This couple loves the Fringe Festival so much they started producing their own plays

At the theatre with . . . Joan Jamieson and Shelley M. Hobbs, who say they love the festival's sense of 'discovery'.

They’re hardcore Fringe-goers: audience members who love the festival so much that they see dozens of shows every year.

They’re opinionated, they’re passionate, they’re quirky and, in some cases, they get so into the Fringe Festival spirit that they start to make shows themselves.

When I met up with Joan Jamieson and Shelley M. Hobbs in the line for a Fringe show on Thursday night, their hardcore status was already on full display: they’d run into a festival friend and were deep in conversation about what’s hot and what’s not this year.

Joan and Shelley had agreed to let me tag along on a round of Fringe-going, which included only two shows — a light night for this married couple.

The pair were already regular theatregoers when they discovered the Fringe a decade and a half ago. “We said, ‘Hey, 160 shows to choose from over 12 days: let’s go do that,’” says Jamieson, who retired as an elementary schoolteacher in 2005. “The first year we probably saw, like, 10 shows and thought we’d seen a lot.”

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