Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.
Edinburgh Fringe 03 - The People!
Here in Edinburgh - Film:
Dark Hunter - The Secret Screening - Sun 24 Aug 03
48 Hour Film Challenge - Cameo Cinema - Sat 16 Aug 03
Edinburgh Film Festival Press Office
Here in Edinburgh - Fringe:
Metro Official Opening Party - Sun 3 Aug 03
Underbelly Venue Launch - Sun 3 Aug 03
Perrier Awards Hello Lunch - Sun 3 Aug 03
Assembly Rooms St George's West Venue Launch - Sat 2 Aug 03
Assembly Rooms Venue Launch - Fri 1 Aug 03
Assembly Rooms Press Office
C Venues - Venue Launch - Fri 1 Aug 03
C Venues Press Office
The Pleasance - Venue Launch - Thur 31 July 03
The Pleasance Press Office
The Lift - Venue Launch - Thur 31 July 03
Jongleurs - Venue Launch - Thur 31 July 03
The Gilded Balloon - Venue Launch - Thur 31 July 03
Edinburgh Fringe Press Office
SUNDAY 24 AUGUST 03
Dark Hunter - The Secret Screening - Sun 24 Aug 03 - 1 am
Test screening of The Dark Hunter at C Venues. Audience includes producer Johnnie Oddball, documentary cameraman Paul Sullivan, actor Damian Kell. London premiere follows November 03.
SATURDAY 16 AUGUST 03
48 Hour Film Challenge - Cameo Cinema - Sat 16 Aug 03 - 10.30 am
Report on event and interview with Paul Trijbits
... AND THE FILM STARS ...
We're not forgetting our friends at the Edinburgh Film Festival Press Office. They get going on Monday 11 August 03, and finish on Sunday 24 August. The team are: head of press - Lindsey Taylor; press officer (interview schedules) - Catherine Bromley; press officer (press desk manager) - Rachael Booth; assistant press officer (accreditation and interviews) - Margaret Bain; press assistant (industry screenings) - Helen Clyne; press assistant (media clippings) - Anna Maijala. The press desk are: press desk manager - Rachael Booth;
press desk assistants - Dawn Clark, Nicola Edwards, Anna Maijala, Emma Pirie, Kate Riddell, Anna Shaw.
SUNDAY 3 AUGUST 03
Metro Official Opening Party - Sun 3 Aug 03 - 8pm
It's the Metro Official Opening Party at Edinburgh's new nightclub next to Waverley Station on Sunday night 3 August 03, 8 till late. Metro door staff dressed like old-fashioned photographers, with big cameras and flashbulbs shoot the stars. Organisers include Alison Blower.
A nice chap says 'Hi' in the men's lavatory, a fine piece of interior design, though aggravatingly bare of flat surfaces for snorting cocaine - it's Waen Shepherd aka Gary Le Strange. He's appearing at the party as Gary, doing Is My Toaster Sentient, Ballerina, & Japanese from his glorious show Polaroid Suitcase, pausing first for a drink with Mrs Shepherd/Le Strange, Kate Darby.
Cabaret tonight's provided by The Illusion Brothers, Flight Of The Conchords, Terra Folk, Topping & Butch, Gud, Giant Pineapple Boys, Mighty Drew, Liza! With Love, An Evening With Gary Lineker, Monique, Paul Daniels..
There's stand-up compered by MCs Brendan Riley, John Ryan. Artistes include Al Pitcher, Marc Salem, Boon!, David O'Docherty, Sarah Kendall, Hal Cruttenden, Sage, Andrew Clover, Andy Zaltzman, Karen Loftus, David Crowe, Will Hodgson. The stand-up's in a dedicated room, but the audience isn't paying attention a lot of the time - oddly, because they're mainly fellow entertainers.
Often the acts can't make themselves heard over the conversation. Till Andy Zaltzman takes the stage: 'It's a great honour to be invited to the Fringe launch party, to be talked over by so many distinguished acts.' Having silenced the room, he delivers a stunning political set on the invasion of Iraq, and his unusual relationship with Donald Rumsfeld.
