Forest Fringe opens today. It feels odd to refer to Forest Fringe as “our Edinburgh venue”, because it’s more than a venue – it’s a whole two week festival, and in any other city at any other time of year it would seem pretty big. But in the sprawling chaos of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe it probably seems quite small. Small but not lightweight in any way, it’s already massively influential in only its third year.
It’s not part of the Fringe, and this year neither are we, which makes the whole Edinburgh experience much more affordable, for companies and audiences – all the shows are free. This economy means you can’t book in advance by phone or internet – but you can book in advance in person – or just turn up for the show. And that’s the way it seems that Forest Fringe works – the more flexible approach means that the programme changes daily, and it’s worthwhile for audiences just to hang out there and come back from one day to the next (certainly that’s what I’m planning on doing as much as possible) – so booking in person isn’t a massive hardship in that context.
I’m particularly looking forward to seeing work by Lucy Ellinson, Chris Thorpe, Curious, Action Hero, Coney, Tim Nunn & Gillian Lees, Rotozaza, Zoo Indigo... and also being surprised by artists whose work I’m not familiar with. See the full list on the Forest Fringe site.
I will be venturing beyond Forest Fringe to see a few things – I’m booked up for: Land Without Words, featuring a solo performance by Third Angel Associate Artist Lucy Ellison; Internal, because I’ve heard so much about Ontroerend Goed's work and formally this piece sounds not-dissimilar to Homo Ludens, but thematically very different; Stan’s Café’s Home of the Wriggler, which is powered by the performers riding bicycles; and I’m really hoping to get to Little Johnny’s Big Gay Musical by Random Accomplice.
I’m sadly not going to get to see Nic Green’s Trilogy, but if I was going to be in Edinburgh for longer it would be on my must-see list.