AGENDA FESTIVAL 94
flow I shall be behaving badly in Edinburgh
This year (my eleventh Festival. l must be entitled to free car parking for Christ's sake), I shall be performing a show based on bad behaviour. All these things must be done. l'm on a crusade of bad behaviour. Why? Because until women behave as badly as men. we cannot have true equality and iftrue equality means more women pissing on the street. then so be it. This is my mission:
1. Smirking at other people's bad reviews.
2. Taking exception to my own bad reviews, stalking the reviewer. capturing him and parading his head through the street on a long pole.
3. Breaking into the locked cupboard. Wherever you stay in Edinburgh there is always a locked cupboard. This is where the people who own the flat stash their nice things. and secret things. I always find other people's diaries. A right laugh.
4. After three weeks your own show can start to bore the tits off you. l like to give myself a break by doing someone else‘s show (John Dowie did this (0 Fiasco Job Job who stood in the wings wetting their pants).
5. Allowing myselfto get so nervous that l defecate on stage (yes. another true story. it actually happened in I990. to a performer who let stage fright and a dodgy Chinese interfere with his continence. The publicity this generated ensured that the show sold out for the rest ofthe run).
6. Stomping around Jenner’s food hall complaining loudly about my vaginal irritation.
7. Stealing purses off other performers whom i share a dressing room with. Last year i ﬁnanced my whole show by nicking stuff off my comedy chums.
8. Having a fight with Donna McPhail. Rivalry between female comics must be maintained in an aggressive kind of way otherwise it would be boring. it's
no good being supportive and admiring of each other. Jealousy and pettiness should always get in the way.
9. Unleashing my ﬁve-year-old before midday. Every year I end up sharing a ﬂat with childless. heavy drinkers. It does them good to experience the hangover combined with noisy child syndrome. My daughter has no desire to come up to Edinburgh. 1 drag her up to make sure nobody gets a lie in beyond 6.30am. Ha. now they know how hard my life is.
10. Getting into bed with my ﬂatmates on the pretext that I am sleepwalking. Considering l normally share accommodation with various misshapen male stand-ups they should count themselves lucky.
ll. it has become an annual tradition — at some point during the Festival 1 will lose my make up bag and become hysterical. Last year Alan Parker Urban Wanior distilled water for me when l lost my lens kit. It was 4am. He was pissed out of his brain but still managed this extraordinary feat. I would marry that man.
12. Being very childish. I will be pinning up a list of people to avoid in Edinburgh on the kitchen wall. i do this every year and every year someone on the list casually pops in for a cup of tea. l3. Once again I will be hurling myself at celebs in the hope that the fact that i can get both legs round the back of my head will further my career. Last year i tried this with Steven Berkoff but he wasn’t interested (to the point of rudeness).
l4. Getting caught shop lifting in M & S. I work on the principle that any publicity is good publicity. Over the years I have walked out of that place with countless tubs of low calorie coleslaw shoved down my panties. Maybe their store detectives know better than to meddle with the criminally insane, I don't know.
15. Finally. l shall be crashing the Perrier party screeching: ‘lt should have been me’.
Bad Behaviour Show (Fringe) Jenny Eclair. Pleasance, 556 6550. 10Aug—3 Sept (not 16 and 3/), 8.30pm.
Britain had its first female prime minister, a rail strike was averted and a Spanish trawler was nicked for illegal fishing off Scotland. It was 1979 and in Edinburgh a computer was used to produce the Fringe programme for the first time.
I ‘I want to get away from the stuffy image ofthe official Festival,‘ promised director John Drummond. And he did his best with a new discotheque at the Festival Club and two new plays at the Traverse. The ﬁrst. Animal by Tom McGrath was a great success. despite fourteen of the sixteen actors playing chimpanzees and delivering their lines in squeals and grunts. The second. Billy Connolly‘s Red Runner. about prisoners. was reckoned to be overlong by an hour.
