Macbeth on an inflatable castle, anyone? PAGE 8

Record breakers

Edinburgh’s festivals report massive rise in early sales. Words: Anna Millar

estival fever went into overdrive this week wrth the Fringe. Jazz and Book

festivals each reporting impressive sale hikes on last year. A spokesman

for the Fringe said they were up 10% on their 2006 figures. havrng already smashed prevrous records on their first day of sales, which saw them shift a total of 24,150 tickets almost 8000 more than last year. Funnyman Ricky Gervais was the first show to sell out. A whopping three quarters of all tickets are now sold online. Last night. Fringe insiders said they were well on course to overtake last year's record figure of 1 .5 million ticket sales.

Across town at Charlotte Sguare. the International Book Festival reported an impressive .1500 increase on last year. So great is the demand that the lBF reported last week that Alexander McCall Smith Will appear in an extra event on Wednesday 15 August.

ln music. the Jazz and Blues Festival has recorded a 300% rise in sales. wrth 4000 tickets already sold.

Elsewhere. the International Festival reported ongorng demand for some of their most highly anticipated shows. including The Bacchae With Alan Cumming and Mabou Mines Dom-louse. directed by Lee Breuer.

Festival landmarks of another kind arrived as Arthur's Seat was registered as a Festival venue for the first time. This Sketch Show Belongs to Lione/ Richie Will be performed at the top of Arthur's Seat on the last weekend of the Fringe. InCidentally. at time of gOing to press. This Sketch Show . . . cast member Barry

Ferns reportedly had plans to change his name by deed poll to Lionel Richie.


I A crisis was narrowly averted this week when the Just The Tonic posse found out that their new improved venue at the Caves would not be ready in time for curtain up. JTT’s 12 shows will now relocate to tents at C venues' new C soco urban garden space.

I Last week saw the launch of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s Demarco's Festival, showcasing some of the artist’s most interesting pieces to date, over the last 40 years of the Edinburgh festival. The seven-part exhibition

includes artworks from Richard Demarco’s archive, photographic documentation of the Festival, Festival posters and a specially commissioned series of moving


image portraits by Hamilton & Ashrowan, exploring his expeditions to Poland and Romania.

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than 100 different artists exhibiting work in 37 galleries and artist—led spaces throughout Edinburgh.

I Loose-lipped (:oiriedran Richard Coughlan \‘Jlll attempt to break the offrcral Gurnness world record this; month, for the longest ever l(tl)l)lllt) marathon iof sorts). Funnyman Coughlan wrll attempt the nine hour epic as part of a t>rghearted bid to raise money for the James Whale kidney cancer charin

I The Military Tattoo launched its programme last week. The event boasts 500 musicians, 200 dancers, a 150-strong all-girl Taiwanese group, 35 motorcycles and 30 horses. The showpiece will pay tribute to the Diamond

Wedding Anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip, and features participants from Africa, America and Asia. Those hoping to get a gold dust ticket for the event should call the Tattoo office on 0870 755 5118 to enquire about returns. The Tattoo begins this weekend and runs until Saturday 25 August.

I Vintage clothing emporium Armstrongs is making its Fringe debut with a fashion show at the Acoustic Music Centre @ St Brides on Wednesday 8 August at 9pm. Tickets are priced £2. All 300 items of clothing and accessories on show are on sale.

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33,609 The number of

penonnancesatnvéangethm year

219, 369 The number of tickets sold at the Fringe by 27 July.

250 The number of venues.

304 The number of shows at Fringe 2007 this year that are absolutely free.

134 The number of pairs of trainers the cast of hip hop dance show In the Hood own between them.

300 The average number of

spectators around any show in the street on the Royal Mile

6 The average number of people gathered around the portrait painter on the Royal Mile at any one time.

9 The cost in pounds of the average Fringe ticket.

35 Biggest cast for one show. the lpavska Chamber Choir Concert from Slovenia.

25.000 The capacrty of

the biggest venue: Meadowbank Stadium.