Three Weeks, it is fair to say, knows nothing – starting with how many weeks there are in the Edinburgh Fringe.
If someone from Three Weeks is coming to your show, then take out any reference to things that happened more than a month ago. Abandon all attempt at irony, nuance, understatement, overstatement or subtlety. Actually, just cancel your show. Because your friendly Three Weeks reviewer will reduce your magnum opus to 200 words of What I Did In the Holidays.
They will eschew the rudiments of sentence structure that our grandfathers killed thousands of Germans to protect. They will manage to convey nothing about your show. They will, at the same time, reveal all the punchlines in your show. Some have pondered whether Three Weeks is really a publication and not a piece of anti-art; a 20-year rumination on the very impossibility of communication.
The one area where Three Weeks had an edge was in its daily photocopied newssheets of all the latest reviews. People wopuld snap these up from the venues around Bristo Square and it was quite nice because it was reminiscent of the 18th century when the pamphleteers would stamp out a three-colour bit of scandal and the public would snatch it up. But nobody would buy advertising on the photocopies so they stopped doing that after 2014. Its record for publishing the greatest number of reviews each Fringe has been soundly overtaken by Broadway Baby now, yet the paper still prints very short reviews because these were needed on the printouts that no longer exist.It’s still printed on pulp newsprint which makes it difficult to read on a bus but great for starting fires in waste bins.
In short, it’s a bit lost. It’s still edited by Caro ‘Holy’ Moses who is prone to such unequivocal generalisations as “All American comedians are really good by the time they make it to Edinburgh” (Ever Mainard, 2016). In fact, Moses’ week-one roundup of who is going to have a great Fringe in any specific year is the most reliable known prediction of the acts that will implode, shrivel and disappear from the face of the earth. Moses, along with her doughty staff, leads the tribes of comedy into the wilderness.
Three Weeks has nothing much to do with the Fringe, or Edinburgh, or Scotland, for the rest of the year and is operated by UnLimited Media who are based in Shoreditch EC1. As anyone who has been to Shoreditch in the last decade can attest, this part of London is very short of wankers, so it is an act of unalloyed kindness that the company spares so many of them for the Fringe.