Regular visitors to this site will know that I usually put together an annual list of the Top 278 (or something) shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, which is essentially a massive list of everybody I know doing shows at the Fringe. It started just as an idle bit of kindness, because around this time of year I think a lot of people (certainly myself included) start to panic about the Fringe and start to feel invisible and wish there were ways of getting more people to know about their show, and wish they appeared in more of those "Best of the Fest" lists and so on. So I put together a list of everybody I knew, mainly just to remind us all that it's all meaningless and every show is equally worthwhile and let's just get out of our heads and have fun, yeah?
Trouble is, I've been doing it for four years now and if anything it's become a reliable way of sending me into my head, of making me trawl through the Fringe website and obsess over details like venues and times and so on. What was intended as a bit of fun to make everybody forget all the faff became increasingly faff-centric and bad for my mental wellbeing in the lead-up to August, and also, crucially, I don't think many people really cared about it besides me.
But the main reason I'm not doing it this year is that Isabelle Adam, who produces Comedy Club 4 Kids and the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, is much better at doing this sort of thing. Every year she puts together a similar, but even more enormous list, and goes to the effort of printing it up as a condensed Fringe brochure and gives them out at ACMS for free, and I just can't compete with that level of kindness and enthusiasm. So my list won't be happening this year, but instead, why not peruse Isabelle's ACMS list of recommendations here? At the top it features shows from or featuring ACMS's Board Members (John-Luke Roberts, Thom Tuck, Sara Pascoe, Ben Target, Tom Bell, Alexis Dubus, Jonny & The Baptists, Josie Long, Eleanor Morton, Elf Lyons and myself) and a huge bunch of top-drawer recommendations drawn from ACMS favourites and regulars down below. They're all excellent, so check them all out!