‘l don‘t expect people to like my work because of my sexuality. i expect them to like it because it is good work. I‘m not interested in teaching anybody any lessons.’

Mark Morris rules out the possibility of any didactic dancing this year.

‘l can‘t really say I’ve had a great deal of personal problems with drugs. The problems were caused by the procurement rather than the effects.‘ Edinburgh author Irvine Welsh on the logistical difficulties of getting out of your box in the capital.

‘One year a bloke poured a pint of his own urine over my head. I was wearing a new suit. He told me it was a tribute to my act. It was warm urine, that was the thing.‘

Arthur Smith fondly recalls a past Fringe experience.

‘I just can’t say another word about this movie. It just gets worse and worse. 1 mean, I know it‘s not that good. I love my films at the time I am working on them, but once it’s done, all that I can see is what i can’t fix.‘

Jane Campion gives The Piano the hard sell.

‘I think for Calton Hill to be sullied by something like this is awful.’ Edinburgh Conservative Councillor Moira K nox offers an early critical reaction to The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow 's body-piercin '. bile- swallowin' Fringe offering.

‘Worse things happen on Calton Hill.’ Edinburgh labour Councillor and man of the world Steve Cardownie responds.

_ Union due

In the past, the Fringe Club could have been accused of promising more than it delivered. It was hard to ignore Teviot Row‘s air of being the least-salubrious of Edinburgh‘s student unions, which is exactly what it is. This year, however, a new broom in the form of cabaret manager Susan L. Maxwell has swept through the building's gothic corridors. ‘There will be unexplained weirdness and a real buzz.’ she says.

That accounts for Julian Cope. currently incommunicado somewhere on the Shetland Islands, but scheduled to play seven nights in the main hall. However the cornerstone of the club is the Doug Anthony Allstars, hardly strangers to the venue, but this year booked in for a three-week residency in the cabaret room.

Maxwell has also opened up pans of the building the Students Association had probably forgotten existed which will be used for special events. lt’s come to something when a short back and sides becomes performance art but , apparently that’s what to expect from ‘hair sculpture'. A resident ‘environmental artist’ has been lined up to build a giant dragon from wire which

will take shape over the course of the Festival and street theatre-types will be holdingjuggling masterclasses.

‘l was inspired by the building and the whole emphasis is on making sure that the Fringe Club will be the place too be.’ Maxwell says.

Yes, but will it still do really good haggis, we wonder? (EC)

The Fringe Club opens on Fri 13 Aug. Membership. which is required after 7.30pm and can be obtained from the Fringe Office. is £20 ( £4 for performers ) for three weeks. £12 per week or £4.50 for a day.

_ Hardee perennial

Venue tribulations are nothing new on the Fringe, but if anyone was going to come up with a new twist on the annual hardship stories it was going to be Malcolm llardee.

The compare, best known for his loudness for displaying his bizarrely- shaped scrotum on stage, planned a series of shows at a flat in the flaw Town featuring racy anecdotes from his years in showbiz. Unfortunater

the owner of the flat below, a retired solicitor, threatened to call the police if the shows went ahead, pointing out that llardee didn’t have a perfonnlng Hcence.

llardee retorted that he didn’t need a licence as he wasn’t performing ‘in character’. The solicitor duly objected that llardee was charging admission, so couldn’t deny he was a performer. llardee contemplated towing a caravan to Edinburgh as a possible emergency venue, but his latest plan is to refund all admission, although he adds, ‘ll people want to give me money out of sheer gratitude I won’t reluse.’ The Fringe Society says the show goes ahead. llardee says, ‘Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.’

In the first of our ‘artist as consumer’ columns, comic Kevin Day picks five shows he’ll be gracing with his presence this Fringe.

I iluge at the Pleasance. A new play written, produced and directed by Simon Godley (late ofthe Nice People). Also appearing, Ben Miller as the bedmaker.

I Graham Bull in Diary Of A Madman at Stepping Stones Theatre. Anything Russian about talking dogs has got to be worth seeing.

I My Booze llell By little Johnny Cartiledge Johnny Meres is one of the great unsung comic heroes, but this show could make him the star he deserves to be.

I Cyrano lie Bergerac by Liverpool Playhouse Youth Theatre at the Calton Centre. Two reasons for seeing it: firstly, in this production Cyrano is played by a woman and, secondly, while the Liverpool youth are inside. they can't be outside nicking our cars. I The Angel And The Bouncer by a group called Glitteris Geddit? Probably a bit of topless in this one but sounds intriguing.

Kevin Day’s I Was A Teenage Racist is at The Assembly Rooms from 14 August at 6.15pm, £6 (£5).

_ Nae luck . . .

Cash, not capital

When offered more money to extend their current tour of Denmark rather than come to the Fringe as planned, Fortinbras Theatre faced a dilemma of artistic proportions.

Forced to choose between going for the lolly or fulfilling their commitment to the expectant audiences at the Bedlam where they were due to perform Mauser, the company, in the spirit of true professionals, decided to give Edinburgh a miss.

‘Never mind', was the reation of a spokesman for the Bedlam, putting a brave face on the gap in the venue's programme. Rumours about financial oblivion and debtors' prisons for Fortinbras were hotly denied, however. (James Taylor)

Wing and a prayer

Money isn’t the only thing in short supply in Russia right now. For Moscow-based Victor Sobchak's Theatre feels it has been shortchanged in the luck department as well.

Last year it lost £1000 to the bus company scheduled to bring them to the Fringe, had to sell a flat and a car to buy plane tickets only for Aeroflot to call a strike. Finally the company am'ved in Edinburgh with only four days of the Fringe left.

This year the curse continued; up until only last week, the entire company was stranded in South Africa after being denied visas. A spokeswoman for C, the venue where Sobchak‘s mob is due to perfrom, said that the company was expected to arrive imminently with any luck. Let's hope the performers packed the rabbit‘s feet, or the Russian equivalent. (JT)

Snake charm

Fringe debutants Big Peach Theatre Company saw its best-laid plans go up in smoke when heartless thieves stole the van loaded with all the sets, props and costumes for its aptly-named production The Curse of the Cobra Crown. And just when things looked as ifthey couldn’t get any worse, the light-fingered philistines torched the lot!

The ex-van, a Ford Transit, was insured but company director Tanya Sprong estimated that to replace the uninsured contents would set them back £650.

‘But our last production was a financial disaster,’ she said, ‘so we only have £3 left in the bank!’

it was devastating,‘ she added. ‘1 couldn’t believe it.‘

So far, I993 has not been the luckiest of years for the company, especially after Tanya was robbed of £500 in cash; money which was supposed to go towards this year’s Fringe production.

But she remains defiant. ‘We are still coming to the Fringe . . . the more things go wrong, the more determined we are.’ (JT)

6 The List 13—19 August 1993