1 The Amateur Student Production
Found at an obscure time and at an even more obscure venue, this will be a university drama society who have decided to do Edinburgh with all the enthusiasm and planning of an American ‘peacekeeping’ mission.
The show will be a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet, though not the original Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, with the music from the Cardigans sung A cappella to avoid paying rights. During the day they can be found flyering the Royal Mile using age-old techniques, such as getting in people’s way and lying on the ground. Very effective at annoying people, not so much at getting the audiences in.
This stage won’t make you famous but it prepares you for the future. Plus the mistakes you make are something you can laugh about in time and, eventually, pass down as advice as you become a Fringe veteran.
2. The 3 Hander Compilation Show
Made up of 3 friends, watch out Edinburgh, these self-proclaimed ‘up and coming’ comedians are in town to make a name for themselves. Flash forward a couple of years, one of them has gone full time, one of them occasionally gigs enough to call themselves a stand up, but it’s really more of a hobby now, and the other has quit completely and wonders why the others put themselves through all the mental and physical pain of the Fringe every year. He’s settled down, has a family and a steady income now, and is happy to still watch comedy from afar.
Their poster is a play on whatever movie or TV show is popular at the moment. Only one of the acts actually has any press quotes while the others are made up of nice things other acts and family members have said about them.
Luckily all 3 of us had press quotes at our 3 hander. Granted it was all from the same newspaper but they were still our own quotes. Also, our Goodfellas poster was brilliant.
3. The Debut Solo Show
This is a relative unknown who has had some success at a local level deciding that they’ve just got to go for it. They’ve been advised against it but they’ve thought why not? What have they got to lose? Apart from money. And time. And a healthy diet. And their sanity.
Despite flying under the radar, not getting the reviews or audience numbers that they wanted, it’s been a learning experience and they’ve definitely come out the other side changed. For better or worse? Only time can tell.
4. The Sleeper Hit
Hidden away on the Free Festival, this was derided during its previews as too quirky and obscure to work. After all, who wanted to watch an hour of a man dressed up as a giant bee eating jar after jar of honey whilst set to the music of Rage Against the Machine.
However, this is Edinburgh and people have loved it. Audiences are queuing around the block, whilst critics are calling it a fantastic piece that tears apart the dichotomy in how we see our lives versus how we actually live.
Every year the sleeper hit proves that no one really knows what will and won’t work at Edinburgh and that it’s always worth taking a risk.
5. The Former Star
You remember them presenting a Saturday night TV show from the 90’s but since then they’ve fallen into obscurity. They’re not a stranger to the Fringe as they did it when it was ‘actually the Fringe’ however, now they’re doing it because they’ve either been involved in some controversy, have money problems now, or need to reinvent themselves.
6. The International Star
Hugely successful in their homeland, they assumed that they’d have the same success in Edinburgh. However, they’ve come over and been largely ignored by press, TV and audiences. After 3 weeks of experiencing the average Fringe audience consisting of a Spanish couple, the local drunk, his dog and bar staff, a weather system only heard of when talking about the apocalypse, and surviving off a diet of fried foods and hope, they’ve had enough and written off the UK forever. Well until EdFringe 2017 at least.
Rik Carranza is hosting Star Trek vs Star Wars, 16:45, 6th – 21st August at The Banana Skin, Venue 396.