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Edinburgh Fringe 04 - The People!
Venue press launches - the acts - the people - Perrier writers' lunch - Festival Opening Party - the bars - 4-10 August...
(for gossip throughout the Fringe see Crystal Clean)
(for London see London - The People!)
CONTENTS & CONTACT:
Here in Edinburgh - Fringe:
Fringe Festival Society Official Opening Party - Sun 8 Aug 04
Perrier Awards Hello Lunch - Sun 8 Aug 04
Underbelly - Venue Launch - Sat 7 Aug 04
Assembly Rooms St George's West Venue Launch - Fri 6 Aug 04
Assembly Rooms Venue Launch - Fri 6 Aug 04
Assembly Rooms Staff
The Pod - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04
The Pleasance - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04
The Pleasance Press Office
The Lift - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04
The Gilded Balloon - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04
C Venues - Venue Launch - Wed 4 Aug 04
C Venues Press Office
Cowgate Venue Launch - Wed 4 Aug 04
Edinburgh Fringe Press Office
email - email@example.com
TUESDAY 10 AUGUST 04
Around The Venues.
Christian Slater, handsome star, banishes the scabs of chickenpox - Nica Burns's production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest opens this afternoon to a sell-out crowd packing the Assembly Rooms.
Helen Lederer graces the Assembly Rooms balcony stepss for a photo shoot. She's under the watchful eye of Brett Vincent, debonaire Bound And Gagged Comedy agent. She looks gorgeous, posed in classic Renaissance triangular composition with two co-stars (Helen Lederer - Finger Food; Assembly Rooms 19:45 - 60 min). It's a perfect shot, with the magnificent, empty, staircase as backdrop - the national press prepare to snap away.
At the instant, the Cuckoo crowd surge in from the street, and hundreds of small children cascade down the stairs - all keen to touch Helen Lederer. Impressive PR doyenne gorgeous blonde-haired Mel Brown, and her lovely colleagues Nikki Ede and Emma Elwood, re-coordinate the shoot in Assembly Rooms Library Bar without missing a beat.
Handsome Richard Bucknall (RBM)'s in the upstairs bar with former RBM doyenne lovely Charlotte Hamilton. Charlotte's now in comedy PR. Richard's thinking of a second career as a delivery boy. Sporting a fabulous red baseball cap, he was mistaken for Parcelforce courier at The Pleasance today, and asked to deliver round the back. If the tips are good, he's sticking with it.
SUNDAY 8 AUGUST 04
Fringe Festival Society Official Opening Party - Sun 8 Aug 04 - 20:00
Organised by the magnificent Andy Meldrum and programmed by the equally magnificent Grant McDonald, both assisted by fabulous Alison Blower, all from Edfringe.
Those here include: Alun Maxwell (Salesbears), James Lamont and Charlie Chuck (Nudge, Pod Deco, 15:40), Scotsgay's Art Editor Martin Walker, playwright Andrew Doyle. There are two performing venues - Main Stage and Cabaret Room. There's a Pooch Parlour with hair styling by Boosch, and massage by Energetics (both for humans - the night's theme is Party Animal). There's a Karaoke Room. Here's one of the organisers, Pamela. Performing on main stage: Scott Capurro MC-ing and teasing a laugh out of the early audience; Pluck; Topping & Butch (Fringe Report 04 Awards - Best Cabaret) (Ed04 review) (Topping & Butch - Pull Out Now!, Pleasance Courtyard, 22:50) in baseball caps and red SM kit. Michael Topping is deconstructing Andrew 'Butch' Simmons's rapping, and shows how it's done. Round the party here's Scottish Gay & Lesbian Humanist's Tony Challis; Katy Darby in her sexy Bitch costume, with Dave Key-Pugh, both aka Beauty & The Bitch (CO2, 23:00).
Here's Fringe Management co-director (with Nigel Miles-Thomas) Michael R Blaha, producer of Pieces of Eight, Trick Boxing, Snapshot, Sabotage: In Fine Form, all at George Street Theatre Venue 37; and Job The Hip-Hop Musical at Pod Deco. All his shows are in the programme but at these new venues following Wigwam's collapse. Here's debonaire PR Alex Donald. Here's Sketching Lucian (Sketching Lucian - the Life and Work of Lucian Freud, Café Royal, 17:30) actors the gorgeous and adorable Caroline Norton and handsome James Thomas - who's also in About Face (Café Royal, 12:00 noon) written by in sexy Jinny McCallister, manager of London's Almeida Theatre. Here's James Lowe, singer-songwriter performing at The Mercat and Bar Sirius; Andi Neate, singer-songwriter performing at Café Royal. On the Main Stage, Mimirichi Clowns (Mimirichi - Paper World, Pod Deco 17:00) are stripping to Randy Newman's You Can Leave Your Hat On. Here's gorgeous Liz Bower and Nathan Naylor from Jodi Miller's fairly kinky sensational play Playing (ClubWEST @ Drummond Community High School Venue 212, 16:15, unsuitable for children). Nancy Cartwright (www.nancycartwright.com, My Life as a 10 Year Old Boy, Assembly Rooms, various times) is voicing Bart Simpson on the Main Stage. Here's lovely Sophie Pelham (Bunny in (A)dult (B)oarding (C)entre, Pod Deco, 16:30); The Wau Wau Sisters (Pleasance 17:40) are dressed as schoolgirls stipping on Main Stage to Sister Christian. Here's Giant Pineapple Boy Darryl Crick. Here's Anil Desai. Here's gorgeous dewy-eyed beauty Lucy Middleweek, acting in Lies Told To Children (C3, 13:10, even dates only) with writer/director Sarah Drinkwater. Here's sexy Gareth Kane, member of The Lift repertory company; he's in Honolulu (by Stephen Keyworth. 16:50) and Aliens Are Scary (by Stephen Keyworth. 20:30). Here's Iain Davie, director of 3hree (Cowgate, 17:30), and Charity Trimm. Here are Dave Wickenden and Ian Parkin, two of the lovely 4 Poofs & A Piano - the others are Stephen De Martin and David Roper. They're at Pleasance Cabaret Bar 16:10 (60 mins). Here's gifted and glorious Adrian Poynton (Success, Pleasance, 16:35); gorgeous PR Ellie McDonald and her lovely friend Lucilla Hammond. The Soubrettes are on stage. Here are Edinburgh's gentlemen photographers Stanley Reilly and Andrew Murphy, resting briefly after a hot morning photographing the opening cavalcade.
