that have been carefully arranged so I don’t have to run all over the city—nope. Long list of productions that have me running around the city, including some ridiculous windows that will make me run, hop onto buses or into taxis, but nevertheless not nearly as badly scheduled as last year---check. Ticket confirmation for all of the productions on said list—still working on it.
Reviewing things during the festival season in Edinburgh is a mixed blessing. Bags form under my eyes, I don’t eat as well as I should and sleep becomes a guilty pleasure. But I love it, and it always feels both exhilarating and as an honour to cover the festivals for the month it’s on.
I know that there is no way in hell I will see everything I want, and I know that there are going to be many things that will make me want my time back. But every year, there are at least a dozen productions that are great; not just good, but genuinely great.
Even better, there’s usually one or two that completely blow me away and remind me why I love live performance so much. These productions are almost always shows that I didn’t consider seeing the first time, but something, be it a review, a recommendation, an assignment from an editor, a poster or even just a glance of a picture, draws me in and I will forever be thankful.
That’s why I put up with seeing so much to the point of exhaustion: I know I will be spiritually rewarded, even if my body takes a beating.
As of right now I have 83 productions on my list. That is a number that is less than many of my colleagues, but it is still a lot. And yet, as I write this, I know that: a) I won’t make all of these and b) I will see a number that are not on that list. It is quite possible I will see well over 100, and I may strike out and see just a handful. Time will tell.
I will be reporting daily, not only on the productions I see but on other experiences. It’s going to be a hell of an adventure, and I greatly look forward to it.Tomorrow, I am scheduled to see the five shows residing in the Traverse Two space. I will also review my first festival show, which I saw tonight: Flesh and Blood & Fish and Foul. See you tomorrow.