Edinburgh Festival 1989-2023: An Index

A hair salon, Edinburgh, 2005. Do you see what they did there? I admit it, the Edinburgh Festival coverage on this site is all over the place - a combination of REPOST pages written for the old site and ported over to here, SPANK GOLD pages written years after the event, and pages that were actually blogged live from Edinburgh as they happened. Anyone just diving into the Edinburgh folder will probably have a hard time working out where to find stuff.

Until now!

What follows is a set of links to the writeups of all the Edinburgh Festivals I've attended since 1989, plus a couple where Spank's Pals went up without me. (Which means nowt for 1993, 1997 or 2000, so don't look for them.) For each year I've included a vaguely chronological list of all the shows that are mentioned in the entry by name. I'm now having a minor freakout at just how many shows that is, but that's not your problem.

The plan is to update this index after every Festival, so this page will mostly remain at the top of the Edinburgh folder. If that's how you got here in the first place, welcome: feel free to browse through the pages linked to below. And if you like the reviews, maybe you'd like to pay me some money to own them in book form? See bottom of page for links.

(Updated November 22nd 2023 to include 2023 reviews)

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Edinburgh Festival 2023: Needs A Different Bit After The Colon

Well, if this is the size of the Fringe programme these days, I'm not surprised that everyone wants an app.The BBG and I have been running around like blue-arsed flies this summer. Aside from our civil partnership and the ensuing honeymoon - that end-of-part-four cliffhanger will get resolved soon, promise - we've also been to Manchester, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Manchester again (happy birthday Steve), Dublin and South Lanarkshire.

So no, despite that preview I posted here a little while ago, we did not get up to Edinburgh for the festival this summer. But as is usually the case on our gap years, a bunch of Spank's Pals went up there without me, and graciously wrote a few paragraphs about it afterwards. So here are Nick, Diane and Charmian with their reviews of Edinburgh 2023.

Probably need to start planning for Edinburgh 2024 soon, then.

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Edinburgh Festival Preview 2023: Needs A Bit After The Colon

Fun fact: I actually picked up the Edinburgh Fringe programme from one of the venues at the Manchester International Festival, and had to carry it around with me the whole weekend we were there. People thought I was very confused.When you think about it, our usual Edinburgh rule of two years on and one year off is completely wrecked these days – the last time we took a break from the festival was in 2018. Okay, so 2020 was online only, and we were only there for a few days in 2021, just long enough to see a dozen or so shows and catch COVID. But it’s probably time we stepped back for a year.

Also, seven weeks ago we got hitched and had a two week honeymoon in Italy, and that all cost us a fortune. So there’s that.

But we can still maintain one of this site’s long-standing traditions, and plough through the programmes anyway to come up with recommendations for Nick, Cha and the other Pals who are heading up there without us. So let’s go. (The focus is going to be on the final week, which is when the Pals are visiting: booking links are provided if you're interested enough to want to go.)

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Spank's Edinburgh Diary, Postscript 2022

All this talk about what Edinburgh looked like during a bin strike, but I haven't shown you any evidence of it yet, have I? Well, here's some.2022 was our first full Edinburgh Festival in three years, so this'll be our first full Postscript in three years too. As ever, our coverage concludes with a few of Spank's Pals telling you about what they liked and didn't like this time round - the same ones as in 2019, in fact.

My own introduction to the 2019 Postscript concluded with the words "Time for me to start planning for Edinburgh 2020, I suppose," but I'll leave the optimism to everyone else this time, just in case...

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