How good is the Internet for you?

  • “It’s democratic and so you get a much better reflection of what’s going on in the world...”


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    Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent for the guardian.co.uk writes
     
     

    It will still feature a chocolate-tasting murder mystery, high school productions of Shakespeare, Joan Rivers, a bouncy–castle Dracula and comedies about biscuits. But performers at this year’s Edinburgh festival fringe are also exploring the darker realities of the modern world and the downside of MySpace.

    The apparent liberation and social networking brought by the rise in new digital media such as Facebook, MySpace and chatrooms is also challenged. Performers instead claim the digital age can be alienating, oppressive and anti–social.

    “I think that goes to the heart of the Fringe,” said Jon Morgan, the new fringe director. “Because it’s not programmed and not curated, performers can say what they like. It’s democratic and so you get a much better reflection of what’s going on in the world and what issues are preoccupying performers. So in that sense, it’s a litmus test of what's happening in the world.”

    Morgan, unveiled last year as the successor to Paul Gudgin, said he was particularly struck by how strongly these themes had emerged, and in contrast to previous years is deliberately highlighting the serious theatre and comedy.

    “We live in an age when one is available 24 hours and sometimes you don’t want to be available,” he said. “This new media is sometimes a curse as well as a blessing, I think.”

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