Reviewed today: Arooj Aftab, Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe, Robert Blomfield: Student Of Light, Steve Brusatte and Thomas Halliday.
Reviewed today: After Yang, Josh Elton: Early Doors, Your Name.
Three years, it's been. Three years since we last did this properly, back in 2019. In 2020, none of us got up to Edinburgh at all, and The Belated Birthday Girl and I spent a whole week watching shows online. In 2021, the two of us went up there for half a week without the rest of the Pals, spent the other half of the week back in London watching more shows online, and at some point during all that we caught Covid. (I know last year I was suggesting we were infected during our LNER train home, but having just seen this episode of No More Jockeys - recorded the day after the live NMJ we saw at Monkey Barrel - I'm now toying with the idea that we caught it off Little Alex Horne. He doesn't look well, does he?)
And now it's 2022. Could we expect something like a normal Edinburgh Festival this year? We've got all the Festivals back and operating in the real world: International, Fringe, Book, and even Film's returned to its natural place in the August line-up. We've got accommodation booked for the week (we originally booked it in 2020, but they've been very understanding). We've got a whole bunch of Spank's Pals joining us again. All we need to do is get the train up to Edinburgh and oh shit.
In many ways, the Edinburgh Festival 2021 was far from being traditional. But I've tried to keep this year's coverage on the site as familiar-looking as possible. And regulars will be aware of one particular feature that we haven't had yet: after an entire week of me babbling on about the shows I've seen, I hand over a page or two to Spank's Pals so they can present their own highlights and lowlights.
I can never be sure in advance as to how many of the people who came to Edinburgh with me on a particular year feel the urge to write about it. This year, I'm pleased to announce that a full 100% of my travelling companions have contributed. So here's The Belated Birthday Girl, who's doing her usual thing of focussing on the food and drink highlights of Edinburgh, seeing as The List Eating And Drinking Guide is impossible to get hold of these days. (But she mentions a few of her show highlights as well.) Enjoy.
Reviewed today: The Best Of The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, Too Much Information?, Warren Ellis.
Reviewed today: Black Box: Interconnections, Pauline's Song Swap-O-Rama, Polly Barton & Eley Williams.
Reviewed today: Faceless, Songs From Scotland, A Young Man Dressed As A Gorilla Dressed As An Old Man Sits Rocking In A Rocking Chair For 56 Minutes And Then Leaves 13.
Reviewed today: Shortcuts - Views From The Four Nations.
Reviewed today: Funny Place For A Window, Stories In The Stone, Trevor Lock: Community Circle, A Toast To The People: Inua Ellams & Saul Williams, Your Tomorrow.
Reviewed today: Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop!, Black Country New Road, Gerald Finley & Julius Drake, No More Jockeys, Peter Buckley Hill And Some Comedians XXI, Two Cents Worth Of Hope.