It's halfway through the Edinburgh Festival and it's time to break out some statistics:
Number of shows I've left to do: 12.
Number of shows I've seen: five.
Number of times I've wished I was on holiday in France: twice.
Number of bagpipe songs there appear to be: one.
Number of times I've wished the bagpiper outside our flat was on holiday in France: every day.
The last time I was performing here was in 2005. The world was more innocent – Lily Allen had not been invented and if you'd pulled an iPhone from your pocket saying, "Check out this App! It makes my phone sound exactly like a horse! Amazing!" you would have been burned for practising witchcraft. Now people would simply talk about how annoying you were after you'd left. The world has changed, but the festival endures. It's still a charming and exciting mess of shows, venues, pubs, cafes, steps, posters, and – even though you think it would have stopped by now – earnest students giving out leaflets for a play called something like War: Isn't It Sad?
But despite looking, sounding and smelling the same as it does every year, the new and the brilliant is out there. The festival is all about discovery. It has the power to take a show, or performer, or venue that nobody's ever heard of before and say: "Look at this, it's great." This grand enthusiasm is not normally associated with Britain. We prefer to point out how it's probably going to rain, or how 24 hour licensing is just another government lie. So the positive attitude at Edinburgh is refreshing. There's always something to discover on your own. The other night I went to Forest Fringe for the first time. It's a genius mini-festival within the festival showing new theatre, all for free. Go, you'll like it.
Laura Solon: Rabbit Faced Story Soup, Assembly @ George Street, to 30 Aug (0131-623 3030)Reuse content