The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues its astronomical success.

According to some theories, the universe is constantly expanding. And so - in our own small but beautiful corner of the universe annually occupied by theatre, drama, dance, comedy, art, song and other uncategorisable forms of self-expression - is the Fringe. The latest admission figures for the Fringe, encompassing both free and paid-for tickets, show that 2,183,591 were issued in the capital in the past month. That is a 12 per cent increase on the figures released this time last year. As the shows are packed away and thousands of weary (and often impecunious) performers travel back to the corners of the globe, the festival can be congratulated on another remarkably successful year. This year's Fringe was marked by the cancellation of an Israeli show after loud protests, and the Fringe Society and venues must learn lessons from that affair for next year.

Is constant expansion possible, or, indeed, desirable? The Fringe will consider this challenge and others in a new report, to be published next year, which will look for rival "Thundering Hooves" on the horizon. But today the only sound the Fringe should hear is hearty applause.

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