Sunday, 23 July 2017

Mad Cyril Returns: What Kind of an Idiot are You?

Those people unfortunate enough to know me IRL can tell you: I am a horrible person, lonely, twisted and obsessed with showing off how clever I am (usually by quoting from a book I have read the introduction to, or throwing in a phrase like scopic regime, which I don't really understand). I am also spiteful about other critics and whisper things that I would never dare say even on my blog about directors and actors.

Furthermore, I always try to have a hate piece about the Edinburgh Fringe on my blog in the weeks leading up to the annual jamboree of thwarted ambitions and savings pissed up a wall by enthusiastic artists. 

Let's see how nasty I can be. 

This post is for all those people who don't have an entry on The Dramaturgy Database...

No, you are none of those things. You are an idiot. 

I understand that a press release might feel like a compromise with the commodification of art, an attempt to use marketing to compensate for a lack of creativity. Only sell-outs need to use capitalism's tricks. The real artist will always rise above the pack, and the real critic will spot the genius from the hundred words that I used for the Fringe guide.

I wish that were true. The real critics probably can spot the best production of Macbeth just by glancing at the preview. But I can't. I need a bit more to go on. At the very least, give yourself a fighting chance. Take five minutes, slap a few words on a bit of paper, and send me the press release. 

Alternatively, come and visit me at the end of August and I'll explain why only six people turned up to your show.

You do, sunshine. 

Seriously, have you ever been to the Fringe? Have you ever thought about the relationship between 'number of shows per day' and 'number of critics writing articles'? After August begins, no-one is going to be doing a nuanced preview of your show, even if it is the best gender swap Shakespeare in recorded history. They are on the streets, they are writing reviews. 

I have been so generous - and that is why this article is not directed at the three hundred and fifty artists who have taken time to answer my questions. I spent hours putting interviews on here. It's because I feel shitty about the lack of coverage most shows are going to get (and the shitty things I might say about some shows, I suppose). I can't bear to think of you coming to the Fringe and being totally ignored.

Only you ignored the opportunity... so get to fuck, then. 

Right. I'd rather you didn't bother me, anyway. I know that some artists are threatened by the very idea that a critic or an academic can analyse the magic of their creation, and I have very little time for that attitude. It's like a fundamentalist reading of The Bible, a terror that rationality will unweave the rainbow. 

Now, that's an insult. You fundamentalist Christian. Take that, artists. 

There are at least 350 performance makers ahead of you when I decide what I want to review this year. How do you think I decide what is worth my while - or how I know that Cheeks is getting loads of attention, and will probably be the surprise hit of the Fringe. I publish and tweet, I look at the statistics. 

Actually, what I want to say - but had to hide it beneath a rant about how great I am - is thank you to the many creators who did take the time to fill out the email interview. I've enjoyed reading them, and appreciate the time and effort.

I just thought it would be funnier to be nasty about those other artists, the ones who haven't filled it about. They probably aren't reading this anyway.

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