Here's Tony Challis from Lesbian & Gay Humanist; Hartley Kemp - Artistic Director, & Sheridan Humphries - Head of Press from C Venues
; gentlemen photographers Andrew Murphy & Stanley Reilly; Mark Alford - Editor, Edfringe Official Website; off-duty members of the Soweto Gospel Choir; Jane Ridley, star of American slavery show Mrs Kemble's Tempest - written by Tom Ziegler, based on the early feminist Fanny Kemble - and her director Jere Hodgin, who's based at The Mill Mountain Theatre, a receiving and producing theatre in Carolina which specialises in new work.
Here's recklessly handsome Alex Donald from Blood PR; marital partners Brian Sostek & Megan McClellan from The Gilded Balloon Teviot's Trick Boxing; Hils Jago, head of Amused Moose Comedy; lovely Anna Lusser,
Avalon's gifted PR; Lucy Traube, creator of Again, at Greyfriars Kirk House; Caroline Boyle, from Fringe AM's Europe session at Assembly Rooms St George's West
(Fringe AM - Africa, Fringe AM - Cult Leaders Dissected); Co-creative directors Dominic Martin & Andy Godfrey from Emulator at Pleasance Dome 1.
The Off The Wall room has live extracts from Die, The Paint Show, Japan Experience - Gay Samurai Revue, Gary Le Strange, Emulator, Diane & Ross - The Awesome Years, The Big Time, Jane Bom-Bane's Greatest Hats, Nick Pynn, Folk As Fuck, Shakti - 10 years at the Fringe, Alexis Dubus.
There's a fine version of 'You've Got To Have Heart' by Andrea Sadler & Alex Woodhall, while abusing a rubber chicken, in Diane & Ross, dancing round an actor in a chicken suit; it's at Gilded Balloon Cave 1. Elegant Alexis Dubus delivers a relaxed set of premier stand-up.
Here's Andrew Doyle, writer, and Louis Brownhill, producer and actor, both from Shamlet; This Is Soap - on at C Venues
C Central - is well represented, with regular cast members Gareth Kane, Emma Gillard - who plays Denise & Shirley, Beth Medley - guest actress, Chris Sudworth - director, Eva Crompton - who plays Kimberly, Fran & Maria; and Heather Yeadon - stage manager for both This Is Soap and Shakespeare For Breakfast; here's James Lamont & Will Jones from Falls The Shadow, on at Old St Paul's Church; Festival Radio's David Barrass & Jim Dempsey from Radio Netherlands; Kerryn Hurley from Edfringe Press Office; Itchy Feet Theatre's The Vegemite Tales at The Pleasance Dome is represented by Dimity Harris and writer Melanie Tait - Artistic Director of The Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington; Paul McDermott from Gilded Balloon Teviot Wine Bar's Gud - they're managed by Access Comedy.
Here are Kevin Wilson & Mark White from KWMW PR, busy representing a clutch of shows including Revolution, Hardcore, Gob, The Vegemite Tales, Twelfth Premise, My Mother's Soup, Sholom Aleichem - Now You're Talking! - Part 2, Corpus, 7 Assilon Place, God Inc,
Shelley Cooper, Paul Foot, Topping & Butch - Take It Up The Octave!, Schwartz It All About, Songs For A New World, I Eat People Like You For Breakfast, Topping & Butch - Afternoon Tease, TalkSexShow, This Imaginary Woman, Hurricane, USA Comedy Invasion.
Katy Bartrop is Narrator & Gaoler's Daughter in Wind In The Willows, she's also in An Evening With Gary Lineker; Alex Dower is director of NewsRevue, Sam & Emma, Popcorn
, and acts Ratty in Wind In The Willows. NewsRevue's represented by all its cast too, Elizabeth Bower, Marcus Garvey, Damian Kell, Lorna Watson, & Musical Director - Pete Smith. Plus Technical Director - Jake Wiltshire, who's doing the same on Plat Du Nuit. Plat Du Nuit's actors are here too, Jim Johnson & Adam Riches. Michael Topping & Andrew Simmons, aka Topping & Butch, look demure in scanty leather. Here's Lucy Middleweek from Gag, winner FR Awards 03 - Best Comedy Drama, in Edinburgh for her new role in Dump Truck Love Shack. Katja Janus & Mary are with their friend from C Venues Press Office - Lisa Anne Moffat.
