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s‘l’ 3 .. . __ I \ P’s/13 ~v The tirst Edinburgh Festival was in 1947. In dreary post-war Britain it was the dream. amongst others, of Sir Rudolf Bing and Edinburgh Provost Sir John Falconerto create something as spectacular as the Salzburg Festival andto unite through artistic pertormance a so long divided Europe. Right lrom the start. however. the Festival became more than one testival with the Film Festival beginning in the same year and a number ot unsolicited ‘tringe’ theatre events tuming up in small balls. This tederal structure remains and you can now choose lrom between over a dozen testivals all crammed into three weeks in August.
Each testival has its own
procedure tor obtaining tickets and intormation . . . see below.
THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
9-31 August. Frank Dunlop’s fourth Festival and Edinburgh‘s 4lst. Still one of the most signiﬁcant arts festival in the International Calendar despite under-funding in recent years and inadequate facilities (Edinburgh is still awaiting an opera house and has a hole in the ground to prove it). Dunlop‘s most important innovation is The World Theatre Season. which began last year to general acclaim. It would be difﬁcult to accuse the Festival of neglecting drama now. and perhaps inevitably doubts are now being raised about the comparative strength of the musical programme. This year‘s Russian Theme. while by no means connecting every event. is the most concerted attempt since the celebration of
Vienna 1900 in John Drummond‘s final Festival in 1984. The Russian theme either by coincidence or inspired programming seems also to have been picked up by The Fringe.
In recent years under Edinburgh's Labour District Council. there have been attempts to make the Festival more responsive to the interests of Edinburgh's local population which culminated with a community ‘Dome'. last year. in Pilrig Park. It failed largely to attract an audience despite notable attractions. This year with money tighter than ever. the International Festival has left the communities to entertain themselves.
0 Information The full International Festival programme is available in the Souvenir Guide. published in association with the International Festival by Pastime Publications price £2.50 (this guide has articles on all the Festivals but full programme information only on the International Festival). and in the free booking brochure which is available from the Festival Office and Ticket Centre. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh and from information points around the
City. Individual programmes for .
specific events (containing programme notes and cast lists etc.) are available at performances. For information only ring031 226 4001 (for booking sce numbers below).
0 Booking/Tickets Counter bookings have now begun at the The Festival Booking Office. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh. 9am-6pm Mon-Sat and 10am-5pm Sun. The wait can be very long but supermarket- style numbered tickets at least prevent those awful shufﬂing queues. Credit card bookings and reservations can be made during these hours on 031 225 5756. Tickets can also be bought (subject to availability) on the door half an hour to an hour
' before performances. Some
performances are already sold out but there is a returns desk in the office. This operates on a first come. first served basis. Halfprice tickets for certain shows are on sale on the day from the Half Price Ticket Booth at the bottom ofthe Mound (next to the National Gallery) each afternoon
between 1pm and 5pm. No phone reservations. a maximum of two tickets per person and first come. first served. . Tickets can also be bought through Edward & Edward‘s ticket agencies throughout the world (In London they are located at the Palace Theatre. Shaftesbury Avenue. London. ()1 734 6767); through Prestel at many travel agencies and by dialling the First Call credit card line ((11 2407200). In Glasgow tickets can be bought from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. Glasgow. (041 552 5961213) 10.3(lam-(v30pm.
7-29 August. Although the Festival Fringe Society publish the Fringe Programme and sell tickets from their High Street offices. the Fringe isn‘t an organised. invited Festival in the way the International Festival is. The Fringe has been around as long as the International Festival — in the early years the unprogrammcd shows that started appearing were known as anything from Barnacle events to Festival Adjuncts. Eventually the name Fringe stuck and it has become internationally famous in its own right. and a model for theatre Festivals all over the world.
The Fringe Society has been responsible for much ofthe success of the Fringe. allowing it to expand by providing a central information and box office location. The nature ofthe Fringe gradually develops and changes as the years go by but as Fringe Administrator Mhairi Mackenzie-Robinson commented at the launching of this year‘s programme it is notoriously difficult to get predictions correct.
The Eighties have seen the dominance of the Assembly Rooms. a successfully programmed multi-venue which acts almost as a fringe within the fringe (see below). The cost of bringing a show to the Fringe has led to other organisations programming a number of venues or subletting venues. Tic Toc now has seven stages in five buildings and a huge number of companies; The Pleasance. in one theatre. is host to an almost equally large number of companies. and Marco‘s Leisure Centre has fifteen companies ranging from The Smallest Theatre In The World to Railroad Bill And the Boxcar Stompers. This trend is likely to continue but the expected fall
, off in number ofcompanies and
number of shows overall hasn‘t come about.