In the Cabaret Bar, Scott Capurro's performing stand-up: 'The weird thing is, after I fuck a Chinese guy I want another 2 hours later' / 'Is that your phone, or is it your heart beeping at the thought of my coming on your back?' Wonderful. Tony Carter (Tony Carter's Evil Army; The Stand II; 17:20) performs as do Gamarjobat (A Shut Up Comedy from Japan, Sweet On The Royal Mile, 19:30); and Carl-Einar Häckner (Heart, Pleasance 18:40). Charming man Guy Kornetzki, who techs The Magnets (Band On The Break, Pod Deco 21:05) is tech-ing the Main Stage tonight; where Sadie Nine is excerpting from Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls (Gilded Balloon, 19:45). Here's Craig McGuffie, assistant producer for PsychoAnalysis (Apex International Hotel, 16:00 from 16 August), produced by Emma Lilly. Here's Anna Ostergren, director of Cloning Adam (C3, 15:30). Here's Brian Mitchell (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Fringe... But Were Too Drunk To Ask, C, 18:40). Here's Damian Kell (StickMen: Year One, Pod Deco, 17:05). NewsRevue (NewsRevue - 25th Anniversary Edition, C, 21:30) goes on stage in the Cabaret Bar, featuring Marcus Garvey, Lorna Watson, Gunnar Cauthery, Beth Vyse, directed by Katy Bartrop, all of whom join the party after. Tonight they perform Bishops In The Night, Vagina Monologue, Turner Prize, Connex Railways, Shitty Shitty Railways. Here's laid-back PR Paul Sullivan, adorable PR Kim Morgan, comedian Chris Neill (The BBC, Andrew Gilligan, and Me, Pleasance, 17:45). Here's Snapshot (www.cygnettheatrecompany.com, George Square Theatre, 17:30) handsome Chris Comrie; and its effervescent star Samantha Swan, with co-actor Alex Kane. Here's Jake Wiltshire; delightfully gifted comedian Andrew J Lederer (Bridge Burner, C, 18:15). Here's bubbly and gorgeous stage manager Jemma Carpenter; Andrew Doyle, Bridget Christie ((04 London review - Christie, Doyle, Paolini)). Al Pitcher comperes the Cabaret Bar. Stephen K Amos performs. Here's actor and director Alex Dower (Fringe Report 04 Awards - Best Director). Here's Angela Bleasdale (Shakespeare For Breakfast, C, 10:00).
Performance schedules for the night (with apologies for any omissions):
Main Stage Performers scheduled to include: Bongo Fury (Cameo Bar), Scott Capurro (Pleasance), Pluck (Gilded Balloon), Topping & Butch (Pleasance Courtyard), Mimirichi (Ukranian clowns, Pod Deco), Tao, Nancy Cartwight (Assembly Rooms), Wau Wau Sisters (Pleasance Courtyard), Neutrino (Gilded Balloon), The Soubrettes (Gilded Balloon), Sadie Nine (Gilded Balloon), Antonio Forcione Quartet (Assembly @ St George's West), Rumble (Aurora Nova), The Magnets (Pod Deco), Job – The Hip Hop Musical (Pod Deco), Jarret & Raja (Assembly Rooms), Headspin, Noise Ensemble (Gilded Balloon),
Cabaret Stage Performers scheduled to include: Tony Carter's Evil Army (The Stand Comedy Club II), Charlie Chuck - Nudge (Pod Deco), Matt and Lamont - Nudge (Pod Deco), Movin' Melvin Brown (Just Singing Dancing and… / Man, A Magic, A Music, www.movinmelvin.com, Pod Deco), OAP Comedy Spectacular (Underbelly), Katzenjammer (Sweet), StickMen - Year 1 (Pod Deco), Stephen K Amos (Gilded Balloon), Gamarjobat (Sweet), Al Pitcher (Underbelly), Aisle16 (Pleasance Dome), Carl-Einar Häckner (Pleasance Courtyard), NewsRevue - 25th Anniversary Edition (C Venues), Russell Howard (Pleasance Courtyard), Slaughterhouse Live (Gilded Balloon).
Perrier Awards Hello Lunch - Sun 8 Aug 04 - 13:00
Drunks, scoundrels - and what Mike McShane memorably refers to as ink-slingers - are drenched in red wine, not once, but twice by enthusiastic waiters today at Edinburgh's elegant Point Hotel.
Yes, it's the annual Perrier party for comedy journalists, promoters, prs and the UK's elite national newspaper gossip columnists, hosted by ebullient Perrier Award doyenne and smouldering beauty Nica Burns.
'This is the most exciting festival I've ever had', Nica Burns confides to the 100-odd comedy industry glitterati - at the start, wisely, while all are upright. 'And last month, as you know, it got a great deal more exciting than I imagined'. Yes, she's also producer of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
The show was first hit by the stormy departure of Guy Masterson. Then lead actor Christian Slater contracted chickenpox and is still recuperating from its secondary effects. Performances are cancelled till he recovers.
All of which is highly unlikely to throw Nica Burns, gorgeous as ever, her magnificent raven hair in positively electric formation for today's speech.
A legend in London theatre, she's a senior executive at Really Useful Theatres, and currently dealing with The White Lady. She's also handling the upcoming production of Mel Brookes's smash hit Broadway version of The Producers, which opens in autumn. And the Perrier.
So, whenever it finally opens, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest looks set for a fantastic run at Edinburgh. It features the magnificent Frances Barber, and a cast of superb fringe performers including lovely Lucy Porter and the adorable Lizzie Roper.
Toasting the industry, and paying particular thanks to Karushi, International Artistes, RDF, and the other promoters and comedy companies involved in the play, Nica Burns summarised the instruction to Perrier judges: 'Go out, find, and award'.
Guests were welcomed by a staff with trays of extra-large glasses of wine. Half an hour apart, a couple of these fingertip-balanced trays crashed to the floor, showering industry icons with broken glass and cascades of red wine. Waiters? Nah. With every critic at Edinburgh in one room, it's got to be actors in disguise taking pre-emptive revenge.
Guests include legendary The Scotsman gossip diarist handsome Ed Black, sitting near fellow old-Etonian Underbelly joint director ultra-cool Charlie Wood. Fellow diarist The Independent's ruggedly good-looking Guy Adams sits nearby, but he went to Rugby - breaking the tradition that only old Etonians write gossip for national papers. Ed Barttam's here, joint Underbelly director. Here's lovely comedy PR Charlotte Hamilton, and RBM's debonaire and stylish director Richard Bucknall. Flame-haired temptress Hils Jago neatly dodges the red-wine cascade at the entrance with elegant footwork that wouldn't have disgraced Ginger Rogers. Here's lovely Emma Taylor (FRA 03), NewsRevue producer; Paul Sullivan; sexy PR Kim Morgan; the gorgeous Karen Koren, looking lovely in coodinated blues; the fabulous Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard comedy editor and Fringe Report Awards 04 Best Journalist.
Here's Pleasance programmer Ollie Rance; handsome Brett Vincent; the charming Owen 0'Leary; lovely Louise Page; Perrier judges' scheduler and fabulously pretty Sarah O'Neill, taking over from the delightful Roger MacStravick, who is also here; adorable Lisa White, ebullient and gorgeous as ever; lovely Mel Brown; stylish legend Christopher Richardson - with lovely Anthony who takes over from him at The Pleasance in 2005 walking one step behind.
Here's Chortle's fantastic editor Steve Bennett; magnificent bruiser Nigel Klarfeld - the man who makes the Kray Twins look demure; the urbane and sexy William Burdett-Coutts; gorgeous Fiona Duff; adorable Heidi Waddington; Fringe uber-meister Paul Gudgin; legendary comedy manager Hannah Chambers; pretty Penny Sims; distinguished Telegraph comedy critic Mark Monaghan; lovely Vesna Barric; the divine Anna Lusser looking delightfully gorgeous as ever.
