Are you ready for the Fringe?

While most of the world is busy watching “the greatest show on Earth” – an admittedly fairly important sports competition of some kind which I’ve heard is happening in London at the moment – a select few arts buffs across the UK and Europe are busy getting in to panic mode.

The Edinburgh Festival and Festival Fringe make up the world’s biggest, and most famous, arts festival, with comedians, theatre groups, dance troups and many others heading north for the month of August to do battle over ticket sales and star-ratings.

That’s right:  it’s nearly Fringe season in Edinburgh, and this year, for the first time, I will be heading to the festival.

Having just returned from a year abroad, I feel amazingly lucky to have made the grade with Two Shades of Blue, a theatre group made up of University Light Entertainment Societies from Oxford, Cambridge, and Sheffield.

But, just looking at the list of alumni (Sandi Toksvig, Greame Garden or John Cleese, anyone?) is causing panic to rise within me.

I’m heading to Edinburgh as a technician on one of their shows. In high school, I learned the ropes as a lighting technician, and I polished my skills a little while in Australia – but most of what I know is self-taught through late nights patching lights and watching too much theatre. How in hell can I live up to expectations?

Honestly? I’m petrified. Rehearsals for my show start in two weeks, and the run itself is happening the week after that. I have a script, and ideas, and I successfully filled in the risk assessment (after only two panic attacks and a crying fit), but I am not, in any way, ready for this challenge.

And I’ve decided to deal with this the way that I have dealt with everything my whole life. I am going to write it down.

This summer, the Arts Blog is coming with me to Edinburgh, and it’s going to watch me struggle to keep my head above water. Oh, and it might have the chance to catch a few shows, too.

Stick around – I suspect it will be a hell of a trip.

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