That Was The Year That Was

Thom Dibdin peers into his crystal ball, 1 back to a time when a first class stamp . cost 3%p, England quaked in fear of the l lRA’s letter-bomb campaign, President 3 Nixon was still refusing to release those tapes and in Edinburgh, the violin l of a sixteen-year-old schoolboy brought tears to the eyes of all who i heard him . . .

I ‘A Giovanni like no other’ applauded The Scotsman of the first opera the Festival put on itself. With Peter Uslinov producing and designing the scenery and David Barenboim directing and conducting, Don Giovanni was also the most expensive, coming in at ‘slightly less than six ligures’.

I Pucha Ri, a Celtic Rock Musical, was staged on the Fringe. It featured a band called Ironsyde who attacked the audience ‘from the safety of enormous amplifier output’. A tattered person on a trapeze spat Dolly Mixtures at hideously made-up ghosts. A man became a goat, complete with a . ‘sizeable’ phallus which he proceeded to use to ‘give the treatment’ to a naked girl. ‘lam relieved somebody else is studying Celtic history,’ remarked The Scotsman’s Tony Troon.

I ‘Edinburgh is dirtierthan Bombay’, pronounced Tony Robertson, Director of the Prospect Theatre company who were appearing at the Lyceum. Edinburgh’s cleansing director denied the charge, saying, ‘I think it is as clean as anywhere else in the country. The litter problem is more directlythe result of affluence.’ ' I The first Pop Festival was staged at the Empire. it did not get off to an

i full.

; MacMillan's The Sash and The Eric

; I Lynda Miles (26) was the Film i Festival‘s first full-time director. She

; fact that he was a student of Yehudi

auspicious start. Gong supported Kevin Ayers, who, when he eventually sauntered on stage at 2am, was reported to be ‘out oftime, out of tune and out of his musical mlnd.’ Other acts which were better received included Procul Harum and Fairport Convention. But the George Melly gig was only half

I The Scotsman Fringe First awards were inaugurated to encourage the staging of new material. Among the five winners in the first week were the Pool Lunch Hour Theatre Club, who received an omnibus award for Hector

Satie Show among others.

promised it would be a festival for everyone who enjoys film not just the ‘heavy, European gloomy kind that people expect to find at film festivals’. To prove it, she opened the festival with George ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Romero’s Crazies.

I Stephane Grappelli (65) was completely upstaged during his Festival debut when a schoolboy jumped from the £1.10 seats with fiddle under arm and proceeded to join him on stage. The long-haired bairn

was on holiday in Skye with his parents and had skipped off for a few days. The

Menuhin and was called Nigel Kennedy

might have helped the upstart getaway with it:


I Ravenscraig: Lanarkshire ; steelworkers came face to face with 5 their arch enemy outside the Scottish Office on Tuesday. Or, more precisely, they finally met up with Sir Ebenezer Scholey, the villain of Braidhurst High Theatre’s production of ‘Closure? The Story of the ‘Craig‘. The shop stewards, whose jobs at Ravenscraig and Dalzell steelworks are under threat (List 143), have thrown their support behind the Fringe show, which is the work of local schoolchildren. See preview, page 45. I Workshop Birthday: Edinburgh’s Animation Workshop celebrated its tenth birthday with a retrospective screening of twenty films by young people at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Wednesday. Since its formation in 1981 by animatorJessica Langlord as part of the Edinburgh Film Workshop Trust in Albany Street, the Animation Workshop has provided daily facilities for independent animators and weekly courses for newcomers, as well as co-ordinating various projects in schools and community centres.

