Yo, Tom Lappin! Your article ‘Dishing The Dirt’ (The List 155) was pretty mild. Apart from your total blindness to any of the female comics appearing on the Fringe (some of whom are in distinctly bad taste) you seem to have missed the point about the ‘alternative’ comedy scene of the early 805. We laughed at things which embarrassed us: tampons, nuclear power and bombs on the tube; and at things which challenged the status quo.
Even before then, when Derek and Clive discussed the worst job they ever had, it was pretty bloody embarrassing. and challenging: picking bogies out of Queen Victoria’s bottom. Lenny Bruce spoke dirty and amused people because they were embarrassed at his language. It challenged their comprehension of the spoken word.
For the most part. modern stand-up comics are an embarrassment. They are the lowest common denominator. I tend to agree with Frank Dunlop that their presence simply dilutes the power of comedy.
Stephen Bruce (no relation!) Barony Street Edinburgh
‘Disgusted by dirt on the Fringe?’ Too bloody right I am. The dirt on the Fringe is that it is too damn expensive. that’s what. I went out last night to experience a bit of this culture which is supposed to be going on all around us. First stop the pub, a couple ofpints at the price of£3 and an ear full of foreigners up for the Festival.
So, where too next? Comedy? The List seems to think Frank Skinner is not too bad. But £6.50? Just to see one geezer make a prat of himself, no thank you. So another pint ofthe amber liquid and maybe try for a later show. How about We? But £4 to see a one-man adaption of a ‘prototype dystopian novel‘? Pretentious or what? Do I need to go on? There just seem to be too many pseudy things on for too much money. I ended up having another few pints and going home to my bed. Tonight I will go and see Amy in Terminator 2. £3.50, and I will definitely enjoy myself.
Jim Docherty Learmonth Crescent Edinburgh
Has anyone else noticed an uncanny
resemblance between cuddly
Edinburgh Festival boss Frank
Dunlop and Great Uncle Bulgaria? Could they by any chance be
related? I think we should be told.
i Worn out by the Li me Grove Story? Yawning In bed with Madonna? Snoozing offduring the St Johnstone match? Well WAKE UP and write to The List at 179 Buchanan Street, Glasgow G1 2JZ or 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 lTE. The best letter next issue will win a bottle ofJose Cuervo Tequila.
J. PUD SMITH
A running joke
For God‘s sake don‘t give Gary Nelson the tequila. Why? 1)He‘s blatant 2) He‘s not funny 3) He‘s not D.M. Bennie (and never will be). Ruth O‘Leary (The List 155) may be a fan, but now much longer do we have to endure a weak running joke being milked to death? Still. some Fringe performers get by with an even greater paucity of material. Maybe Nelson could work up his oeuvre into a 20 minute set and perform in the Assembly Rooms. Frank Dunlop was half right — the Fringe is crap. But so is the Festival proper. lndiscriminate double-parking is a major problem at the best oftimes, but during August it is just impossible to get parked within walking distance of Mathers (my local). Art is dead. long live Muriel Gray (dreadful woman!) Do I win or what? D.M. Bennie Leith Walk Edinburgh
Re: Mr Jason Murray‘s views on
cinema popcorn eaters (The List 153).
Due to severe auditory difficulties. (popping sensations relieved only by ‘mastication‘) I, for one, am unable to sit through the duration of a two-hour film without the need to chew, or to suck on something minty.
My husband, on reading your letter, became quite upset at your thoughts ofapartheid, relegating afﬂicted persons, such as myself, to
v 1. syn?" ’
the ‘worst seats‘. Does it not occur to Mr Murray that persons such as myself. through paying for such extras. enable the cinemas to more easily furnish Mr Murray with his ‘glory ofBig Screen Entertainment‘. in these artistically impoverished times?
lam also disgusted at The List's fostering of this such obviously insidious fascist element: 1 ) in the printing ofthe letter. alone; 2) in the
and 3) in the sexually provocative (and irrelevant) subheading ofthe letter. and printed after comments.
I had previously regarded The List as more socially responsible; Mr Murray. clearly. I never shall.
I do urge readers not to take Mr Murray‘s dangerous demands seriously. but to enjoy— with a certain tolerance — film-going as they please.
Etta Stanhope (Mrs) Albert Avenue Glasgow.
Unprovoked Rostropowch I’m sure I‘m not the only one deeply upset by the treatment ofpeople at the Mstislav Rostropovich concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Monday July 29th.
Countless fans were left alone after being politely ‘escorted‘ to their seats by the venue's staff, while an elderly grey-haired man in a black suit played with himselfon stage. The ensuing entertainment ofthe people was horribly civilised. What was also disturbing was the gratuitous way in which people were allowed to enjoy themselves,
notably by sitting still in their seats listening to the wonderful rendition ofJ.S. Bach‘s Suites for Solo Cello. Absolutely none of this was in any way provoked.
I saw all this from the dubious safety ofthe front ‘stalls' (Arena) and the show was honestly enriched for me by a kind of brutality I had never before witnessed at a concert. Never before have I seen anyone treat his instrument with such a display of mastery.
By the final few Movements the fans were willing the gallant soloist to defiance. cheering whenever the Maestro returned to the stage for an encore. lfI had been wearing a hat I would undoubtedly have taken it off in deference to the brave soul sitting behind me (I was taller than he), as well as to the acclaimed cellist on stage.
I hope most sincerely that Rostropovich will not consider playing the half-empty (shame!) Glasgow Royal (‘oncert Hall again. He would be better suited to the Henry Wood Hall where he would be assured a well deserved sell-out. Never a truer word has the man said (in a funny East European accent) than ‘You pays your money and you takes your chance‘. Mark Brown (The List 154) take note.
Jim R.B. Kane Gleneagles Drive Gourock.
. . ' Never be are has a letter been sava ’ed awarding ofthe prize for ‘best letter‘: 9 f 5
with such irony. You may now take the (0p ()ffa bolt/e affine ( tit’l‘l't).
Ah. so once again the Fringe is upon us. and I fall to musing on the disappointing lack ofshows reminiscent ofthe ‘Mexican liquor made from agave‘ (Oxford paperback dictionary). Clyde Unity are back with 'I‘equilaing Me Softly, their compassionate tale of homosexuality and slammers. Four Corners Theatre Company have the intriguing-sounding Master and Margarita. and the Official Festival offer the 'l‘equilarov Opera.
Not an impressive array. I‘ll think you‘ll admit. Thank God for the football season. I think thisjust might be Tequilamarnock‘s year for promotion. Do I win or what?
Not this time Gazza, youforgot Bestial Tequila Cat from The Durham Review. But ifyou contact our Edinburgh office, you might learn something to your advantage.
92 The List 23 — 29 August 1991
'Printed by Scottish County Press, Sherwood Industrial Estate, Bonnyrigg. Midlothian. Tel: 031 663 2404.