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My first blog
This year is my third Brighton Festival and Fringe since I joined The Argus in 2007.
And it seems to be the busiest so far.
For the last few weeks we have been inundated with phone calls, emails and general begging letters from shows all hoping to get featured within the weekly Guide.
Somehow almost 30 pages of copy a week (including both our Guide and Guide Daily pages) never seems enough, especially when you factor in everything else going on at the same time - be it Charleston Festival or The Great Escape. One day I'll work out why they all collide into the same month, leaving June like an entertainment desert.
In between writing previews, sorting out review tickets, producing inserts, doing videos, and trying to make head or tail of this year's Fringe brochure all of us on The Guide team are trying to be as diplomatic with show organisers, promoters and performers as we possibly can be.
Tempers are fraying, sleep is being lost, PRs are being roundly moaned about and it's not even festival time yet!
This week is always the hardest, looking down the barrel of the sheer amount of stuff going on.
That said I've been able to write about some amazing shows, and already seen my first Argus Angel award-winner.
I wrote a preview about Nofit State Circus last week and got some indication of how good it might be. But when you're in that big top, watching the performers moving about above your head, it is something else. It is an unmissable show, with some unforgettable performances.
This week, as well as speaking to one of my heroes Graham Coxon about his upcoming, non-Festival show (in tomorrow's Guide), I have also been hearing about another potential Angel winner.
Breaking News sounds amazing, especially for anyone who loves to follow the news.
It basically consists of 40 television monitors on stage, broadcasting live news feeds from across the world which are broken down by nine multi-lingual interpreters. As far as I can see it is either going to be amazing or a complete disaster - there can be nothing in between. The full interview is in Thursday's Guide Daily.
As well as new shows, the Fringe gives you an opportunity to see shows you missed during the past year. The ones I'm looking forward to are Isy Suttie (having fallen for her in the fifth season of Peep Show), who was at this year's Paramount Comedy Festival, and local legend David Bramwell in The Haunted Moustache.
My diary is pretty much booked up over the next three weeks, with the promise of Great Escape fun midway through, so I'm now hitting the problem of not being able to fit other shows in. For example having seen Ed Harris and Squaremoon's productions of The Cow Play and Total in 2007 I'm a bit miffed I'm going to miss Nourish at the Old Police Cells. Here's hoping it comes back soon!
As well as being part of The Guide team I also put together the review schedule each month, which is obviously a monster at the moment.
With space in the paper limited a lot of material is going online, which feels a little strange for someone who still remembers when there was only one internet-enabled computer in his first office. I occasionally regale people with my memories of when pictures could only be sent through the post as transparencies, and photographers had to make a decision whether they were going to shoot something with black and white or colour film.
Speaking of new technology taking over old, our listings database has just collapsed with all the extra listings we are having to include, so I'd better sign off and help fill in some gaps.
I'll be trying to update this blog as much as possible over the next three weeks about everything else going on.
In this section
- The light at the end of the tunnel
- Bears, speakeasys, and lack of sleep
- Looking for an escape
- The halfway point
- Festival highs lows and inbetween...
- The Fringe team: small, but perfectly performed
- Inside and outside St Andrew's Church
- First week blues
- Free food, free jazz and no free time
- Losing yourself in the Fringe launch