I Extra Show: Due to public demand, Jim Tavare will be adding an extra show to his sell-out schedule of the Jim

f I Volcano Theatre: First the bad news: , Volcano Theatre’s acclaimed

. production of ‘Medea: Sex War’ will

: now miss its last two performances at E ' Theatre Workshop (30/31 Aug). Now .

theatre the Swansea based group

Tavare Masterclass on Tuesday 27 Aug at 11 .15pm at the Assembly Rooms.

the good news: this is because they ) have been offered an . all-expenses-paid trip to Greece to join 7 the likes of the Bolshoi in a Festival of Medea. Let's hope that Theodorus Terzopoulos of the International Institute of Mediterranean Theatre doesn’t turn out to be a Greek Zenya Ramada. . I Dne Fund ForAll: In conjunction with 2 Strathclyde Regional Council, the

! STUC has appointed a full-time fundraiserto the Scottish Dne Fund For

All (Strathclyde) campaign. The aim is to encourage employed workers to

contribute on a regular basis to the

Fund in order to help provide resources § for the region’s Unemployed Workers

Centres, which are underthreat due to the ending of Urban Aid Grants. ‘Betty’s Brood’, a video feature screening at the Film Festival, was produced underthe , auspices of the Gorbals Unemployed ' Workers Centre. l


Rod Gillies, steward at the Fringe Club, relives a day or more precisely a night —on the Fringe.

Last night, I was asked where the toilets in the Fringe Club were. Seventy-eight times. For anyone who doesn‘t know yet, the Gents are down by the disco and the Ladies are at the bottom of the stairs. This particularly busy night wasn’t helped by an article in Festival Times which encouraged people to save money at the Festival by breaking into the Fringe Club through the fire doors. This resulted in me joining the theatrical ranks with my famous ‘blue-arsed fly‘ impersonation. as

the alarms went on and off all night. Not to mention the very pregnant Italian woman who went into contractions halfway through the cabaret . . .

The box office may shut early on certain nights, but that doesn’t stop me from having to go down to the front door to politely explain to Fringe performers that their passes don’t entitle them to a guest/free drink/private bar/other necessities for the struggling artist. My favourite

memory of last year‘s Fringe is that ofthe ‘actor‘ who didn’t have a pass, down on one knee, imploring the security staff: ‘Please allow me access to the building so I may congregate with my fellow thespians.‘ This impassioned plea was treated with due care and consideration: ‘lfye huvnae got a ticket, yer no gettin‘ in. I‘ve told ye once, I’ve told ye twice now piss off!’

Ofcourse, every night isn’t a nightmare sometimes, on a quiet night, I can dodge the paper aerOplanes and treat myself to some cabaret; and (in best Miss World accent) there are always loads of ‘interesting people‘ to meet (or in Fringe Club-speak, ‘freakers’). But as the clock struggles towards 3am, there‘s always the hope that tonight, John, the club manager will introduce me to the joys ofanother wee dram.

More drastic measures

Volcano Theatre have only one member oftheir cast left undamaged. In a brave attempt to put the physical back into physical

have broken a leg (one of their own). suffered concussion and ripped

} muscles. Strangely, the broken leg 3 occurred during an attempt to kiss a

member of the audience. As the old standby ofthesps has it: never work with kids or animals and don‘t try to snog the audience.

Not to be outdone. a member of the Johnson Family Theatre group had to be taken to hospital with concussion after knocking herself out over a review. Apparently the

' hapless performer was so chuffed to get a ‘goody‘ from The Scotsman that

she leapt jubilantly in the air,

smacked her forehead off a lamp post and fell to the ground unconscious. Cor, the power ofthe press eh?

Meanwhile. an evening‘s entertainment at the Oldham Bus Garage Social Club is being offered as a prize by Fringe veteran Bob Dillinger. The night out is only part ofa tempting package put together by the comic which also includes a shopping spree in Oldham market and a tour to Dora Bryan‘s birthplace. Anyone interested in tackling the nigh-impossible task of making the reclusive Bob ‘more attractive to women‘ should contact

i : Dillinger at the Pleasance. Perhaps

{ he could start by moving away from i Oldham? (Ross Parsons)



The List 23 29 August l99l 7