Un/Familiar Fringe: Un/Explained

Written for the London Theatre Blog, 12 August 2009

Now that I’m no longer a Fringe virgin, I find that when scanning the programme for appealing shows, my eye is naturally drawn to companies and shows I enjoyed last year.

On the one hand, that’s the advantage of a year’s experience: unlike last year, the Fringe isn’t a totally unfamiliar land, and I have known landmarks of quality I can use to navigate. On the other hand, the landscape is one of shifting sands, and it’s difficult to get sucked into exciting new worlds and experiences without occasionally leaving the familiar, solid ground behind.

So here’s the plan for Fringe ‘09: for every show or company I revisit from last year, I’ll seek out something else that’s similar in style or content but otherwise totally unfamiliar, then compare them side by side and see how the shock of the new compares to the security of the old.


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