And the fantastic Suzanne Radford who organised it all
SATURDAY 7 AUGUST 04
The Underbelly - Press Launch - Sat 7 Aug 04 - 11:30
The Underbelly's charming Head of Press is Penny Sims, organising the launch in the White Belly Theatre - damp, buzzing with a couple of flies and smelling slightly of dry rot (White Belly rather than Penny Sims, who is fragrant).
The showcase includes in running order: In the caves on the way in: Ignatius Trail (En Masse Theatre). In venue: Compere - Stewart Lee (Stewart Lee, Underbelly, 20:40) sets a friendly and relaxed atmosphere to the dank, fetid vault. The showcase opens with Jeffrey Archer's Prison Diary - Hell (Pea Wet Productions, 17:30), 4 actors (3M, 1F) illustrating scenes from jail - Lord Archer meets his lawyer, and runs a creative-writing workshop; it's thoughtful and perceptive writing with a gifted portrayal of Jeffrey Archer. OAP Comedy Spectacular (Guaranteed Perrier Winner 2004! or Double Your Money Back - From Their Pensions) (Doreen's Company, 15:25). Father visits son to find he's become slave to The Mayor - who comes round for baths. When The Mayor arrives it's clear why he's dominant. Sharp and original comedy from a gifted cast of 3 (Mayor - Julian Roberts; Dad - Robert Cargill; Son - Simon Spencer-Hyde. Director - Barry Ferns; Writers - Barry Ferns & Chris Head; Technical Operation - Venue Staff). The Best Man (written by Glyn Maxwell for Danny Swanson, MuseMachine www.musemachine.co.uk, 16:05). Danny Swanson is the best man at mate Addy's wedding, conspiring with Kelly 'The Ashtray' Astey to skewer him in his speech; but this extract doesn't excite.
The Congress of Oddities (21:20) features Chlamydia and Calamine Lloyd-Haemhorrage who haven't performed for 144 years; couture includes long dresses, bloody bandage, red spots on cheeks. They do stand-up to modern methods but located in early Victorian times. It's extremely funny, a highlight of the showcase, from two rapturously-gifted actresses - Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Zoë Gardner.
Al Pitcher (21:00) discusses his native New Zealand, having his name in lights, and dead-heating a school race - charming and relaxed. Joanna Neary (Joanna Neary is Not Feeling Herself, www.joannaneary.com, Komedia Entertainment, 19:30). Jo Neary wears an old Pan's People dress to mime to Harry Nilsson's (I Can't Live If Living Is) Without You; with many kinds of suicide from hanging to wrist-slashing mimed. She's petite, gorgeous, impish and recklessly funny - and effortlessly walks away with the showcase - the best act in it by miles. Wonderful. Ubu Disco adapted from Jarry's absurdist classic (Skullduggery Theatre Company in association with Brute Farce, www.skullduggerytheatrecompany.co.uk): French nobles are brought in: The Sultan of Swing, Archduke of Travolta, Iron Maiden, King of Rock and Roll, and executed; peasants feature in Pop Idol spoof Ubu Disco Idol, record collections are inspected, two men compete in disco-dance to Ra Ra Rasputin; witty, a highlight of the showcase.
At the launch: Nikki Neave; lovely Elisa Matula (Lost, 13:15 Belly Button, other cast - Adrian Gillott); adorable Juliet Meyers (4.2 Tolerance Juliet Meyers & Jay Sodagar, Delhi Belly 23:50, (60 min)); David Kerr; adorable Bailey Lock, writer of 6-hander tragi-comedy about the sharp consequences of sexual entanglements Sweetness Follows (Iron Belly; 11:00 am; (60 min)); drama Then Again (by Ben Ockrent, Iron Belly 14:50)'s lovely actress Sarah Carter and smoulderingly handsome producer Jessie Romain; Then Again's other actors are Paul Inman, Anthony Andrews, Felix Dunning, Vicky Grebezs; stage manager is Harriet Swanwick. And the divine: Judith Faultless, Zena Barrie, Michelle Flower. Here's pretty PR Kim Morgan, urbane Chortle editor Steve Bennett, Scotsgay's delightful Martin Walker, Gay & Lesbian Humanist's Tony Challis. Downstairs in the press office there's Bound & Gag Comedy's Brandi Klarfeld (a dog), handsome Nigel 'Bruiser' Klarfeld, and equally handsome Brett Vincent. En route to the Underbelly is Misery (Underbelly, Milestone Productions, 22:15 (75 mins))'s urbane Andrew Byron, former NewsRevue actor/director and bi-lingual Russian/English speaker; and director Kate Byron; other cast include Thomas Garvey. Running between gigs is Iain Davie, director of 3hree (Cowgate Central @ Cabaret Voltaire, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, www.rsamd.ac.uk, 17:30 (80 mins)).
Around Edinburgh: Gorgeous Sarah Coomes & Belinda Stewart-Wilson (United Biscuits - High Tea - White Belly 18:00), and Mr Belinda Stewart-Wilson aka the delightful and handsome stand-up Ben Miller.
FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 04
Assembly Rooms St George's West Venue Launch - Fri 6 Aug 04 - 14:00 -
With an unusual heatwave hitting the West End of Edinburgh, Pimms is served, not on the lawn, but accompanied by the lively Soweto Gospel Choir. The 26 members, aged between 18 and 43, grace the steps of St. George’s Church, their rich harmonies matching their bold, vibrantly colourful costumes. Even the punters in the street sway to the infectious African gospel rhythms.
Inside it’s bustling and you can feel the resonant, awesome power of Taiko drums through the soles of your feet. Tao are a band of Japanese drummers, whose timing, dexterity and concentration is astounding; huge drumsticks – bachi, are wielded like fans, hitting the giant drums in unison.
The MC, Reverend Peter MacDonald, opens the proceedings with a brief speech, rather than a sermon, about the Assembly venues being at the heart of the Festival. In passing he tells a tale about a call girl and a friend from Tiree, which elicits laughter from the well-bred audience. He's followed by Artistic Director of the Assembly Rooms, William Burdett-Coutts, still looking remarkably fresh and dapper after the launch earlier in the day at George Street. He too has a tale to tell, this time about Arsenal and God.
Missing from the Festival stage for several years, Zimbabwean director, John Haigh, returns with the Sundown Theatre, an international cast of talented and gorgeous Australian and Zimbabwean actors, who transport us back to World War 1 with a compelling interpretation of RC Sherriff’s, Journey’s End. The snippet we see is the confrontation between Raleigh, portrayed by Harry Palmer and Stanhope , played by Angus Murray. Both performances are electric.
Still on the subject of war, we are treated to the commanding presence of George Dillon as he presents his own translation of the Gospel of Matthew. Powerful and thought provoking. Proceedings are drawn to a close on a more harmonious note, but still exhausting. Antonio Forcione is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to acoustic guitar. Alone in the spotlight, with just one simple instrument, Antonio fills the auditorium with sassy, sexy sounds and a heady mix of passion and fire.
(Assembly Rooms West Venue Launch report above by Lea Harris)
Venue Press Staff: Assembly Rooms St George's West Head of Press is lovely Wendy Niblock.