A new development this year is that there are rather more shows than usual which haven‘t made it into the Fringe Programme. Partly this is due to the decision not to print a second edition of the Fringe Programme (see information below and the Beyond the Fringe Section). How these shows fare for audiences will be one of the stories of this year‘s Festival.
H . _ . A. I o lntormatlon Get a copy of the Fringe Programme. It‘s free and has Fringe ‘87 writ large on it. There‘s only one edition this year. so forget about the usual printed-in-blue-ink update. To use it take a deep breath and dive in. It‘s actually very well laid out. The main section is an alphabetical list of companies giving details of their shows. show-time and dates. prices etc. complete with the companies‘ own descriptions of themselves. If you know the title of the show and not the company there is an index (subdivided into Comedy. Musicals. Revues etc) at the front. If you know only the venue name they are listed alphabetically at the back with. together with useful how-to-get-there information and details of facilities for the disabled. plus full lists of companies performing. Cross reference these with the main list.
However unless you‘ve used the programme well in advance to produce your own itinerary. you will need the free Daily Diary. An official Fringe publication. while it gives no critical information it chronologically lists the day‘s shows. It is published the day before the day it covers. is available from the Fringe office and information points around the city. Many of the groups who failed to get their entries in on time for the main programme will have their shows listed in the Daily Diary.
The Fringe Office 170 High Street (Royal Mile) will give you information on all aspects of the Fringe. Come in person (10am-7.30 and go straight to the counter - don‘t join the ticket queue or you‘ll be all day) or ring the information lines. 10am-7.30pm every day. 031 226 5257/9.
0 Tickets Buy tickets for Fringe shows either at the venues themselves (NB many box offices are only open immediately before the performance time) or at the Fringe Office. 170 High Street (Royal Mile). 10am-6pm Sat-Wed; 10am-7pm Thurs and Fri (cash or cheques only. no credit cards). Before queueing for tickets take care to look at the information on the blackboards in the Fringe windows— they will often tell you if a show is sold out or whether tickets are now available only from the venue (particularly relevant for Assembly Room tickets).
Telephone booking with payment by Access or Visa is available during the same hours as above. seven days a week. Allow 3 days for processing of orders — tickets will either be posted or may be collected (from the back door. down the neighbouring close). If collecting remember to bring your Access card.
Postal Booking. Send order form at the back ofthe Fringe programme together with Access/Visa number or Cheque to the above address.
Perhaps the most efficient
way to get your tickets is to make use of the Next-Day Collection service. 10am-7.30pm. Collect the form and special envelope front the special office at the back ofthe Fringe office and up the steps. Pay by cash. cheques or Access and pick up the tickets the next day from noon — it usually avoids queueing.
THE BOOK FESTIVAL
8-23 August. 10am-o.30pm daily. This year sees the third biannual book festival. the biggest public book ev ent in Britain. which since the beginning has been organised byJenny Brown. An immediate success. pitched up in tents in Edinburgh's stunning. leafy business centre. (‘harlottc Square. it has also worked financially. Each year the Scottish Arts (‘ouncil grant has. as planned. been reduced but thanks to sponsorship. book sales and entrance fees. the budget for and scope ofthe event has increased. As well its being a gigantic book shop. there is a full programme of talks. debates and interviews with big name authors. as w ell as events for children. Refreshment is available all day in the elegant surroundings ol the Beck's Spiegeltent. to the accompaniment of jazz and more book events (these L‘VCllls start at 8pm after the Book Festival proper closes). o lntorrnation Contact the Book Festival on 031 220 1259or write to them at. The Iidinburgh Book Festival. 25a South West Thistle Street Lane. Edinburgh EH2 lEW. A free advance diary ofevents with competition details is available from Edinburgh bookshops and information points. or by writing to the address above. The updated Official Programme Guide will be published with The Scotsman newspaper on 7 August and w ill also be available at the Book Festival in Charlotte Square. 0 Tickets Available at ( 'harlotte Square from 8 Aug and in advance from the lidinburgh Bookshop. 57 George Street. Edinburgh ( l0am-opm ). and from the Fringe office (see above). Access and Visa bookings. 031 220 125‘). The Grand Opening (Sat 10.45am-lpm) is free. There after day tickets are £1.25(ollp conc). season tickets £6 (£3 cone). See programme for prices of Meet the Author events etc.
McEWAN’S INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTTIVAL
15-22 August. Edinburgh now has two important Jazz Festivals complimenting each other. The Round Midnight Festival .lau. (see below) and the senior partner and rather more ‘mainstream‘ McEwan‘s Festival. Now in its ninth year. it begins in earnest on the Sunday with a huge. noisy jazz. cavalcade along Princes Street. There are literally hundreds of
The List 7 ‘ 20 August 73