FOMO: the Curse of the Edinburgh Fringe

My girlfriend recently told me about a conversation she had had with a friend during which they both agreed that they suffered from FOMO.   Learning about FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – was a liberating experience, especially learning that it was a shared condition.  And what a lifelong curse it’s been.

FOMO leads to budgetary problems, unnecessary student drinking and manys a night out that would probably have been best avoided, but you just had to be there in case something amazing happened.  That feeling you get when you ask your jittering self why you had coffee with those two boring oddballs when you’d already just had a cup.  FOMO did that.  I suppose suffering from FOMO is the opposite to being misanthropic, but it may make misanthropists of us all yet; FOMO earns you unwanted friends!

Anyway, if you’re a fellow FOMO sufferer, there’s nothing worse than the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to exacerbate the condition.  Hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS, of shows going on all around Edinburgh, crowds of revellers on the street, open air bars.  I could probably go to several shows a day for the entire festival and would still suffer from FOMO.  There is, to be frank, never enough time or money to see everything you need to see.

But, relief.  It’s over and I enjoyed it despite the psychosocial menace of it.  Thanks, Edinburgh Fringe for another good year and by all accounts a record-breaking one in terms of ticket sales.  Goodbye Fringe, hello again Edinburgh.

Here’s my final review from this year’s Fringe, first published, like the rest, on The Skinny’s website. A great Australian comic called Adam Vincent.  He gets three stars from me because although the show is good, it’s a bit too sleepy for the Fringe if you ask me.  But the show was very good and I would recommend it.

Adam Vincent @ Assembly

Adam Vincent’s masked, apparently slumbering, presence on the darkened stage as the audience enters lends a feeling of nervous anticipation to this intimate venue. He rouses and addresses the audience in a hushed voice: the subject is the half-life of the early morning wake-up and commute; the soporific tone is set.

Don’t be under any illusions: this is stand-up and Vincent has a story to tell, a hilariously uncomfortable account of being drawn into to a medical crisis on a plane, with interspersed gags and cutting criticisms of modern life.

Vincent is a great, likeable story-teller. His relaxed delivery and eye-to-eye engagement draws the audience in. He has fresh material and he avoids that tired image of injured masculinity so many male stand-up acts adopt, instead telling us dryly about his marriage and why he loves his wife.

As interesting as Vincent is, the audience reaction is somewhat sedated; the well-cultivated soporific atmosphere may just be too good at certain points in the show for a fatigued Fringe crowd. But Vincent should be commended for his fresh approach to stand-up and his excellent use of this small venue. This show has slow parts but by the end you’ll be glad you bought the ticket.

Edinburgh Festival Time – The Comely Banking Crisis Reviews

Summer reviewing in Edinburgh

Not noticing that it’s festival season in Edinburgh is like not noticing a punch to the face, but if you haven’t, well, consider yourself told.  The Comely Banking Crisis will be doing the odd review for The Skinny here and there, posted up here.  But before I go and inundate myself with plans, any suggestions for things to see for the rest of the fest would be much appreciated.  I’ll be posting my reviews here, but you can also find them plus many more on The Skinny’s website.

Here’s a review of Sarah Campbell’s show 27 Up.  Honestly, it’s a great show.  Four stars!

27 Up may be a free show but you can’t help but feel genuinely privileged to be in the room with Sarah Campbell as she takes the audience through one charming autobiographical anecdote after another.  What begins as deceptively simple banter with the audience ends upcareering through everything from family to 1980s politics to sexuality, and not without a significant amount of uproarious laughter on the audience’s part.

The concept, based on the Up television series, is a reflection on Campbell’s life at regular intervals, this show being the first in her 27 years.  Needless to say, a second instalment is planned for 2037.  This future perspective is central to the show: expect to be asked to communicate with the future audience (which may just include you, considering the show closes with each audience member receiving a free ticket for the sequel).  Campbell’s sharp, conversational style and story-telling bring an atmosphere of intimacy and camaraderie to the venue.  At 30 minutes, the show is a little short, but has abundant freshness and charm. You won’t get many more chances to see Sarah for free.  Don’t let this one pass.

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