Pappy’s Festival Trends
This article is from 2010.
Taking a break from their usual sketch silliness, comedy threesome Pappy’s have turned their minds to analysing the Edinburgh trends of 2010. This year Roads, Twitter and other sketch troupes have caught their attention
I tell you what, I’ve noticed that there’s a great many perilous road crossings this year; perhaps more than usual. That one on the corner of North Bridge and Princes Street, you know that one? It’s a free for all, it really is. And what about at the bottom of the hill where the Pleasance meets Holyrood Road? There’s an erratic traffic light system at work if ever I saw one. And don’t get me started on the fact that there’s no pedestrian crossing directly outside the Pleasance Courtyard. I mean, think about it, you’ve just seen a great show and you’ve been handed a flyer that is not only the original flyer but also has a separate new bit of flyer stapled to it with all stars and reviews on. Of course you’re going to want to look at it. Or you’ll be Tweeting about the LOLs you’ve just had in the show. Then suddenly whammo, you’re straight into a road. It’s a lethal cocktail.
I know there are lots of other exciting things going on in Edinburgh this year, but it’s still the little things in life, such as the ritual of stopping, looking both ways and listening before we cross the road, that remain the most important.
I’d say there are a lot more sketch shows at this year’s festival than in previous years. It’s exciting to see that, not only are there more of them, they also seem to be of a higher quality (certainly from the ones I’ve seen). Comedy in general is very popular at the moment, and more and more stand-ups are getting TV exposure, so it’s nice to see that in places like Edinburgh sketch comedy is not getting overlooked. I think for a time ‘sketch’ seemed to be a bit of a dirty word in live comedy, but this year in particular it looks as though it is as strong as it’s ever been.
Of course Twitter was around during last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, but it was yet to reach its tipping point. Now, the uses for Twitter have evolved; no longer is it simply a medium by which millions of people can tell tens of people that they’ve just had a hot chocolate. It’s used in business and commerce, as a news aggregator, as a form of entertainment or as a social networking site for socially notworking people.
As for uses in the Fringe, Twitter provides a direct link between audience and performer. Punters can post their instant reviews safe in the knowledge that, so long as they use the Twitter handle of performer (in our case @pappystweet), the performer will see that review. This obviously can be both a wonderful and utterly depressing thing. It’s great to come offstage to a flurry of tweets from gushing nerds (even though, from that sentence it might not sound like it), but equally, it’s infuriating that an audience member can send you a direct message to inform you how shit they thought you were. As if their lack of laughter wasn’t enough, they have to fire a 140 character smackdown after the event.
Pappy’s: All Business, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 7.20pm, £12–£14 (£10.50–£12.50).