For the thousands of people coming up to perform in Edinburgh every year, the return home after a busy three weeks can be a very lonely one. Going from spending 24 hours a day with your fellow cast members, often sharing a cramped room with around a million others, to sitting by yourself in a bedsit in London can take some adapting to.
Us reviewers don’t share that problem.
We walk around in a little one person-sized bubble. Wandering (OK, sprinting) from one theatre to the next, we blub, giggle or struggle to stay awake by ourselves during show after show and then sit alone late into the night writing up reviews.
This all means that when we do find someone to talk to, it’s hard to hold back. Over the weekend, friends had to put up with me turning every anecdote into, “oh, that reminds me of this show I saw…” - which, as it happens, was of very limited interest to anyone who had not seen them.
For us Stagers then, coming to the end of our list of shows to review means a gradual return to being able to conduct a normal conversation. Gone is the guilt of spending too long over a cup of tea in the kitchen when we should be hunting down cast lists. Last night’s conversation even strayed from shows we’ve seen so far. Tonight’s might even stray to something that has happened outside Edinburgh… There’s no holding us back.