The Underbelly Venue Launch - Sun 3 Aug 03 - Midday
Guests include: legendary technical guru Paul Bull from Orbital Sound and his lovely wife Rachel Bull. The launch is organised by Underbelly Head of Press - Rachel Davison. Performers include: Volcano Theatre Company extract from their productions This Imaginary Woman and TalkSexShow. Rogue State Theatre Company present Gogol's Underdogs. Dudley Sutton does some DH Lawrence poetry from Killing Kittens. Nutshell presents Meat by Sarah Colvin.
Jeff Mirza extracts from Walking With Muslims. Mitchell and Mounfield, and Joanna Neary present clips from Take This and Shove It, including Sphincter The Womble. Arnold Frenzy presents his 'Strangely Compelling' Flea Cirkus. Paul Wagner, part of the US Comedy Invasion, presents many characters from his God, Inc. en masse theatre extracts from Comedy of Vanity. The launch includes several other acts. Unfortunately, it starts late and clashes with the Metro Official Opening Party (see above), so at this point we have to leave.
Perrier Awards Hello Lunch - Sun 3 Aug 03 - Midday
Edinburgh kicks off with a bang with this stylish lunch at the Point Hotel. Host, the engaging and gorgeous Nica Burns jumps on the bar, silences the competing musak, and challenges the hundred assorted journalists - including the doyen of London comedy writing, Evening Standard Comedy Editor Bruce Dessau - to debate on the crucial issue of the day: Should there be another Perrier Award?.
No, not should they be abolished (that's the pitch of the Bongo Club, hosted nightly by Dusty Limits). Rather, should there be a further category? For example, should there be a new category specifically for stand-up? Nica is inviting views, so if you have one - let her know.
The formidable (and engagingly sexy) Kate Copstick, senior comedy writer to the world in general and The Scotsman in particular's here, stunning in black and black shades.
So's London's prettiest PR, the delightful Kim Morgan. Colin Dench is here managing Ross Noble, alongside PR Ben Pritchard from Real Talent.
Paul Sullivan, the urbane and delightful gentleman of PR, is here, handling a dozen top shows. Gorgeous Anna Lusser from Avalon's here doing PR for their formidable range of acts, with her colleague, charming Damon Middleton.
And there's lunch. It's a rare and exotic treat to see the hardworking men and women of the press and pr backbone of the UK comedy scene upright (in this case because the chairs offer firm back support). Though fortunately not sober - life needs some stable points of reference. A hell of a lot of drink's going down, and very little of it Perrier Water.
There's a hugely impressive guest list, which may suggest formality - not a bit of it. It's a relaxed easy-going event, some light networking, rather excellent food, serious drinking, and scope for bad behaviour later.
Guests include Assembly Rooms boss William Burdett-Coutts, and head of the Fringe Paul Gudgin. Mathew Harvey from Karushi, bringing a staggering 18 acts to the Fringe. Brett Vincent's here from Bound And Gagged (with MD Nigel Klarfeld), representing 9 acts. In London he's running 2 major comedy venues and DJ-ing in the spare hours left. Nikki Eede joins Impressive PR's team in Edinburgh, handling clients from International Artistes and Comedy Café. And from International Artistes, there's lovely Lisa White.
The Sunday Herald's Andrew Burnet edits the paper's review section and writes its theatre reviews. He's here with their comedy critic Stephen Phelan. (Read them both by clicking the review section on www.sundayherald.com). We have a long chat about how to review comedy - should reviews quote jokes? - and drama - should the reviews the story of the play? (Let us know - email@example.com).
Lovely Karen Koren (head of Gilded Balloon)'s presiding over a table including press officer Frazer Smith. Brian Hennigan's here, prior to tonight's launch of the venue he heads - Edinburgh Comedy Room at The Tron, now in its second year.
The Perrier Comedy Award 2003 judges include: Alex O'Connell, Alison Allan, Kate Copstick,
Bruce Dessau, Jacqui Fuller,
Tilusha Ghelani, Dominic Maxwell, Dave Morley, Don Moses, Robert Popper. Perrier Award Director is Nica Burns. PR for the Award is by Anna Arthur at Anna Arthur PR.
