Absolut Fringe Beginners – tips for Fringe virgins

Over the last few days since Fringe kicked off I’ve heard something similar to this a number of times:

“I’ve always meant to go to something in the Fringe but I’ve no idea where to start.”

You could probably debate the reasons for this till the cows come home but in my opinion the Fringe programme is quite overwhelming. There’s over 100 different shows to choose from spread over 2 weeks – it’s a pretty big sweetshop. Last year was the first time I threw myself into Fringe and it has since become my favourite festival of the entire year.

I would love for even one person who has thought about going to a Fringe show for the first time to make the plunge and tell me what they think so here’s a few tips and pointers on catching some Fringe action over the next 10 days.

Book your tickets asap

Fringe booking opened a few weeks before the festival kicked off but booking really takes off once word gets out about what’s hot and what’s not. Once you’ve eyed up a show or 2, book them quick. You can do this online via www.fringefest.com.

I’m up for a laugh.

Super. Then there’s plenty to choose from. The most chuckles I’ve had at Fringe so far has been at ‘Shane Byrne left his SLEEPING BAG in the car again…’ – funny, nostalgic, poignant in places and particularly entertaining if you were ever in Scouts. If it’s laugh-a-minute stuff you’re after, catch The Pyjama Men.

I’m up for a challenge.

Excellent. HEROIN is my favourite of all shows I’ve seen in Fringe so far. I have a quick review here. If you’re made of strong stuff then try Jerk. Based on a true story of serial murderers in the 1970s told in very graphic horrific detail through puppetry and guttural sound effects – stunning technique but prepare to be shocked.

I want something very now.

Of course the current economic climate makes it into the programme. Maybe try ‘We’re all in the gutter’ or ‘The Cappucino Culture‘ for boom aftermath insights from our new multicultural population.

I fancy something a bit out of the ordinary.

How about seeing a show in a crumbling Georgian mansion on Georges Street? Check out ‘From The Heart‘.

I’m broke.

Fret not – there’s a list of free events right here. Escape form the Dead Zoo is catching my eye in particular.

Tickets for Fringe shows usually average out around €15 which ain’t too bad at all. Take a punt on something. You might love it, you might hate it, but at least give it a go!

Sifting through the programme

What you might find easier is looking at what’s on day by day or by category, both available on http://www.fringefest.com/2010-programme. The iPhone app is free to download and pretty handy too, especially the day by day guide and Google map integration of all the venues around town.

Hang on to your ticket(s) too for some really nice deals in eateries around the city, full list available here.

See you out there!

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