I The world’s shortest actor appeared in the world's longest play when Dave Rappaport took on five roles in the marathon 22-hour performance of The Warp. At least he got some kip. Not so Russell Denton who was on stage throughout this stream ofone man‘s conciousness covering twenty years. The only seats in the house were on the off-stage lavatories.
I Alien, Manhattan, Quadrophenia and Rock 'n' Roll High School hit the Film Festival. The [Evening News’s John Gibson was particularly disturbed by the two musical offerings. For one thing the Ramones didn‘t play Rock ‘n' Roll but New Wave and for the other. Quadrophenia was ‘hardly worth the bother. and certainly the mods versus rockers thing isn’t worth recalling on this level‘. The surprise hit of the Film Festival was Bill Forsyth‘s That Sinking Feeling, which had a cameo appearance by Richard Demarco who turned up at the end to buy five stolen sinks. He reckoned they were the latest thing in New York School sculpture. I The Meadows played host to a giant tent during the Festival as there wasn't
big enough space to host the Royal
Ballet or the National Ballet of Cuba. Both braved mud and a wind strong
()ne of Britain 'sﬁnest actors plans to sta v out of the theatre as much of possible during his visit to the Festival. I london Philharmonic at the Usher Hall. Beethoven. simply one of my favourite composers with Bernard Haitink and Andras Schiffjoining forces to perform the complete cycle of the piano concertos.
I Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Usher Hall. Again l have chosen Beethoven. but with an ensemble that uses period instruments. baroque ﬂutes and oboes to produce a hauntingly beautiful sound.
I Playboy of the Western World Communicado at the Traverse. A great Scottish company. i played the lead role. Christy Mahon. many years ago at the University Theatre in Manchester before the Royal Exchange was founded.
WAS THE YEAR THAT
enough to blow the structure away. Most deemed both structure and ballet a success. except one concerned Momingsider (aren't they always) who blustered in a letter to the Evening News that. ‘l enjoy ballet. but surely this abuse of the Meadows is unjustifiable. This is an intolerable situation in an area enjoyed by many and one which is supposed to be a green belt of Edinburgh.‘
I The spectre of Thatcherism was rising fast. The most represented writer on the Festival was Brecht. His Caucasian Chalk Cirt‘le was a hit in the lntemational Festival. while on the Fringe a host of Brechtian offerings were made including The Threepenny Opera at Buster Browns.
I let content with a (relatively) straight version of Ubu Roi and an Ubu Cycle. Jarry's vulgar creation got a Scottish rendering with Ubu Mae. A cowardly. obscene dictator in a Scotland of indeterminate date. Ubu Mac was portrayed marvelloust as a randy ‘pea brained eejit‘.
I A youthful. yet already supercilious Rowan Atkinson won a Fringe First for his one~hour solo revue which was said to ‘genuinely make your sides ache with laughter?
I llot a lot was learned about life in Metaphysics and Strip at the Demarco Gallery. which questioned the audiences motives for packing out the theatre. Whatever their motives were. they did learn a lot about the anatomy and physique ofone Jane Murray.
I Van Morrison appeared on the Fringe at the Edinburgh Rock Festival out at Ingliston. Almost 12.000 paid £6.25 each for the Big Day Out. and were treated to the likes of Squeeze. Steel Pulse and the ‘American pop group' Talking Heads.
I The Merce Cunningham Dance Company was in Edinburgh for its first performaces at the International Festival. Just. Their luggage went astray on the way. but the dancers and their props made it just in time. Responding to criticism that his movement pieces were impossible to perform. Cunningham said. ‘I have always found that attempting the impossible yielded new discoveries in what could be done.‘
i ;,, ' ' «. I Martha Argerich and Mischa Malslty at the Usher Hall. The cello is my favourite instrument and this programme brings together enchanting cello sonatas by Beethoven, Stravinsky. Prokofiev and Debussy.
I Borodin Strlng Quartet at the Queen’s Hall. Yet again I have chosen Beethoven with a recital by the Borodin String Quartet, a wonderfully expressive and unique ensemble.
Tom Courtenay is in Moscow Stations at the Traverse until 3 Sept at varying times.
The List 19—25 August 1994 7