SATURDAY 2 AUGUST 03
Assembly Rooms St George's West Church Venue Launch - Sat 2 Aug 03
Church of Scotland Minister Rev Peter Macdonald hosts the launch. Associate Minister is Fiona Bennett. St George's Church Coordinator is Jennifer Stoddart. Press Officer for Assembly Rooms is Wendy Niblock. Assembly Rooms Artistic Director William Burdett-Coutts makes the opening speech.
William Burdett-Coutts explains he's originally from Zimbabwe, and welcomes a capella and African Gospel Soweto Gospel Choir. They've performed My Africa Dream as we enter - this number is presented in the format of 2 lead singers in their 24-strong ensemble, in song and dance.
Tap-dancers and percussionists, Catalan group Camut Band perform extracts from their show Life is Rhythm. Today there are five performers using hands on drums and cymbal; and feet on 3 giant drums on which they dance tap. Several of the surfaces are tuneable, so the music's a powerful fusion of tone and multiple layers of rhythm. The full cast of performers are tap dancers Rafael Mendez, Lluis Mendez, Guillem Alonso, Sharon Lavi and percussionists Toni Espańol, Jordi Satorra.
In conversation afterwards, Minister Peter Macdonald explains the wish of St Georges West, a Church of Scotland Presbyterian church, to welcome everyone - symbolised by the church's welcome in 5 languages. It's an active place of worship; the congregation have obligingly moved out for the period of the festival. It's fitted as a venue - with the altar masked off - for the duration.
Rev Macdonald sees shows like Dr Hank Wangford 100% Sex Therapy, and Julian Clary's Natural Born Mincer (both at the venue), exemplifying, in his words 'the position of the church in communicating to people'. 'Some churches don't want gay bishops,' he says, 'but we're willing to welcome camp comedians.'
Rev Macdonald recently conducted a wedding, with a Hindu colleague, between Hindu and Christian partners in the church. He recalls the participants' delight in being able to conduct the service in a sacred place. 'A safe place' is the way he sees the church, inclusive to all. Sounds dangerously like the vision of Jesus Christ. Better not let any of those Christians hear about it.
FRIDAY 1 AUGUST 03
C Venues - Venue Launch - Fri 1 Aug 03 - 3pm
The showcase is hosted with wit and grace by Judith Faultless and
Alys Torrance, aka The Flirt Lab.
Talia Theatre performs freeze-frame extracts from 7 Assilon Place. It's by Nathan Osgood, using Meyerhold's Biomechanics. Peter Lamont's a slender and engaging man with beard, loose white shirt and black trousers. If you already knew that, you'll relate particularly well to his Confessions of A Psychic. Jonny Berliner and Fintan O'Higgins aka Modify The Van present part of Corpus. 5 characters in suits simulating the plastinated corpses of Professor Gunther von Hagen discuss their lot in song.
Reg Cribb's The Return by Fresh Track Productions's an excellently violent piece of intense drama about Australian escaped prisoners on a train - confronting a socially-aware dramatist who's thinking of writing about them. It'll have Islington socialists choking into their Guardians. American improv group Baby Wants Candy - in The Musical and Commander Zeus vs the Girls' Brigade - perform improvisation. Two men and three women from C Theatre's Shakespeare For Breakfast sing the title track 'Gimme Shakespeare For Breakfast'.
Ciaran McConville and Debut Theatre Company in Touched By Fire: the cast of five extract from this powerful reflection on the arson attack on a Moscow theatre by Chechen separatists. Canal Café Theatre's NewsRevue 2003 cast Elizabeth Bower, Marcus Garvey, Damian Kell, Lorna Watson sing 'If I Were Israeli, with pianist Pete Smith, directed by Alex Dower, produced by Emma Taylor.
Van Badham's Bedtime For Bastards features a couple after sex, in this lively extract. Pasodos Dance Company's stunning dance forms a highlight of the event, with principal dancers Laura Macias and Gavin De Paor astoundingly sensual extract from The Tango Spell.
There's a second half to the C Launch, hosted by Three Men And A Giant. Acts include: Jonny Berliner.
