The Edinburgh Fringe is truly something that someone has to experience to fully understand. It is thousands of shows from people who believe in them with all their hearts. Most of the shows were created for the Fringe and all of them have the devotion of their creators who are more than likely also their performers, directors or producers. It is a place where someone’s crazy idea gets one month of stage time and can become something wonderful or flop, and it’s entirely on the performance to capture the attention of the audience.
I think the nature of this festival to include anyone and almost everyone with an idea leads to some pretty incredible performances and draws performers of all types. While I was there I saw the Neo-Futurists do thirty plays in sixty minutes and an immersive zombie experience and participated in a traditional Scottish Ceilidh (Kay-Lee).
And in this incredible festival of inclusion and ideas, there were an astonishing amount of female performers. One women comedy shows, all-female sketch groups and female performers were all over the flyers plastered on every wall and fence at the Fringe.
It was no surprise that these females existed in the world of performing arts. They are ever present and always available. But I felt that it was the first time that I didn’t have to look for them. I felt that it was the first time that a female stand-up wasn’t going to be introduced by the MC with “our first girl of the night” or any other distancing remark about her sexuality. It’s unfortunate that I was surprised by this, but amazing that it exists somewhere in the world even if it’s just for one month.
But more than just the pervasiveness of female performers, there wasn’t a palpable distance between any of the performers based on experience level. In my experience, experienced performers distance themselves from rising performers. The absence of this may be that all of these acts are relatively unknown. However, those who received acclaim during the festival were still grounded individuals that would happily to have a conversation about their work with anyone.
The success of your show at the Fringe is not guaranteed. It makes you throw off your securities and be open to any performance. Each show must prove itself every time it comes back to the Fringe.
If you don’t go to the Fringe because it is basically a summer camp for adults and you don’t go for the amazing theater (which you should). Go for the experience of feeling like one person pursuing an incredible dream with thousands of others and all being equal for one month.
Find out how to get involved next year here.