Assembly Rooms Venue Launch - Fri 6 Aug 04 - 11:30
Urbane and rakishly handsome William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director of Assembly Theatre speaks. Promising 30 seconds only, he cunningly distributes in print the speech he would have given, and vocalises the essentials: thanks to the staff, many by name including Head of Press Fiona Duffy, and a brief overview of the programme. Noting that the Fringe attracted over 1 million in 2003, he cheekily puts the question: shouldn't it now be called the Festival?
Showcase MC is Mike McShane (Fatboy, by John Clancy, Ballroom 17:45). He opens with a witty speech to 'ink-slingers and cultural mud-spatterers' - the press. He's a tall man in blue suit, white shirt, green tie; bald with thin glasses. And aimiably podgy - but not fat: he explains there's been weight loss, with unforseen results. His wife now describes his penis, he confides, as 'like The Guardian. It leans to the left, and seems to have lost some of its circulation.
Caroline O'Connor (Bombshells, by Joanna Murray-Smith, Supper Room 13:10) opens the set, a sexy Australian in white underwear. She's dressing for her wedding: 'I'm so fucking happy', and reflects on her future dreams. Jake Wood is on as Tommy Kay (Killing Paul McCartney, by Nick Grosso, Wildman Room 17:15). In this drama, Tommy Kay's a stand-up packed with resentments; he fantasises about doing what the title suggests. Colin Hay (Man @ Work, Supper Room 20:05) is a middle-aged lad with wild hair that stands up, in creased grey jeans and green combat shirt; accompanying himself on non-acoustic electric 6-string guitar he sings in a gentle, melodic, sensual voice with an attractively lived-in edge; lyrics include 'I can't get to sleep considering the implications. American Wendy Spero (Who's Your Daddy? Drawing Room, 17:15), a strikingly beautiful woman in fabulous clothes: plum-red hair and matching tights, short chocolate skirt, red satin-suede boots, green thumb-ring, recalls smoking dope with Hugh Grant in a New York diner. Amajuba, Like Doves We Rise (by Yael Farber & the cast. Music Hall 11:20): a cast of 5 (2F, 3M) similarly dressed in black tops and blue jeans, with black-and-white trainers; they enact the focus of football to township life; physical theatre, dance, steel drum, whistling, ululation, song. Richard Bremmer (Mongoose, by Peter Harness, Supper Room 11:50); a tall man with dirty clothes, farmer and loner, recalls the death of a mongoose, his father's illness, and his mother's death - 'What's she doing going to a better place without taking me?' It's strong, poignant, powerfully acted, and described as a fairy tale. Camut Band (Life Is Rhythm, Music Hall, 22:25); 6 men, identically dressed in black, tap-dance and beat drums. The four dancers use body-mics to amplify their taps. With strong appeal to tap and percussion fans. Lee Mack (Supper Room 22:35) delivers fast-talking comedy about baseball caps, playground names, mental instability, adverts on late night Sky - comparing ads for French perfume with possible ads for Ginster's Pasties. Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson (My Life As A 10 Year Old Boy, Music Hall, 22:25) performs the voice of Bart Simpson, a man trapped in a barrel, water drips and many other voice effects. Jarrett and Raja (Music Hall 22:30) present a Las Vegas Specacular-style extract, with 4 dancing girls and an extravagent set including suspended box, glass box with knives. Magician Raja interrupts musician Jarrett's piano-playing to make him disappear. Many rabbits are produced.
Today's audience includes Phil Tams (Scotsgay), Tony Challis, Andrew Murphy, Stanley Reilly, Hils Jago, Matt Dyktinski, Andrew J Lederer (Bridge Burner, C, 18:15 - with fabulous story about the Adolf Hitler Pez Dispenser).
Those who toil - Assembly Rooms Staff 2004 include: William Burdett-Coutts - Artistic Director. Kath M Mainland - General Manager. Claudia Courtis - Programme Manager. Edwina Lunn - Administrator. Judith Murrell - PA to Director. Sarah Melville - Accounts. Richard Hull - Producer. Rebecca Auston - Comedy Producer. Olaf Mackenzie - Technical Director. Mark Burlace - Head of Lighting. Melissa Battersby - Technical Administrator. Fiona Hutchison - Head of Marketing. Margaret Moll - Marketing Assistant. Fiona Duff - Press and PR Manager. Fiona Evans - Press Officer. Clare Walters & Steven Gove - FOH Managers. Olivia Anderson & Brett McCallum - Box Office Managers. Alan Thompson - Bar Manager. Gilly Macpherson - Catering Manager. Beck Palmer - St George's West Production Manager. Wendy Niblock - St George's West Press. Adrian Toll - Website Producer. The fabulous press office staff include: Jenny Mungall - Press Tickets.
Fest Party - Fri 6 Aug 04 - 08.00 pm
Hosted by Fest's charming and debonaire publisher of Dan Lerner, and its gorgeous editor Helen Pidd at Vice, 9 Shandwick Place. Helen later (Saturday 14 August) organises an astounding football match between comedians and comedy critics, and writes about it in The Guardian (Monday 16 August). Guests tonight include the supremely gifted posse of Fest writers including Jason Ahad. Here too are divine PRs Kim Morgan, Elle McDonald, Tracey Carson; startlingly handsome PRs Paul Sullivan and Alex Donald (though not as a couple); gorgeous Emma Bentley, Sophie Pelham, Rebecca Ridgeway - all of Adult Boarding Centre (Pod Deco 16:30); photographer Richard Bull; producer Michael R Blaha (Fringe Management).
Around The Bars - Fri 6 Aug 04. Assembly Rooms. Relaxed sex-symbol Richard Bucknall (Richard Bucknall Management); sexy producer Emma Taylor (NewsRevue - 25th Anniversary Edition, C, 21:30; lovely Lauretta Gavin, and equally lovely Sharon Gavin (Gavin and Gavin in Our Funny Bones, Assembly Rooms, 14:45). Pod Deco Bar Here's the talented Kev F Sutherland (The Sitcom Trials, Nicol Edwards Experience - The Cinema, 19:30) and Sitcom Trials actor David Hale; the lovely Kate Darby (aka Mrs Gary Le Strange), and husband Waen Shepherd (aka Gary Le Strange (Face Academy, Pod Deco, 22.25)); Emma Bentley, Sophie Pelham, Rebecca Ridgeway (Adult Boarding Centre, Pod Deco 16:30); Robin Ince (The Award Winning Robin Ince - Star of the Office, Series 1, Episode 5 (First Bit), Underbelly, 20:45); Jim Field Smith, Rufus Jones, Renton Skinner (Dutch Elm Conservatoire, Pleasance Courtyard, 22:45); the exceptionally debonaire and delightful Ben Willbond (Pleasance Courtyard 17:45), Karushi's gorgeous Lisa Thomas, sexy PR Greta McMahon, Karushi's lovely Jane Bell; hunky Justin Edwards (Jeremy Lion's Happy Birthday, Pleasance Courtyard, 17:50); Richard Glover (Hopkins & Glover, Pleasance Courtyard 19:10).
THURSDAY 5 AUGUST 04
The Pod - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04 - 09.00 am
Champagne, Bucks Fizz, brioche, pain chocolat, French pastries, and, er, coffee, and all at 9 am - showbiz never sleeps (thanks to the drugs). The Pod Deco's the old closed down Odeon. Outside, a couple of horses here for a photocall defecate heavily.
It's an apt welcome for the sleazy lags who put pen to paper via an early vodka - a surprising number of whom are here, up (and this column's the proof) and ready to be blinded by the thousand Hollywood starlights that twinkle at the back of the stage. There are spots, there's dry ice, it's a stunning venue with extra pizzaz, and Jimeoin as MC.
Jimeoin's soft voice suits hangovers, his sharp wit weaves in and out of the hundred massed headaches. Heidi Waddington and Andrew Waddington, directors of The Pod, welcome. Head of Press Shelagh Bourke greets, with press officer Sarah Fakray. Sexy PRs Paul Sullivan and Alex Donald are here, so are Adult Boarding Centre's gorgeous trio Emma Bentley, Sophie Pelham, Rebecca Ridgeway; here's adorable PR Kim Morgan; charming Edinburgh gentlemen photographers Andrew Murphy & Stanley Reilly; super-sexy The Magnets - bassist Colin Griffiths-Brown, baritone James Fortune, high vocalist Nic Doodson, vocal percussionist Andy Frost, near baritone Michael Welton, high vocalist Steve Trowell; here's adorable PR Ellie McDonald.
The launch showcases:
The Magnets. Here's the review of their upcoming CD Another Place. Nothing prepares for the astonishing sexual charge that whooshes out from their live performance - pure tangible charisma.
Watching The Magnets' Andy Frost do a full drum kit, complete with snare and hi-hat - from his mouth is an extraordinary theatrical experiences. Colin Griffiths-Brown creates bass from his voice, and magnificently-structured bass lines.
It's not, as Samuel Johnson said about dogs standing on their hind legs, remarkable not that they do it well, simply that they do it at all. The vocal substitution for instruments isn't a gimmick - it's used to create fabulous musical arrangements and produce - with the other lads' singing voices - memorable, rivetting music. Today, it's I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet, and Happy Together.
The Magnets are the highlight of The Pod launch, and surely set to be a top booking of Fringe 04. (The Pod, 21:05).
Anvil Springstein (Bingo Nannas and Other Causes of Terrorism) - relaxed and engaging stand-up from a quietly charming man. Mimirichi Paper World - 3 clowns create plane crashes, chaos and litter from mounds of paper and deft sound effects. Craig Hill - loveable and witty master of camp Scottish comedy delights. The remarkable Andy Smart (Comedy Store Players) and Steve Steen do hard-edged drama in Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter - two powerful and affecting actors in superb form. Herbie Treehead's Dinosaur Circus (suitable for children): a superbly-acted enormous female dinosaur wees as hapless helpers clean up. Ordinary woman-of-the-people Barbara Nice - a character straight out of a Beryl Cook painting - is 'just a mother', though one who often says 'cock'. Super-sexy diva Tina C delivers some adroit political comedy with a hard glaze of irony; played by a man with the best legs in the business. Tina C dissects Donald Rumsfeld's 'Abuse is better than torture' in a tough sketch on American war crimes in Iraq at Abu Ghraib prison. Barbara Nice and Tina C duet Dolly Parton's Nine To Five - an unusual slow version.
The Pod's fabulous Press Office staff are: Shelagh Bourke - Press Manager. Press Assistants: Kirstin Innes, Laura Hitchcock, Sarah Fakray, Emma Davies, Helen Swift.
The Pleasance - Venue Launch - 11:00 Thur 5 Aug 04 - Pleasance Grand
There's a moving and at times emotional speech from the handsome and relaxed Director of The Pleasance, Christopher Richardson - accompanied as ever by FR Awards 04 - Best Fringe Canine, Brook.
Christopher Richardson lists every show in a fast-speech marathon, and thanks staff and those involved in Pleasances London and Edinburgh.
He pays a particular tribute to Pleasance staff member, Charlie Hartill. A Cambridge graduate and ex-Footlights president, Charlie Hartill sadly took his own life in January 04 age 32. The inquest took place this week.
The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve takes place Thursday 19 August 04, Pleasance Grand 19:30 (20:00), hosted by his friend Matt Holness (Garth Marenghi). It's also the name on bottles of wine at The Pleasance; for each one bought, The Pleasance donates part of the price to The Charlie Hartrill Special Reserve Fund which will make grants towards theatrical projects.
Today's showcase (best marked , (highlight) in brackets): There's music from 4 Poofs And A Piano (Cabaret Bar 15:25), (highlight). MC is Russell Howard (Hut 20:50), (highlight) - delighting with a story about his mother breast-feeding the family dogs; and losing at arm-wrestling with Rebecca and Susan in the audience. Willy Russell & Tim Firth (The Singing Playwrights, Grand 17:30 / 15:00). Willy Russell reads from one of his books at length, and plays guitar; Tim Firth plays Yamaha electric piano; they both sing Tell Me If I Start To Say The Same Thing Twice.
Carl-Einar Häckner (Heart, Above 18:40), (highlight) is on in evening dress, long hair tied back. He fits a harmonica in his mouth and plays Oh Suzannah. Scott Capurro (Loaded, Cavern 16:30), (highlight) is tall slim with dark greying black hair, on in short-sleeved t-shirt; excerpting from his one-man play about 'falling in love with the bad guys', in this case Erik Menendez, who on 20 August 1989 with brother Lyle, gunned down his affluent parents. Pig Iron (Flop, Pleasance Two 16:05) features 3 clowns: 3 women, including one in big white dress, another - who flicks a tampon to the audience - in green belted tunic and orange pants; they perform to Disturbed's Down With The Sickness.
Opera On The Run (Comedy of Arias, Queendome 17:25): a tall and beautiful woman in black evening dress plays Yamaha piano - Oh Sole Mio. A male chef breaks eggs, another man enters and sings with him; they fight. A woman with long red hair sings a lengthy solo; the men sit it out. One for opera lovers.
La Fura dels Baus (XXX, Grand 20:00 / 14:00) (over 18) deliver a startling show. All action on stage is magnified to two large screens up stage. On stage, two women fondle each other and one removes the other's top. A man interrupts. A woman from the audience translates for him into English 'I need a cunt and a dick ready to do something'. A woman and man are brought from the audience and encouraged to feel up one of the actresses, who is blindfolded. The actress sucks the male volunteer's erect penis. He's embarrassed. It's said the man and others are plants; that the penis is fake. XXX may be a clever play on what audiences perceive. Four Poofs And A Piano (highlight as noted above), round off The Pleasance press launch with Builders Bum, and Take A Look At My Enormous Penis. They're four delightful male singers performing to a backing track.
The Pleasance Press Office is run by Mobius Industries's fabulous Dan Pursey and Will Lewis, and staffed by lovely press officers Pamela Clarke, Alice Russell, Lorna Hosler, Cat Murray, and, on the street team, Tim Standing.
The Lift - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04.
Hosted by producer the divine Tally Parr (Fringe Report Awards 04 - Best Producer); here's Gareth Kane, Felicity Wren, Alexander Kirk from The Lift Repertory Company; PR Kat Byles; Sylvie Barr, Head of Marketing for Café Direct; gorgeous PR Wendy Richmond; Café Direct's lovely Josephine Sutherland.
The Lift is a passenger lift that doesn't move. It's up on a platform reached by stairs in a garden off The Pleasance Courtyard. There are doors at each end - one for audience, one for cast. It's not claustrophobic. The audience (13 today) presses round the walls, the actors use the space in the middle. It's intimate and effective.
Alexander Kirk and Felicity Wren excerpt from The Aquatic Ape (by Joy Wilkinson. 19:40 nightly (30 min)), a gripping underwater drama with murder planned. They're in scuba clothes with masks and mouthpieces, which they take out to think aloud. The audience are fishes to the characters; the lift becomes the bottom of the ocean.
The Lift has a repertory company of 11 actors (7F, 4M). They perform 9 plays, repeating daily. There's also a slot of short films. Artistic Director is Stephen Keyworth.
Plays at The Lift (with writer and daily time in brackets; performances run 30 mins): Shaft of Light (Script Factory - films. 13:30). Grouchy Tiger, Hidden Badger (5-9 year-olds; Sarah Adams. 14:20). Charlatan (Darren Murphy. 15:10). Fanny and Faggot (Jack Thorne. 16:00). Honolulu
(Stephen Keyworth. 16:50). Patricia Quinn Saved My Life (Alison Carr. 18:00). The Powder Jars (George Gotts. 18:50). The Aquatic Ape (Joy Wilkinson. 19:40).
Aliens Are Scary (Stephen Keyworth. 20:30). Morpheus Descending (Juliet Balloo. 21:20).
The Lift's Repertory Company are (alpha order): Ruth Bratt (also performing stand-up as one of The Four Queens Poker Club, Gilded Balloon Caves 2, 22:55). Elicia Daly. John Dorney. Sheena Irving. Gareth Kane . Alexander Kirk. Dan March (also in Sitcom Trials Gilded Balloon 17:15). Charlotte Palmer. Fiona Paul. Felicity Wren (Co-artistic director, Hen & Chickens Theatre). Becky Wright.
Later in Pleasance Courtyard: Here's stunning director Toni Arthur-Hay; this year she's directing Rhys Darby, Adrian Poynton, Phil Nichol & Janice Phayre, Simon Woodroffe, Shelley Cooper, Shazia Mirza, Jason Wood, Patrick Monahan. Here's legendary and cuddly Time Out Comedy Editor Malcolm Hay; Adrian Poynton, Kevin Tomlinson, relaxed babe-magnet Richard Bucknall of Richard Bucknall Management (RBM), flame-haired beauty Hils Jago of AmusedMoose, gorgeous producer Rachel Abel; here's Four Queens' Poker Club stand-up and The Lift Repertory Company actress lovely Ruth Bratt. Here's the charming arts editor of Scotsgay - urbane and handsome Martin Walker; lovely Tony Challis, writing for Gay & Lesbian Humanist; ace PR Guido Goetz; gorgeous producer Emma Taylor (FRA 03); hunky Laurence Howarth (Laurence & Gus - Men In Love) (Laurence & Gus Ed 03 review); sexy red-head Ciaran Murtagh (The Joy Of Wine); Pleasance director Christopher Richardson ((FR Awards 04 - Theatre Person Of The Year), and Anthony, who takes over next year but not - as CR points out - yet.
The Gilded Balloon - Venue Launch - Thur 5 Aug 04 - 17:30
Hosted by the breathtakingly blonde and frankly gorgeous Gilded Balloon Artistic Director Karen Koren in dazzlingly white and worryingly angelic white suit. Head of Press, the dashingly handsome Fraser Smith. Key staff: Tony Davey - Business Manager. Ann Russell - Operations Manager. Scott Stoddart - Production Manager. Marc Swanson - Productions Manager. Alex McDonald. Finance. Gary Lamont - Finance. Press Office: Head of Press - Fraser Smith; Office/Press Manager - Jo Harte; Press Officer - Tom Bragg; Press Tickets - Louisa Harding-Edgar.
Those at the opening party include Steve Jameson (Sol Bernstein - Almost Alive II - Gilded Balloon - 20:15, written by Ashley Boroda and Steve Jameson), Paul Provenza (Ed 03 review) (joint producer of Dean Cameron's Nigerian Spam Scam Scam, Pleasance 15:00), pertly blonde Diane Carrington - lovely sister of Sadie Nine (Sex, Drugs & Sausage Rolls; Teviot Sportsmans 19:45) - handing out fans - it's boiling and dripping hot. Here's Shelley Cooper (It Could be You!) (Ed 03 review); Andy Smart and Steve Steen (The Dumb Waiter - Pod Deco); sexy producer Rachel Abel; gorgeous PR Emma Elwood; AmusedMoose principal lovely Hils Jago; Bound & Gagged Comedy hard-man Nigel Klarfeld (the Krays used to boast about going to school with him), and counterpoint charmer Brett Vincent.
Nigel Klarfeld, debonair & rugged sex-symbol for gals who like them rough - the Henry Cooper of comedy promotion - offers these wise words of advice to performers who read their own reviews: 'If you want to believe you're a king, you've got to be ready to believe you're a cunt'.
Here's the cast from Sprout - Premiere!
- David Bourn, Jonathan Cohen, Michelle Owoo, Grant Westbrook, and the adorable Victoria Willing. Handsome Chortle
editor, Steve Bennett (FR Awards 04 - Editor - Best Comedy Publication); Mickey D (Mickey D has Detention Deficit Disorder); The Scotsman's bellissima Claire Smith; Edinburgh Comedy's sexy production manager Kirsty Barber. Delightful comedian Aaron Barschak. Comedy venue ace the handsome and relaxed James Wren, producer of Spank!, artistic director of
Hen & Chickens Theatre, and Lowdown At The Albany.
The showcase lasts 90 minutes in the boiling heat, in 3 segments each of 5 acts. Best acts indicated by (highlight) in brackets.
The first third is hosted by avuncular Stephen K Amos (Tickets Please! Productions), with the faintest trace of Frankie Howerd. In the first minute he's uttered AltCom's dreariest legacy of cliché 'Don't patronise me'. Things are looking bad, but improve. 'Anyone here from the television? No? What the fuck am I doing here? There's a film from Neutrino (Neutrino - The Instant Movie; Debating Hall 20:30). Pluck (Dining Room 17:00) features a woman with a cello going into the audience to flirt; followed by two men on violins. They're playing Ravel's Bolero. Slaughterhouse Live (Nightclub 18:30) are 5 men with various false beards, very loud, who sing I'm Gay But Not In A Barrymore Way. Four wear knitted white fishermen's sweaters, one has a butcher's apron with red paint on his cheeks. They sing EU What You Looking At? about the European Union. May appeal to Morris Dance fans and enthusiasts of English folk music. Ronnie Golden (Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden - Men In Beige) is a distinguished-looking man in middle age, with grey hair and white suit. 'If I didn't have negativity, I'd have nothing.' It's pure stand-up; with a fine song Go Stannah Go. Ronnie Golden's fabulous as lead jazz vocalist Prince Royale and a trouser-dropping mayor in The City Club
AceDome). Australian performers The Soubrettes (Short Attention Span) (Cabaret Tingel-Tangel, The Caves, 18:45) are Tanya and Lana (Tania Kyriakou, Alice Carter) in burlesque corsets. They sing with enormous vocal power and seemingly, in the sweltering heat, endlessly: When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Drug Addict, and There Is Nothing So Exciting As A Wolf Whistle, the latter including their reflections on men (not favourable).
Cal Wilson (Jekyll and Bride, Balcony Rooms), (highlight), MCs the next third with a light and funny touch. Petite, with her pretty red hair in bangs, she's consistently witty and engaging. Much of her material tonight is about being from New Zealand and living in Australia. BA Robertson
(I Didn't Mean To, I Just Did; Teviot) is a singer, songwriter (he's written for Cliff Richard
among many others), guitarist with 264,000 pages on Google. He's not performed in Edinburgh
for 23 years, and starts this segment with Fee Fye Fiddley Dum/Di/Dan. He's a tall good-looking man with jeans and open-neck shirt and gets rapturous applause. Ben Bailey
(Sportsmans Bar 21:00) is a big, muscular man in brown suit; with slow, measured, dramatic American-tinted voice. He does stand-up, focusing on the wrongs of application forms. David O'Doherty (World Champion of Some Things, Billiard Room - 22:30), (highlight) wears a base-ball cap and cradles a small keyboard on his knees to sing The Motherfuckin David O'Doherty Song. He discusses the behaviour of penguins in planes; tires of it, and lies on the floor to play with the mic. It's a warm and charming set from a man with the gift of being naturally funny.
Stephen Grant MCs the final segment, opening with a piece on Americans travelling, and anal sex. He comperes stylishly, and he's continually funny. First on is Mandy Muden
(Burn The Witch; and The Magic Zone): 'I'm Mandy, I do tricks'. She's in head-scarf, black jacket, green boots. 'I don't pull a rabbit out of a hat / but I do fuck like one / a hat'. She makes magic with a cucumber and a bottle. The Giant Pineapple Boys are 3 men with pineapples on their heads. They act out and sing the Pearl & Dean
cinema jingle, J Arthur Rank gong, MGM lion, intro sequence to James Bond films, car chases - it's very funny. Noise Ensemble finish the night. There are 10 (3F, 7M) performers on percussion, an elaborate lighting design using lights on the performers and audience, smoke, colour including purple. There's a range of struck instruments from triangle upwards, to many sets of drums beat loudly and -seemingly - incessantly. The music is fairly ethereal. One for dedicated fans of percussion, without hangovers.
Later in The Pod Deco Bar: Gorgeous Jemma Freudenbergmorphet (Millie & Tillie, Millie), and the all equally gorgeous: Josie Stuart (Millie & Tillie, Tillie), Cara Jennings (Millie & Tillie, director), Emma Bentley (Adult Boarding Centre, Bronwyn), Sophie Pelham (Adult Boarding Centre, Bunny). Brett Vincent (Bound & Gagged Comedy), Andre Vincent, Ed Smith (Karushi), Waen Shepherd (Gary Le Strange) (03 review), lovely Kate Darby (Mrs Shepherd), Richard Herring.
The magnificent Andre Vincent's TV pilot Hoorah For Cancer features in this Edinburgh's TV Festival Breakthough In TV Comedy, Sunday 29 August at 11:00. Andre Vincent's a self-confessed Fringe junkie - this is his 20th - that's right, 20th - Edinburgh Fringe. His enthusiasm as ever is undimmed, and infectious. Great news about the TV show, Andre - it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
WEDNESDAY 4 AUGUST 04
C Venues - Venue Launch - Wed 4 Aug 04 - 11.30
There's a vast chocolate cake from Edinburgh's Plaisir du Chocolat to kick off C's 2004 opening. Handsome and debonair C-boss Hartley TA Kemp mingles, Head of Press & Marketing Sheridan Humphreys orchestrates elegantly behind the scenes, and nothing goes wrong - a venue launch first. As Edinburgh's press elite drink, air-kiss, break wind and shout at each other at the reception, Emma Finlay and Airlie Scott gamely try to sing over them; showcasing their show Venus, Mars & Chocolate Cake. Lovely Katy Darby's here promoting her show Beauty And The Bitch also featuring Dave Key-Pugh, directed by Beren Money. Americans Jeffrey King and Courtney are promoting their Loose Elephant Theatre's How to Lock Up, Talk Down, and Get Things Done (C3, 21:40). Stage Manager Jemma Carpenter and director Chris Sudworth are here from This Is Soap (03 review), so is Caroline Pearse, regular member of C's Press Office in previous years.
Edinburgh's gentleman photographer,
Andrew Murphy snaps contentedly. Gorgeous Zena Barrie looks stunning as ever in pretty gypsy headscarf; lovely co-It's Alright For Some (FR Awards 04 - Best Comedy Company) director Michelle Flower mingles; ruggedly handsome PR Alex Donald looks a bit like Biggles; elegant and seriously beautiful NewsRevue producer and Canal Café Theatre boss Emma Taylor radiates serenity; NewsRevue's beautiful director Katy Bartrop smiles demurely. Adorable PR Ellie McDonald looks sensational.
The crowd moves upstairs at midday for C's main showcase. MC is the witty and lovely Carola Stewart, accompanied by Binkie Beaumont (a small white dog), both from The Tracey Ermin Bedshow (C+2 23:35 (1h-15)), also featuring Richard Erickson, Sonia Raymond, directed by Eileen Dunwoodie, designed by Prav, from The Bryan Hands Company.
The showcase features a set of C's acts including: (best items marked (highlight) in brackets): The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Velocet Theatre, adapted by Royal Court Theatre Young Writer Adam Brace, including live music on unusual instruments. When Its Ajar, by Trouserpress, has a set that's a flat containing a pink door; three British soldiers may include a spy - suspicion falls on soldier Hans, the one with an 'Allo 'Allo German accent. Two stunning male dancers delight in The Love that Dare Not Speak its Name - Royal ballet and Rambert trained. Kafka's The Metamorphosis has a man wriggling out of a sheet - good for fans of physical theatre. The Owl And The Pussycat, (highlight), a lovely couple, man and woman respectively, complete with pea-green boat, do Edward Lear - enchanting, with delightful singing. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Fringe... But Were Too Drunk To Ask (C, 18:40), (highlight), features Brian Mitchell & David Mountfield, and gorgeous Clea Smith (Clea was the fabulous monkey in Life'a A Monkey) - bright comedy sketches include American, French, and Scottish styles of flyering. Bang Bang You're Dead, (highlight), features a company of 12 Americans aged 14-18 focusing gun culture - powerful, tightly co-ordinated theatre from a strong group of players. New Arts Theatre present Forbidden: two women on a bench in wartime Germany - one comes out as at Jew. The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, (highlight), by Chris Larner features Rosalie Craig, Jonathan Robbins, Chris Larner, Mark Stevens singing, to their piano and ukuleles the sensational Two Damn Hot In The Amazon - very funny; the sketch also features a supremely well-placed use of the word 'cock'. Un Probleme Around Shakespeare's Twelfth Night 'inspired by Jacques Tati and Charlie Chaplin, includes female clowns with red noses battling (a little erotically, it's OK, it's French) for a silk shawl, show features Chiara Collet, Emmanuel Cornubet, Coralie Duteil, Kajsa Englund, Henrik Schmit, Luis Villegas of Somatic Tintamarre. Resident company of London's Kentish Town Lion & Unicorn Theatre, Act Provocateur Theatre Company, present an adaptation of Gene Brewer's novel K-Pax, with a 5-man, 2-woman cast. Actors Marcus Garvey and Gunnar Cauthery showcase Noel Christopher's fabulously dirty Bishops In The Night parody of gay clerics from the Guinness World Record
run of NewsRevue, (highlight), directed by Katy Bartrop, produced by Emma Taylor, piano by handsome Pete Smith (FR Awards 04 - Best Musical Director), the cast completed by pretty Lorna Watson and equally pretty Beth Vyse. On Love and Lies by Mustafa Gunes looks at prostitution and impotence in Cyprus; this extract has Turkish Cypriot Halil unable to do right in the eyes of mum and dad. Amiably podgy and bald Andrew J Lederer tells endearingly of his dad's umbrella, hints at his meeting with Leni Reifenstal, and possession of a Hitler Pez dispenser - deft, charming and engaging narrative stand-up from his show Bridge-Burner (Bridge Burner, C, 18:15).
