TheatreEddys Goes to the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival
For the fourth time, I am returning to the inspiration and spawning parent for the network of over 200 fringes around the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now in its 70th year, the Fringe has been emulated not only in our own San Francisco, but in cities across the United States, Canada, and on the continents of the globe from Prague to Sydney to Toronto to Beijing to Buenas Aires. The entire Fringe story began in 1947 when six Scottish companies and two English companies turned up uninvited but ready to perform at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival and were refused venues. Today, both Festivals still exist and thrive, but the Fringe is now the better known worldwide and certainly the more attended as it is now the world’s largest and most attended performing arts festival.
During the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival — which opened August 4 and closes on the 28th — 53,232 performers from 62 countries will perform in 3,398 shows, located at 300 venues around the City. There are an incredible 1,638 world premieres scheduled. Each day, there are over 1300 shows to choose for attendance, from early morning any one day until past midnight until the early morning of the next day.
The mixture of performance types in 2017 breaks out as follows:
- Comedy: 35%
- Theatre: 28%
- Music: 14%
- Dance, Circus, and Physical Theatre: 4%
- Children’s Shows: 4%
- Cabaret and Variety: 4%
- Musicals and Operas: 3%
- Spoken Word: 3%
- Events: 3%
- Exhibitions: 1%
During my eleven days here, I will be seeing close to 40 plays and musicals and posting mini-reviews on TheatreEddys. My hope is that readers will be inspired themselves to come to Edinburgh in the future to experience the Fringe with the hundreds of thousands of visitors who, like me, come from all over the world.