Thursday, 16 June 2011

Posted Missing

Friends who have picked up the Fringe programme have had a flick through it and said to me "The fringe looks rubbish this year, hardly anyone is coming!"

I couldn't disagree more!

If all you want to do is pay £18 for comics you've already seen on "Live at the Apollo" or on Channel 4, then, you may find yourself somewhat limited for choice....

No, John Bishop, no Kevin Bridges, no Rhod Gilbert, no Jason Manford, no Tim Minchin, no Sean Locke, no Michael McIntyre, no Alan Carr, no Dara O'Briain, no Lee Evans, no Micky Flanagan, no Adam Hills no Frank Skinner.... I could keep going for a while...

But on the other hand there are plenty of big names still appearing....

Jack Whitehall is still coming, Richard Herring and Stewart Lee are both up. Mark Watson will be there. Andi Osho, Rich Hall, Sarah Millican, Shappi Khorsandi and Jon Richardson were all on Channel 4's Comedy Gala but will still slog it out in Edinburgh! Milton Jones is a regular on Mock the Week but he's still coming.

All in all you still have plenty of choice.

But for me, the decision of some of the big names to stay away is a good thing. A lot of people still want to see big names. It just means that this year these people will be spread out a lot more. It also means that people are more likely to take a gamble and/or go and see someone they haven't heard of based on a recommendation from a friend or a good review in the paper.

This can only be good for the Fringe and live comedy. For me the spirit of the fringe has always been to try something new. There are always more losers than winners at the Fringe in terms of ticket sales (and money) but if there is a rough diamond out there not getting the recognition they deserve then they are far more likely to be found in a Fringe without the big hitters stealing the crowds (who will no doubt have less money to spend than in previous years).

So get yourself down to the Royal Mile and grab some flyers or head down to a Free Festival venue. You never know, you might be able to tell all your friends that you saw the next Michael McIntyre playing to 17 people in a dingy basement!

No comments: