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The Boothby Graffoe


Mob-handed comic returns for more laughs

theatre comedy dance music books

A round our way with Boothby Graffoe

of music and some great songs.’ Graffoe has had a love/hate relationship with The List for many Fringes now, last year’s entry into the Fringe

brochure being entirely made up from conflicting quotes from List reviews. 'I liked that joke,’ he giggles.

’They’re all genuine quotes but all the main terrible

Comedians are such sensitive types. 'He gave me a great review once,’ says Boothby Graffoe, of a one-time Listjourno. 'Two stars. That's not even motorbike petrol is it? I was doing a five-star show and then it got two stars, I lost all faith in what I was doing.’ He adds sarkily. 'I cried.’

Despite this cod-sensitivity, Graffoe is quick to recant on any roughhouse techniques he may threaten to use on over-critical scribes. ’There’s no sense getting all Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher about it you know.’ The mind of Boothby Graffoe is a dark and perverse place. It would appear to be a place no journo's sanity is safe. ’That’d be good, Celebrity Deathmatch. Every issue of The List has me being punched by a different journalist. It’s a perfect reverse. People could ask “what kind of celebrity was he? The paparazzi used to punch him”.’

Graffoe makes his return to Edinburgh in a three- hander variety show starring himself, wild-eyebrowed, Fringe veteran loon Steve Frost and virtuoso guitarist Antonio Forcione. Graffoe is suitably glib about the show: ’Antonio is an incredible guitarist and Steve is unnecessarily tall. There will be a bit of stand up. a bit

quotes were from one review and the "still consistently great" one was from another. It was just like set-up, set-up, set-up, punchline.’ This was a show which was planned but pulled at the last minute because of a common reason for many of this year's cancellations too: money. ’It was just getting too expensive to work in Edinburgh.‘

Graffoe's trademark is an acerbic, often scathing wit with a fine line in cruel putdowns and deeply cynical observations. Combined with the excitable antics of Frost and the stringed accompaniment of Forcione, this will be a three-way tag team delight. ‘We weren't going to come up at all. It was Steve Frost's fault,’ he claims. ’We did a show in London together and we watched a video back of it and once Steve saw that he was convinced. And now he’s doing three different shows for a full four-week run. I thought of putting on the posters, “Antonio Forcione will be appearing at the Gilded Balloon at such-and-such a time and Steve Frost will be appearing at the bar in Bannerman’s every night".’ This may be true, but you’ve got to admire the man’s work ethic. (Mark Robertson)

I For details, see Hit/ist, right.


Work, Sex and Drink

A celebration of Celtic passions in song

Sheena Wellington goes for a song

The purpose, according to performer and co-organiser Sheena Wellington (the singer at the televised opening of the Scottish Parliament) is 'to show the impact, and the tenacity of these songs; how they work as simple folk song or in settings by Beethoven or Weber.‘ She’s talking about the International Festival’s now annual Scot-slot, this year based around that seminal 18th century collection of national songs The Scots Musical Museum, to which Robert Burns contributed so much.

The collection totals around 600 songs, but the Festival’s nine concerts hope to cover around 120, performed by dozens of Scotland's top singers and musicians. Gaelic and Scots love songs, lullabies, ballads, songs about war, politics, radicalism, work, exile,

crime, the supernatural and religion; all of our history comes alive in a series that moves from the tinker’s campfire to the New Town drawing room.

And for those of you that want more background than can be given in the necessarily brief song introductions during the concerts, there is a Queen's Hall talk by singer and musical academic Dr Kirsteen McCue on Tue 22 at 1pm. But, as is eponymously suggested, the series remains rooted in the robust life of ordinary Scots. As Sheena gleefully points out, ‘we’re doing stuff that's never been sung in any drawing room, anywhere.’ (Norman Chalmers)

I Work, Sex and Drink (International) The Hub, Lawnmarket, 473 2000, 75 Aug—7 Sep, 70.30pm, £72.50.

Just stay out for a bit longer. . . go on

The Boothby Graffoe Show

See preview, left. The Boothby Graffoe Show (Fringe) Boothby Graffoe, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, 75-26 Aug, 70. 75pm, £9 (£8).

Yllana’s 666

Dreams and fantasies are imagined and sometimes acted out by four death row prisoners in this scatological comedy from Madrid. See review. Y/lana’s 666 (Fringe) Yl/ana, Pieasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 75, 27) 70.30pm; 77-72, 78—79, 24—27 Aug, £9—£ 70 (£8—£9).

Mystery Jurce

This Edinburgh four-piece blend blues funk and hip hop for a evening of laid-back grooves, edgy beats and quality fiddle-led tunes. Mystery Juice (Fringe) Bongo Club (Venue 743) 556 5204, 70Aug, 70.30pm, £7 (£5).

Work, Sex And Drink

See preview, left. Work, Sex And Drink (International) The Hub, 473 2000, 75, 77, 79, 22, 24, 26, 29, 37 Aug, 7 Sep, 70.30pm, £72.50.

Dream At The End OfThe World

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One man's comic adventures evoke the rich flavour of North Africa. See review. Dream At The End Of The World (Fringe) TOT/VIA, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 74) 70.45pm, £5/£6 (£5.50/£6.50).

The Cuban Brothers —- Good Morning Havana

Edinburgh's finest fake Cuban ex-pats park their wagon of wayward desires outside the Gilded Balloon for a spot of comedy, music and lusty dancing no doubt. The Cuban Brothers - Good Morning Havana (Fringe) Gilded Balloon ’5 Cave (Venue 38) 226 2757, 70—72, 77—79, 24—26 Aug, midnight, £9 (£8),

La Belle Ange/e (Venue 707) 225 7536, 73, 76, 20, 23, 27, 28 Aug, midnight, £9 (£8).

Bill Bailey

He’s Wild and hairy, so be wary. The West Country's best export since Devon Custard kicks out the comedy jams. Bill Bailey (Fringe) Bill Bailey, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 28 Aug (not 74) 70.30pm, £70/£72.50 (£9/70).