EFF 2019: preview


After last year’s baptism of fire, I definitely learnt some lessons. Though some of my planning has been slightly last-minute again, I did at least recognise the need to dedicate a significant period of time to just sifting through all of the shows. Yes, I could just use the plentiful ‘top shows to see’ posts but I feel like I’m supposed to be here to discover things for myself and pass on my own recommendations through what I choose to see.

So much for taking it easier! Well, technically I am a bit; this time round I’ve been sure to keep hold of some money to book my own tickets with so I gave a similar volume of shows to see but not as many will need to be reviewed. As tempting as it is to try and get as many freebies as possible, I do recognise that I’ve been increasingly unmotivated as far as writing is concerned, so dialling down the pressure (without compromising my show count) has been an absolute must. I think my timings are also pretty good in terms of fitting in writing time – as long as I can get most reviews out within 48 hours of seeing the show, I’ll be happy.


Most of my press tickets have been confirmed (with no confusion this year!):

  • The Red, Pleasance Dome
  • A Midsummer Night’s Droll, Gilded Balloon Teviot Square
  • Crocodile Fever, Traverse Theatre
  • Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show (menu 3), Pleasance Courtyard
  • Phoenix, Pleasance Dome
  • Honeybee, Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre
  • Square Go, ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall
  • How to Mend the World (with a student play), theSpace on the Mile
  • Birth, Pleasance Courtyard
  • Electrolyte, Pleasance Courtyard
  • Elton John: Rocket Man Live!, theSpace @ Niddry Street

That’s 11 as it stands, with potentially another three to add.


I’m also managing one of last year’s targets, by seeing a stand-up act each day. All male, annoyingly, as schedules and availability really worked against me. My current thinking is to do mini reviews of each of these five shows and post all together at the end of my stay; I’ve never quite worked out the best way of reviewing comedy (unless the act has a musical and/or storytelling angle), so this is probably the best way.

On top of this, I’m seeing Friendsical with a friend (though I’m open to reviewing it if I have the time & inclination) and revisiting Before 30 and The Wrong Ffion Jones. All this means that, if I get those final three shows confirmed, I’ll end up seeing exactly the same number as last year after all…

Plus I’ll be keeping a diary and staying on top of social media as per last year. Keep an eye on Twitter for each day’s schedule and all the reviews, Facebook for reviews and a round-up montage at the end of my trip, and Instagram for the complete rundown of shows each day – as well as any Mind the Blog plugs I can find around Edinburgh!

Let the madness commence…

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