um. i That Was The Year That Was
Wilson and the TUC were arguing about a wages freeze. US bombers made 134 raids on North Vietnam. But in Edinburgh the heavens opened and ‘Soddenly It Was Festival Time Again‘.
I Peter Diamond (53) began his twelve-year stint as Director with a decidedly Greek theme for the Festival, including ‘The Burdies,‘ —translated frae the auld Greek 0‘ Aristophanes by Douglas Young. Tom Fleming‘s last production as Director of the Royal Lyceum, the play was not a commercial success, and attracted a learned — and protracted — debate in the letters pages of The Scotsman.
I Richard Demarco opened his £15,000 gallery in a converted hairdressing establishment on Melville Crescent.
I On the Fringe, 33 companies staged 70 productions involving 1000 people. Not least among them wasthe University of Southern California drama departmentwho drew rave reviews for their fifteen productions in the Pollock Hall involving drama, plays. mime, and dance. With production costs in excess of $50,000, the company was one of the few to break even.
I Frank Dunlop (39) produced The Winter‘s Tale, ‘lhe best Shakespeare to be put on at the Assembly Hall for years‘. One-time pop star and Carry On veteran Jim Dale was Autolicus. Jane Asher. whose name was associated with Paul McCartney at the time, was Perdita. For reasons best known to himself, Dunlop refused the press
tickets for the first night.
I Such was the allure of the Fringe that Laurence Harvey suspended filming ‘The Spy With The Cold Nose‘ at a personal cost of ‘several thousand pounds‘ to appear as Leontes in The Winter's Tale.
I The lull three-act version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard was premiered at the Cranston Street Hall by the Oxford Theatre Company. It was not initially a critical success, being described as revue material. I Brigitte Bardot, in Lolhian with a daschund to shoot ‘Two Weeks to September', got off less lightly. One minister attacked her as ‘squalid' and ‘neglecting her responsibilites to the young people of the world,‘ and just because the film featured an elopement. I The Festival Society were asked by Edinburgh‘s outraged Lord Provost Herbert Bredin to clean up the Festival Club alter reports of ‘necking’ and excessive drinking. ‘l have to take top industrialists and business men through the club, and I don't like whatl see going on,’ he said. ‘There are people necking and otherthings!‘ The Fringe Club, at the teetotal YMCA, was still dry. Drink was not to be allowed until 1968 forthe poor performers and their public— and only then whilst taking a meal.
I Traverse Appointment: The new Executive Director of Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre is Jennifer Willies, who succeeds Anne Bonnar, who in turn has become the member of the Traverse Board of Management responsible for the supervision of the theatre‘s move to Castle Terrace. Ms Willies, who is currently Conference Organiser of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, will take up her position in November.
I Fringe Film Festival: Now renamed and in its seventh year, the Edinburgh Fringe Film and Video Festival has chosen late autumn (6—10 Nov) as the time for its programme of imaginative, low-budgetfilmmaking. Submissions are being invited for new works. ideally under 30 minutes long, which should be sent on VHS format for previewing purposes and with a handling fee of £7.50 (UK)/£15 (overseas) before Monday 26 Aug. Details and application forms are available from Nicola Percy, FFVF, 29 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 SON (031 557 8211). I New Comic: 1991 seems to be a boom time for Scottish comics. notably with the wider distribution deal achieved by Electric Soup (List 152).
Now from the ashes of a Glasgow-based comics workshop comes Dead Trees, a new anthology with a diversity of style and subject matter rarely found, even in the independent sector. The first issue of the 32 page A4 magazine is already
available, priced £1.75, in many book and record shops around Glasgow and in specialist comic shops around the
country. Issue 2 will appear in October.
I Exhibition Tour: Pentagonale Plus, an exhibition of works by various European and Scottish artists currently on view at the Demarco Gallery, is to embark on a major tour of Central and eastern Europe. The exhibition is the result of a positive strategy initiated by Gianni de Michelis, Italian Foreign Minister, to encourage artistic co-operation of all European countries in the post-Berlin Wall period.
A Fringe In The Day Of Caroline Roberts
Caroline Roberts. a producer with the BBC‘s ljrlinlnn'gh Nights. relives a day on the Fringe.
'l‘oday I filmed two star-struck pigs dressed in pink pyjamas with baggy bottoms and fibre-glass feet being interviewed by a hyper-trendy youth presenter. ’l'he pigs in question were 'l‘helnta and Louise from the Stools In Motion 'l‘heatre ('ompany . and the Piece to (‘amera l’rincess personification of‘attention span factor xero'-~ was Allegra l)e Kline ~- you know. she always wears sunglasses. changes her jacket between shots and won't speak to anyone who still wears w hite Levi's. 'l’he Louise pig w as very helpful when we came to film one of these wacky pieces to camera —. w hich obviously involvcswalking needlesst fast in an excitineg crowded place. Bl‘eilllllessl Breathless! She frightened away all the lidinburgh neds w ho wanted to get their shell-suits on camera by walking in front of a fast-reversing camera crew with a Stanislavskianly accurate Mad Sow expression. big
stick and LARGE gestures.
So on to the next set-up which involved a visit to the Jane Seymour lmprovisational Space in Chigwell. Fortunately we wre able to recreate this hallowed space by filming in l’icardy 'l'elevision. or Base Camp BBC for the duration of the festival. This is where a hardy hunch of programme makers have pledged away their skin. sanity and any semblance of sex life for the greater being that is Broadcasting. llowever. bacon rolls. Comfy. squashy sofas and editing suites with air conditioning have weaned their way in to all our consciousnesses as tnore than adequate compensation for a life outside work.
So the day was all quite surreal and it just needed the obligatory bout of food poisoning ( Italian Seafood pasta dishes 5 Edinburgh Nights personnel ll) to finish off my evening. But before Armitage Shanks became permanently etched on my retinal managed to call my Mum. My Mum asked ifl was eating properly (no). if I was getting enough sleep (no). had I seen anything not connected with work (no). and if they could be taken for lunch in the BB(' canteen when they came to visit with vitamin pills (open to negotiation depending on what my dad‘s wearing). lirlinlmrgh .N'ighls‘ is shown on B If ( '2 . See l'l' listings for times and (lays.
Last year. it w as free condoms and a llead-ilt-a-box; this year. it's sex.
drugs and Andrew s l .i\ er Salts all
part of the desperate attempts to court publicity. in and out ofthe Fringe over the next few days.
(ione Fishin‘ 'l’heatre ("ompany currently head the
desperate-for-publicity stakes. They I
recently ‘slammed' a drugs rumour in the Daily Record over claims that ‘designer drugs‘ would be on sale at their liringe show. title: Sleep With .lle 'l'nu — 'l'he licsruev. The identity of the rumour's originator remains a mystery —- surely not the company themselves'.’
()ther contenders include Mandela Theatre Company. who are fast
gaining a reputation for their pithy little press releases. Aftera taleof E vengeance being wrought on them by a poster bigot comes the exciting news that cast member Andrew \Vardlaw had his hair cut by the man who lends the locks of New Kids On 'l'he Block. Yawn.
.\leanw hile. pissed hacks waking tip in the Meadows may be relieved disturbed tosee a lll) loot-high tin of Andrews Liver salts hovering above them. The inflatable ‘tin‘ ol‘salts ison a six-month promotional tour and could apparently hold 106' tonnesof Andrew's enough to cure a lltlllgtn L‘l‘ Ul e\ en Rt’t‘rn'tl proportions. (Ross Parsons)
NEXT ISSUE OUT THURSDAY 22 AUGUST
The List lo— 23 August 10017