Charlie Ross in Tracksuits and Munchkins. Chain Reaction Theatre Company in Everyone Loves Me.
Passion Pit Theatre Company in Justin Butcher's updated Greek tragedy/farce Breaking Strain. Collapsible Theatre Company in Kept. Aperhilion Theatre Company in One Man Rant. Comme des Stars. Randy Wilson and Potwash Hill Productions in The Clownd of Music.
Other productions at C include Cambridge University ADC's An Evening with Joe - Stalin the Musical, with Dan Sternberg, Vincent Rusquet, publicity by Matt Plowright. Pretty Katy Slater's performing her 15-minute play Toast at C Central, daily at 13.15. Harper Ray, the gloriously bouffant Lucinda Ryan and Helen McMananon perform Dirty...Little...Secrets. Showing solidarity with her friend Tara Hendry, who is at C with
The Life And Times Of A Wonderwoman, gorgeous Genevieve Swallow arrives breathless from performing in her stunning show (at The Pleasance), Dulcas's Women.
This Is Soap, the daily soap opera featuring all the best actors on the fringe, kicks off today at C Venues, and petite and pulchritudinous stage manager Jemma Carpenter's prodding its legendary director Christopher Sudworth to get directing, and fast. He's looking gritty and ready for action - with some of the fringe's sexiest actresses in the show. It's a hard life, but we sense he's up for it.
C Venues Press Office is headed by Press and Marketing Manager Sheridan Humphreys; with - among others - the wonderful Marketing Officer Caroline Pearse, and Mary and Jason, and gorgeous Lisa Moffat (with the very very close razor haircut) who's Canadian from London and just finished at Goldsmiths.
Assembly Rooms Venue Launch - Fri 1 Aug 03 - 11.30 am
William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director of Assembly Theatre delivers a short speech, paying tribute to his 150 colleagues including Programme Associate Mary Shields. 'Friendship is what a lot of the fringe is about', he concludes.
Jo Brand comperes, spicing the event with acerbic (and sponsorially blasphemous) stand-up.
Def Poetry Jam are on first. They're followed by the magnificent 24 performers of a capella and African Gospel Soweto Gospel Choir.
Stand-up American Demetri Martin sips from a carton of orange juice; at ease in blue jeans and US brown pullover; strikingly handsome with floppy black hair and aquiline nose. He delivers a breathtaking set of sparkling, unrelated, one-liners: 'I think employee of the month is a good example of how someone can be a winner and a loser at the same time.' Effortlessly, he steals the show.
Berkoff's Women actress Linda Marlowe appears in red bouffant ballet dress and bare feet, her head in a white bald cap. She performs - breathtakingly - extracts from her new show No Fear. Jacqueline Linke performs in Southern Australian writer Fiona Sprott's Partly It's About Love, Partly It's About Massacre. JL's a tall and beautiful Australian woman in low-cut purple velvet ball-gown. She delivers a witty monologue about animal insemination and clitoral stimulation.
78th Street Theatre Lab in Thin Walls. Actor Alice Eve Cohen plays all the characters inhabiting a rooming house in Brooklyn, New York. She's a landlord, laying out the rules of the house and neighbourhood, his wife, labourers Thaddeus and Raymond, and a Puerto Rican lodger in this short extract. It's a fine and inspiring piece by a remarkable performer.
Mike Daisey gives an extract from his one-man show 21 Dog Years - Doing Time. It's the story of his servitude at Amazon.com. MD's an engagingly podgy man, with blond hair and 'a degree in Aesthetics'. Seated conspiratorially at a trestle table he takes us into the increasingly hair-raising world he encountered in the world of online bookselling. Hoi Polloi perform from their Edward Lear romp for adults and children, My Uncle Arly.
Dean Friedman's on with a very young performer, Luke (aged 3 or 4) in Dean's Silly Song, Sing-Along. They duet on 'Smelly Feet'. Luke leaves to applause, and Dean Friedman continues with guest artist Craig Hill in Songs For Grown-Ups. Craig's in black leather kilt, sporran and boots, white socks, and t-shirt. They duet on Dean Friedman & Denise Marsa's hit single 'Lucky Stars'.
