Come as yourself. says Michael Clark. Beautitul Contradictions isthe name of a club which is having a one-night stand in Leith
Assembly Rooms on 20th
August. Michael Clark and Phil Virtbox (otthe notorious London Virtbox Clubs) are runningthe show. Three ‘hot' DJs will be imported trom London and there will be ditterent music in all three rooms. It looks like this will be ‘the' partyto be at duringthe Festival. Open from 11pm until the dawning ol7am you may need the rest olthe weekend to recover. ‘Wild. wondertul and electric' says Michael Clark. Who could stay at home?
This month seesthetirst ever market research into the Festival. with the inauguration otthe GuinneSS/MORI Poll. which will question in excess of two thousand people over the next three weeks—some of them directly during the interval at a show. others by means at questionnaire sheets lett inside major venues.
The venture representsa major involvement in the Festival tor Guinness. who were keen to invest ina wide-ranging project rather than tie themselves down to a single high-protile event. (As well as being keen to do something aboutthe
l I; l l
Murphy's). The completed intormation. which should be available bythe beginning of November. will be invaluable to the olticial Festival in putting
its case across to
prospective Sponsors. tor tinding out where its existing audience comes lrom. and giving some idea as to howthataudience might be widened. And at course once the intormation becomes public. other branches at the Festival. not to mention entirely unrelated Edinburgh industries. will be able to use it. (Stuart Bathgate).
Lothian Regional Council have taken the brave step. in these linancialy straitened times tor local government. at giving over a prime Fringe site to community groups.
Underthe umbrellatitle ot Diverse Attractions. the Region's Community Education Service will be operatingtrom Riddles Court in the heart olthe Royal Mile. Normallythe Region could have expected revenue of in excess ot £2.000torrentingthe council owned venue. which in recent years has been occupied bythe Mummers Theatre Companylrom Cambridge.
‘The convincing is still to be done' according to Project co-ordinator Noreen Farrell emphasising the
needlora'successlul' I Festivaltolully convince 6
council members thatthe experiment is worthwhile. £4777trom the community education revenue grant has been allocated to the project, mainlyto cover statt costs. Companies taking part receive notee and will have to contribute a part oltheir box ottice takingstothe project.
The venue has been open to anyone who could put togethera show. ‘The venue won't be stigmatizing in any way'. according to Farrell who seesthe great advantage otthe idea as giving community groups a equal billing on the Fringe to that at otherperlormers. Previously the tinances ot a major Fringe venue would practically rule out this type at performer. Currently groups ranging from the Easterhouse Summer Festival Drama Group trom Glasgowto Craigmillar Youth Theatre are scheduled to appear.
Box office takings atthe new Fringe ottice are already well up on lastyear. despite the temporary hoardings which partially hide the ottice. Sales this yearstood. as we wentto press. at £108,781. compared to Iastyear's ore-Festival receipts at £91,502.
The Assembly Rooms. meanwhile. have taken £16,500. a substantial increase at £4000 on last
UUFP. \J ”«
Robert Dawson Scott witnesses a hairy start to the Festival.
‘We are using bleach in industrial quantities here’ says Simon Donald of the problem which is preoccupying the Traverse management to the exclusion of everything else. ‘We have a dedicated team dyeing and bleaching. It has to be done at night.’ An elaborate costume. perhaps? A delicate fabric for set dressing? No. We are talking extruded keratin
here. or. to you and 1. hair. Simon Donald's hair to be precise. For his own play Prickly Heat it has to be black. For the other play in which he is appearing. Manfred Karge‘s (‘onquest of the South Pole it has to be ginger. He is also directing a third play Abattoir Theatre's The Third Rule but has generously conceded that hair colouring there need not be a factor. This keeps the number of hair colour changes he has to go through each day to two.
‘The trouble is we‘ve forgotten the original colour. I haven‘t seen it for about twelve months. If you catch me without any colour now I look like a mutant.‘ That’s just the beginning of his problems; his agent‘s receptionist doesn’t recognise him. he no longer matches his picture in the actors’ directory
has a luxuriant red beard (his .1. original colouring is'a kind of washed out ginger ifmemory serves). In the “. other he is clean shaven. The ' problems ofdying one's hair every day are as nothing beside the problems ofgrowing a full beard daily even to such a manly man as Simey. Even if they could find a convincing false one. not easy in such a small space as The Traverse. they would then have to dye the hair on ;‘ his head to match every day. a near, " i' impossible feat in such an inexact science. I A hairdresser screams: Twice a ' day‘.’ He won‘t have much hair left 'at‘iM the end. lovey. All that peroxide! ' Strips away the natural oils. you see. and your hair just starts breaking Off. " He'll have to use a conditioner every: V day — not your Sunsilk stuff. dear. p but a proper hairdressing salon onef Twice a day. . . '
Spotlight which means he keeps going to auditions for parts which he can never get and his wife thinks she‘s sleeping with a new man every three months. Apparently she has developed a personal identification system which has some degree of reliability but we won‘t go into that. There‘s more. In one play Donald