The C Venues Launch lurches back down to the bar where further acts try to be heard, scheduled to include: International Men of Mystery, Just Push the Button, Jazzmatazz, Doniert Macfarlane extracting from his show Colin Montgomerie Stole My Life
, Four Sets of Lips, with Naava Piatka & Lisa Holstedt, D-D-D-Don't Mention the Disability... I Did Once and it Took 15 Minutes from stammering comedian Jaik Campbell, Waiting for Da G; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; Psychotherapy Live with Lisa Levy; Gato Martin, An Evening with Beatrice Lillie, Two Man Rumble, Slammin.
C Venues Press Office is led by Head of Press and Marketing lovely Sheridan Humphreys; Marketing Manager - Adrian Strittmatter; Press Officers - Nadja Fassler, Rachel Watkinson; Events Co-ordinator - Bradley Kulay; Distribution Co-ordinator - Brooke Laing; Press and Marketing Assistants - Ruth Clowe; Isobel Dimond; Lyndsey Turner; Design and Events Assistant - Andreas Fux.
In transit between venues, here's smouldering beauty (with cheekily stylish blue eyelashes) Lucy Middleweek (FRA 03) - Lucy's acting in Lies Told To Children (13.10 (14.10) at C Cubed even dates) from company 1131, with pretty Aideen McDonald and Elliot James. General manager of London's hyper-trendy Almeida Theatre, lovely Jinny McCallister's new play About Face opens at Café Royal Friday 5 August, directed by Sketching Lucian director Mike Miller.
Cowgate Venue Launch - Wed 4 Aug 04 - 14.00 pm
New venue Cowgate, spattered with controversy following comedian Paul Wagner's stormy pre-launch departure, opens with aplomb - under the eye of it's gorgeous Head of Press Hannah Tattersall. Ebullient Donal Norton is MC to a fine showcase. Acts include (best marked (highlight) in brackets): Theatre of Eternal Values's Zen-Sations, a handful of sketches illustrating zen moments from 3 robe-clad men. 3hree from Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance (RSAMD), (highlight), three one-act musicals directed by Iain Davie: The Mice - book Julia Jordan, lyrics Nell Benjamin, music Laurence O'Keefe, originally directed by Brad Rouse, inspired by Sinclair Lewis; Lavender Girl - book James Waedekin, music & lyrics John Bucchino; and showcased today The Flight Of The Lawnchair Man - book Peter Ullian, music/lyrics/concept Robert Lindsey Nassif - a witty airborne drama sung and acted by Zoe Chatterton and John Nathan, both in sexy airline uniforms. Ironklad Productions present In Wonderland?, (highlight) - Alice comes back, but she's not necessarily welcome; Tweedledum's a Scouser, Tweedledee's from Somerset, Mad Hatter's an English public-school girl, Cheshire Cat's a broad-Scots lass, the Queen speaks Miss-Jean-Brodie refined Edinburgh; sharp continuation of the Alice story (suitable for children and adults) from 6 frankly gorgeous actresses in sensational costumes (and makeup) - Samantha Morris (Alice), Stacey-Jane Lamb (Cat), Claire Marie Broomby (Dee), Lisa McGrillis (Dum), Kay A Stott (Hatter), Sarah Currie (Queenie). Matt Sax extracts from his stunning one-man hip-hop musical Clay, (highlight) - a quite outstanding performance - directed by Dan Mahoney, composer Johnny Williams. Lieutenant Commander Tyrus Lemerande, US Navy, delivers a stirring one-man version of Henry V, showcasing with the 'Once more unto the breach' speech. Bright Sparks deliver Girlie Rad Femmes - two women extract from Help I'm A Silly Lassie - The Chat Show With A Feminist Twist, in which the female interviewer probes an academic expert on the secrets of her wardrobe - a clever and funny parody. Man Bites God present Banned On The Run, (highlight) - sensational musical comedy from Chris Tomkins (drums), James Hazelden (vocals, guitar), Mark Woodward (recorder, harmonica, bass); Mark Woodward's on recorder for Recorder Boy ('Years later, Mark met a fair farmer's daughter / More fun to blow into than his recorder'), switching to harmonica for 'I've Been With Two Women At Once', both with vocals from James Hazelden, and drums and vocal backup from Chris Tomkins - brilliant, funny songs with extra dirt.
Later At The Bar. Later at C, NewsRevue's Edinburgh show storms, and the cast head for the bar - Marcus Garvey, Lorna Watson, Beth Vyse, Gunnar Cauthery. Gorgeous producer Emma Taylor's here, and ace Royal Academy of Music technical manager Jake Wiltshire, MD Pete Smith (FR Awards 04 - Best Musical Director), stage manager Jemma Carpenter. Here's Salesbears' lead actor handsome Alun Maxwell. Up the road at The Pod, lovely PR Ellie McDonald's hanging out with Pod Head of Press Shelagh Bourke. And so to bed ((c) Samuel Pepys), though sadly not with Shelagh and Ellie.
Edinburgh Fringe Press Office. The charming, urbane, gifted and handsome Owen O'Leary is this year's Head of Press. The magnificent team of official press office staff include: Bob Farrell - Press Reception. Tim de Jersey - Press Accreditation. Kerryn Hurley - Press Officer. Leroy Harris - Press Officer. Louise Page - Press and Marketing Manager. Alison Martin - Press Assistant. Hannah le Coic - Press Assistant. Mark Alford - Web Content Editor. Eileen O'Reilly - Promoter Liaison
Beck Pearce - Promoter Assistant. Angela Carolan - Promoter Assistant. Edfringe's core year-round staff this year are: Paul Gudgin, Director. Rachel Athey, Venue and Performer Development Manager. Dave Ball, IT and Box Office Manager. Anne Borthwick, Publications Manager. Tricia Clinton, Office Manager. Charlotte di Corpo, Sponsorship Manager. Pamela Jackman, Assistant Administator. Owen O'Leary, Press Manager. Lynn Taylor CA, Accountant.
John Park / Edinburgh / August 04
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