Stunning flowers are provided by Mig Kimpton, who brings, with Alison Bradley, the first-ever flower-arranging show to the Fringe, Flowerpower.
The Assembly Rooms Press Office
includes Press And Promotions Manager Fiona Duff, Jo, Christina (who has the fraught job of issuing press tickets), Wendy Niblock in charge of press for the new Assembly Rooms Venue, St George's West. The delightful former head of press, Liz Smith has moved to Scottish Opera.
Photographers Andrew Murphy, Stanley Reilly, Max Blinkhorn. Broadcaster Timothy Szczuka here from Radio Forth. Forth 1, 97.3FM, runs live Monday-Friday from The Underbelly, 7pm-7.30pm. Other broadcasters include David Barrass from Festival Radio and Media Education; and Jim Dempsey from Radio Netherlands, broadcasting from Hilversum. Print journalists include Thom Dibdin; and Thomas Quinn from the Scottish Daily Mirror.
The charming Marlene Zwickler's here from Marlene Zwickler & Associates, representing (from today's launch) Craig Hill and Mike Daisey
THURSDAY 31 JULY 03
The Pod launches at 9 am, Thur 31 July 03. Fringe Report hangs its tail between its legs for still being in bed (reviewers and 9 am don't fit easily in the same sentence), but hears it was great.
The Pleasance - Venue Launch kicks off at 11 am Thur 31 July 03. Phew. That's our kind of time (bit early), and the handsome Christopher Richardson, boss of The Pleasance, though upstaged by his friendly dog Brook, gives a fine speech, generous in its inclusion of other venues. The Pleasance Press Office is headed this year by producer Louise Chantal, with lots of other friendly people including Sophie. Ollie is joint programming manager for the venues.
Naughty comedian Dara o'Briain comperes the showcase: Cape Comedy Collective bring fine stand-up from South Africa - Mark Sampson, Sky 189, Kagiso Lediga, Riaad Moosa. Adrian Poynton and Tom Price give a fine scene from A Very Naughty Boy, directed by Toni Arthur-Hay. Australian Jade The Folk Singer sends up the female folk-singer genre to perfection.
Topping and Butch deliver fabulous news and politics send-up songs, perfectly sung, in red S and M clothes, with gay sauce. They're the highlight of the launch.
Pretty The Lift producer Tally Parr is here. So's versatile journalist Thom Dibdin, who took part in the Edfringe Press and Marketing Roadshow in February - he's filing hard. The BBC's here (though Dara's threatening not to sign their release form), and lots of camera crews, snappers and hacks. Yes, 11.30 am's an ideal time for all of us.
The Lift - Venue Launch - Thur 31 July 03 in The Pleasance Courtyard, is just that. And the gifted Wendy Richmond is doing PR. She outlines the extensive programme that takes place in the 8-capacity lift. The Lift producer Tally Parr, lovely as ever, has her finger on the button.
Jongleurs - Venue Launch on Thur 31 July 03 at 3 pm, not necessarily ideal timing for press, still drinking lunch, or sleeping it off on park benches (don't give them money, though they look deserving). Jongleurs have a fine new venue, permanently, in Edinburgh. It's at the top of Leith Walk, next to a brand-new office and shopping mall complex. Two purpose built venues, the top one air-conditioned (this will mean a lot to acts and fans of comedy). Paddy Cuthbert from Podge PR is handling the launch and press tickets for the season, which looks great.
Steve Furst (aka Lenny Beige) is there, as himself, charming and urbane, gearing up for his one-man show (see review) throughout the fringe, and his part as the Foreman in Twelve Angry Men.
Jongleurs upstairs seats around 310 people. The chain was founded by Maria Kempinska. Kerran Stockdale's the overall Edinburgh manager. Rob Millar manages shows. Friendly Rosie Lumley programmes Edinburgh, and their 17 UK clubs. It's all presided over by Jongleurs' delightful managing director Laurence Miller, who's here to make sure it's a fringe to remember from the new venue.
The Gilded Balloon - Venue Launch Thur 31 July 03, kicks off at 5.30, not bad for press, who are now up from lunch and in need of refuelling. A fine party, presided over by Karen Koren the charismatic head of the Gilded Balloon and her head of press Frazer Smith, Ellie McDonald in press, and Jennifer McColgan (press), Sophie Paige (tickets), a great team.
