Wednesday, 20 July 2016

How to Lose The Fringe

Of course, it would be possible for me to take a positive angle. But I have just put up ten entries for the dramaturgy database (Fringe 2016 edition) and I've gone Full Cyril with frustration.

Right troops, let's clear a few things up. This is the Edinburgh Fringe. The chances of your show getting a mention anywhere are smaller than Jack Straw's dangler, unless you are at a major venue. Sure, I'm doing this blog out of sheer egotism, and only really care about having more entries than any other publication. But seriously: don't send me a press release that claims you invented theatre and then fail to reply to my questions. The Fringe is like outer space in Alien. No-one can hear you scream.

The Vile Arts has a love/hate relationship with theatre-makers, and I'm the hate part. Do you know what I think when I get an email that suggests an idea for a feature (starring your company, natch)? I think: now every fucker has that idea in their inbox. And I decide on another topic. Simples.

It's an accident, but I learn from the database. How do you think I decide on which shows I am going to see? Right, I read your unbiased press release and believe every word. 

I certainly don't consider how you approach making theatre, what tradition you come from, your attitude towards the press. It would be stupid to spend all this time putting up posts and paying attention to the answers. 

Being a critic at the Fringe is liking looking for lice in Boris Johnson's hair. I can't be arsed to extend that metaphor, I've got articles to write.

You know how they say cynicism is the product of broken idealism? It's like being a lapsed Catholic, too. You say you have rejected it, but those ideals keep tugging away at your soul. That's how I feel. I long to believe that artists are something special, that good quality will win out. But I also know that the artist who tweets gets attention. 

In it to win it, son.

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