FESTIVAL 95 FRONT-OF-HOUSE
Having played second housewife from the left in a Persil ad may not conclusively establish your suitability to play Lady Macbeth (though a bit of stain removal would be handy), but TV fame might help publicise the show, discovers Gill Roth.
With 8517 people from 6| l different fringe groups performing l237 shows it‘s no wonder the struggle for recognition is ﬁerce and many artists will cash in on any opportunity to persuade the punters to take the plunge. Sex usually sellsjust about anything. but failing that the words ‘as seen on TV' might make the difference between a packed house and Fringe obscurity.
Parsons and Naylor are big enough not to need to play on the fact that Henry Naylor is Rowan Atkinson's side-kick in the Barclaycard commercial. but tnost Fringe performers aren't shy about exploiting a television connection. however tenuous. A recognisable mug is a PR boost not to be sniffed at.
Lisa Danier is here to bring to life the debauched exploits of a heroine of The French Revolution but her face is more likely to be recognised as belonging to one of the rare visible characters in 60s television series The Invisible Man.
TV’s masochist and g
Bound and gagged: Ian Tolmie as the Masochist begs for more
()thers may find her familiar for a different reason. ‘I did a sexy French voice-over for a Joy of Sex. interactive CD.‘ says Daniely. whose repertoire also includes posh woman eating After
Eight mints. ‘I didn‘t take part in the sex though. I only do that for pleasure. not money.‘ So no jokes about not recognising her with her clothes on. please.
asman ﬁnd Joy of Sex at Fringe
lan Tolmie describes his show as Alan Ayckbourn meets musical comedy but he‘s instantly familiar as the bug-eyed masochist in the Tennents lager ads. ‘We saw the connection had potential and the ad helped create an interest but it’s ironic because the play takes a swipe at sponsorship.‘ he says. Toltnie is pragmatic about capitalising on his role in a eomtnereial. admitting that at the Fringe yott need all the help you can get. ‘I do ads for money and theatre
. for love and it was brilliant fun being strapped to a chair and thrown against
six different walls.’ he says.
Another Fringe performer who accepted the adventising dollar to subsidise his art is Barry Conway. who is still abashed at his role as the ntuch sought-after Sid in the Government's commercials for the British Gas sell-
off. ‘lt‘s the highest paying job I‘ve had and the most politically incorrect.‘ he
admits. (‘onway has been recognised in the street but thankful for the public's short memory. ‘lf I saw a show
protnoted through its link with a
commercial l‘d stay well away.‘ he adds.
I Snakes About Her Cradle (Fringe)
Pinpoint Productions. The Pleasance
(Venue 33) 556 655(). until 2 Sept (not 29) l.3()ptu. £5.50 (£4.50).
I The End of the World Show (Fringe) (ireat liscape Theatre Company. Roxburgh llalls (Venue I76) 650 8499. until 26 Aug. 8.15pm. £5 (£4).
I The Man Who Turned Into a Stick
FESTIVAL FLYEBS i
Signing in to yet another wearisome pressjunket. the diary was fascinated to discover that a representative of Hair Journal was from an accredited media organisation.Had they misunderstood the kind of Fn'nge festival we have or were they in town to follow up the story of the Fn'nge’s ‘Gazza-haired‘ publicity oﬁicer Stuart Buchanan. as revealed recently in Scotland on Sunday? Maybe they‘d come to interview comedian Sean Lock (groan!) Or perhaps they
were just after some back-combing tips from the crazily-coiffed Charlie Chuck. Actually. none of these. ()n closer inspection. it turns out the esteemed organ is called the Ha 'ir Journal. based in Tel Aviv.
Every year we get them: press releases about births. deaths and marriages by Fringe groups desperate for publicity. So far the only people to die are unfunny comedians (you know who you are) but on a happier note Rich Stone of American Rennaisance Theatre was moved to propose to the endearingly-named Quiche Lloyd- Kemble. We‘re sure there‘s a joke about real men not eating quiche in there somewhere. but for the minute it eludes us. Later in the week Corky & the Juice Pigs faxed us hot news of a happy arrival in the Canadian comedy camp: eight-and-half pound Lewis Neale. son of Greg. If it was a publicity stunt. at least it was well planned.
Maybe it's the heat. but there have been a couple of unfortunate incidents frotn chirpy Cockney Addison Cresswell‘s stable of heavyweight comedians. Lee Evans was in town for an excellent two- night stint at the Playhouse. but before he got near the stage. an unwelcome guest in the Assembly Rooms club bar had wound up the rubbery comedian beyond breaking point. A scuffle involving overtumed tables and broken glasses ensued. though Evans' publicity agent was at pains to point out that the
ex-boxer never landed a punch. Meanwhile in the early hours of the previous morning. Rhona (‘ameron had her collar felt after ‘cops swooped‘ (as as they do in the Daily Record) on her Stockbridge flat. Rumours that a head— butt was involved are clearly unfounded. unless policemen really are getting shorter these days. If all this hot-headedness carries on. ('resswell might like to think of following archetypal Iissex man Barry llearn into boxing promotion.
I’m your fan
It's official -- Simon l‘anshawe is at least one housewife‘s favourite. For as long as he can remember a tweedy. middle-aged woman called Susan has sat in the front row for opening nights at all his Scottish shows. How ever emboldened by a sense of familiarity with her idol. