Letter: After the Fringe

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The Independent Culture
Sir: There is no evidence that audiences for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival have "dwindled" (report, 8 September). The Pleasance "notched up a record audience" of 150,000 this year (an increase of 17 per cent) and the Gilded Balloon are up by 25 per cent. Together we sell more than a quarter of all Fringe tickets and considerably more than either the Tattoo or the International Festival.

Over two thirds of the Fringe audience (and performers) are aged between 15 and 35 and a good many of them need to be home by the beginning of September. When the last week is in September it is always a gloomy time. Of course it is better if all six August festivals in Edinburgh run concurrently.

I'm sorry that some people did less well this year, but there may be other reasons for that. The numbers are a bit like my stomach. If I breathe in I look thinner, but sadly it is merely a temporary redistribution of bulk.

CHRISTOPHER RICHARDSON

Director

Pleasance Theatre Festival Ltd

London, N7

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