By now, you should know how August 2015 played out for me. Most of it was spent dealing with the scary logistics of moving 25 years of accumulated crap from one part of London to another part of London.
Usually, of course, August involves an entirely different set of scary logistics: moving a dozen or so of Spank's Pals from multiple locations in Southern England to a set of flats in Edinburgh, and trying to ensure we all get to see lots of interesting stuff at the various Festivals. 2015 was one of my one-in-three years off, though: so I contented myself with a bit of speculation when the programmes came out, and left it to Nick and Charmian to do everything else.
By all accounts, they did a pretty terrific job. So here are Nick, Charmian and Diane to tell you all about what was good at Edinburgh in 2015. While you're reading that, it looks like I may have to start making initial enquiries about booking accommodation for 2016...
To summarise for newcomers: I’ve been attending the Edinburgh Festival on and off since 1989. You can read all about that here. The ‘off’ part of the arrangement has, over the years, settled into something quite simple: every third year, I stay at home, and let Nick take control of the Pals for a week instead. The last time I did this was in 2012, so I’m due another break this year – and after the amount of money that Italy cost us, it’s probably just as well.
But a variation on that arrangement has slowly evolved in recent years, as Nick asks me if there’s anything in this year’s Festival programmes I can recommend, and I end up writing a couple of thousand words on the internet in response. The last time I did this was also in 2012: so, with the Fest just a month away, it’s time to plough through the International Festival, Fringe and Book Festival programmes to see what catches my eye, even though I have no plans to see anything I’m about to recommend here. As advice, you can take it or leave it, it’s entirely up to you. Ready?
The Fringe and the Book Festival are all done and dusted for another year, while the International Festival still has a few more days to go (though that'll change in 2015). So while the topic still has some relevance to it, here are Spank's Pals with a couple of pages to themselves to talk about their highlights and lowlights of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival. This is the first one: the second one is over here.
Reviewed today: Bridget Christie: An Ungrateful Woman, The Day The Pope Emptied Croy, The Festival Wheel, John Bishop: Work In Progress, John Byrne: Sitting Ducks, Karen McCombie & Catherine Wilkins, Otway, Richard Herring: Lord Of The Dance Settee, Stewart Lee: A Room With A Stew, When It Rains.
Reviewed today: Alun Cochrane: (Me Neither), The God That Comes, Lyn Gardner On The Art Of Critical Writing, Rubberbandits: Continental Fistfight, Sara Pascoe Vs History, Taekwon Percussion Performance: BIGABI.