The magnificent comedian Steve Jameson's here, in character as elderly Jewish comic Sol Bernstein, don't miss (8.15 pm nightly). So's London's sexiest PR, the gorgeous Kim Morgan, taking 10 acts to the fringe this year.
Blonde(ish) Bombshell the fabulous Lizzie Roper's here, glorious as ever (see interview), with the director Leisa Rea of her show Through My Keyhole.
Comedy Store Player Andy Smart's here for Steve Frost's Impro All Stars -
Stephen Frost, Richard Vranch, Steve Stein, Jim Sweeney, Andy Smart, and guest Greg Proops - (8.45 pm nightly), and his part as 12 Angry Men juror No 11.
Gilded Balloon's Showcase is hosted by naughty Paul McDermott. He's also one of the reckless band Gud, with Cameron Bruce and Mick Moriaty, tonight featuring their tasteful 'Your Jeans Are Too Tight'. The Italian Job fuses Shakespeare with Michael Caine's film.
Miles Jupp condescends splendidly from his fabulous one-man show Gentlemen Prefer Brogues. Though finding city people dirty, he's sympathetic to the cries of the street: 'I can't find a vein' - 'We've all had problems with low-quality Stilton'. Dominic Burdess and Tom Godwin are The Illusion Brothers, in long-nosed white-faced spoof illusions.
Squonk Opera, from New York, assemble an elaborate set complete with horn of plenty, and play music - including voice and electric clarinet - which they describe as Debussy meets Godzilla. Stand-up Nick Ball urinates in sound-track off-stage and extracts from his show Load Of Ball.
Gud deliver their sensitive anti-war songs 'You can be my bodyguard: You can call me al-Qaeda', and 'I gave Osama a 69 in the summer of 69'. 'Tears Well Up In My Eye / Wrong Number' sets out what to do if your bastard son makes contact.
Food The Musical features Fatty searching for the latest food and a cast of 15. It's lively, well choreographed, high-energy performance. Jason Bradbury, in string vest, track-suit and trainers, gets a reluctant voluteer, Joanne from the audience ('Oh, you cunt!' she says), twirls her round his head ('Celebrity Helicopter'), and delivers Breakdance Therapy. Hero of the night is Paul Bull - Technical Manager from Orbital Sound. The MC constantly teases him about his (very) long pig-tail, as he sorts out mid-show technical problems with a cool and cheerful élan.
Highlight of the night are the remarkable Mitch Benn And The Distractions - with Mitch Benn on white electric guitar and vocals, Kirsty Newton on electric bass, keyboards and vocals, and Tash Baylis on drums. Tonight's extract from their show includes gifted parodies of David Bowie, Eminem, Lennon, and Liam. There's Liam's Lonely Hearts Club Band (about Oasis). Please Don't Release This Song (another undiscovered Lennon track). They're a fine and together rock band, with powerful driving drums and excellent bass. Mitch Benn performs Macbeth as an Eminen rap, with Kirsty Newton switching to piano. They duet on the satirical You Made My Dreams Come True (With All The Cooking And Cleaning You Do). Brilliant.
Technical Manager is Kirsty Auld, Assistant Technical Manager Asya Gefter.
The press pack of hacks and snappers includes the charming and courteous gentlemen photographers Stanley Reilly and - in stylish leather jacket and stetson - Andrew Murphy. Stanley's preparing for his fabulous exhibition of celebrity photos defining the 60s Being There.
WEDNESDAY 30 JULY 03
Wed 30 July 03. Everyone's either arrived or asleep. Except at the Edinburgh Fringe Press Office which is alive, buzzing, eating a lot of fruit, issuing press passes (and helping out all the shows), and drinking a lot of gin (but only after work).
Martin Reynolds's head of press. Mark Alford, runs the official website; and there's Owen O'Leary, Kerryn Hurley, Jamie Corr, Bob Farrell, Lucy Keating (churning out press tickets with a lovely smile even under stress), David Jarman, and Ryan, and Angela. It's the engine of the Fringe.
John Park / Edinburgh / August 03
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