or mourn

‘Why do birds suddenly appear/ Every time you are near. . . well, because I always throw my lunch away.’

Karen Carpenter (0K, Graham Norton Is version of her) sings sweet and true in The Karen Carpenter Bar And Grill.

‘Using humans and trolls and dwarfs I can address the way people think about others who’re a different shape or colour without treading on toes in this world.’

Book Festival fantasy author Terry Pratchett suggests he 3' just a thinly disguised social realist at heart.

‘There is a helluva lot of risk in this Festival.’

Crazy daredevil Festival director Brian McMaster on living on the cutting edge of contemporary theatre, opera and dance. Well sort of.

‘I like visiting foreign countries and prefer to visit them as a worker rather than a tourist. The people here are friendly and the water is nice and soft, as are the pound notes.‘

Poet John Hegley on why he keeps on coming back to The Fringe.

‘I wore high heels and went out with two boys and two girls at the same time. I remember my teacher saying, “Rhona, being bisexual does not mean going out with four people at once.”’ Rhona Cameron on the perils of being a bit difl’erent in Musselburgh.

‘Oh God I need some d0pe . . .’ Plaintive cry from the audience during Steve Bowditch ’s set at The Gilded Balloon.

Thirsty work

‘Every seat is as close to the bar as it can be,’ says Colin Ross, the architect in charge of the £l4 million Edinburgh Festival Theatre project. It sounds as if the theatre, formerly the Empire but more recently a bingo hall, will be an oasis for those as thirsty for an interval drink as they are for a drop of culture.

The theatre‘s trustees were anxious to emphasise that accessibility is the theme of the whole scheme, as they proudly showed the site off to theatre critics who were in town for the Festival. General manager Paul lles promises a programme of international work which he expects to meet with both critical and popular acclaim. ‘There will be no operating subsidy within two years of opening,’ he says. ‘We will be very much driven by commercial criteria which will make this a public theatre in the real sense of the word.’

The structure of the new building is

nearly complete the only part that has been retained is the original 1900-seat auditorium - and the project managers say they are on course to open in June next year in time for Scottish Opera’s production of Tristan and Isolde. The theatre will have the biggest stage in Britain with huge backstage facilities which will enable it to accept just about any touring production.

Initially the Festival Theatre will be used simply as a receiving house, but the trustees have plans for joint ventures with other production companies. lles has already commissioned several short verse and musical pieces from Neil Bartlett which will be used as ‘odes’ to the new theatre during its opening season.

The Festival Theatre will not be the exclusive preserve of theatre and opera- goers however; lles hopes to secure a late licence for the upstairs bar so it can be used for cabaret and jazz concerts. As a former Blackpool theatre

' manager, it’s hardly surprising he has

learned a few tricks on how to pack ’em in. (Eddie Gibb)

rrnronmrnzs ~~rcnoror<

George Dillon selects the five shows he’ll be taking 1n thrs year.

One Man Steven Berkofi’ at The Assembly Rooms. As his publicity says, ‘No-one has ever rivalled Berkoff.’ . . . yet.

Revolver Emily Woof at The Assembly Rooms. l covet her publicity, hate The Beatles but missed her Sex III last year and can’t quite squeeze it in this.

On The Verge Of Exploding The John Wright Company at The Pleasance. Performers from Trestle, Complicité and The Right Size; a pedigree guaranteed to deliver inventive physical

stuff. Attila The Stockbroker and John mm at Church Hill Theatre . . . ‘and my


m Ulla dreams will see me playing for the screaming ladies of Los Angeles.’ Superstardom is surely just around the corner, John.

Eight HIIIIOI III“ II SIIII PM If You’re A Bed Keble Drama Workshop at C. A nihongophilie stab in the dark, just beating 12 Steps To A More Dysfitnctional You.

George Dillon is performing in four shows at The Pleasance. Box oflice 556


Nae luck . ..

After the flood

Edinburgh is not exactly noted for its long hot summers - you can generally only tell it’s August because the rain gets warmer. So when members of lvy Company arrived by seaplane from the flooded plains of Iowa, they were hardly delighted to hear that Scotland was having one of its wettest summers on record.

‘We had to move our original show from the University of Iowa to safer ground,’ said company member Mark Hunter.

Although it wasn’t quite a case of ‘rain stopped play’, the company estimates it has lost as much as $3000 on the production. ‘Trouble is, all of that revenue was supposed to go towards Edinburgh,’ said Hunter.

The cast has now dried out sufficiently to perform Ivy Rowe at the Randolf Studios and the show is going swimmineg by all accounts. But just to prove some people are never happy with the weather, Barbara Bates Smith, who plays Ivy, lives in Florida which is currently in the grip of one of the States’ worst droughts for years! (James Taylor)

Turn the other cheek

Any actor who calls his one man show Tall, Dark, Handsome and No I could be accused of having an over- developed ego but it’s not a swollen self-opinion that Nick Mayhew suffers from. No indeed, Mayhew is currently sporting a tennis ball-sized lump on his cheek caused by a blocked salivary gland.

‘The doctor says that there’s nothing I can do about it,’ he mumbled sheepishly.

However professionalism has triumphed over physical imperfection, and armed only with a bottle of Coke to keep the troublesome gland lubricated,

the show has gone ahead as planned.

Asked whether he felt obliged to refer to said feature in his act at the Glasite Meeting House, Mayhew replied that it was in fact a little difficult not to. Aspiring comedians take note; the secret of disarming hecklers is to get your retaliation in first. (11‘)

A nlcely turned ankle

At risk of turning this column into a medical review, we would like to recount Emily Woof ’s ‘Nae luck’ tale. Maybe it was because the dress rehearsal was scheduled for Friday the 13th or perhaps a disgruntled lighting technician muttering ‘Macbeth’ repeatedly under his breath, but whatever the reason, Woof managed to twist her ankle only hours before the show was due to open.

After several visits to Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, where X-rays revealed a hairline fracture, Woof has adapted her one-woman show to accommodate a cast! (11')

e The List 20-26 August 1993