The Third Leader: Fringe benefits

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The Independent Online

Has the Edinburgh Fringe grown too unwieldy? Organisers of the world's largest arts and performance festival, which begins on Monday, have been coming under pressure to make it smaller. There have been complaints that the city is struggling to cope with the 2,050 shows, 19,000 performers, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of spectators who travel to the city every year during the three weeks of the festival. And reviewers are complaining that they cannot cover as many shows as they would like.

That is all very well, but downsizing the festival will involve some very tough choices. Some of this year's shows include such intriguing titles as: Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical, Bouncy Castle Macbeth, Potted Potter, The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit and I Kissed a Frog and It Gave Me Herpes.

Which one would you axe? Exactly. We say: the bigger the better.

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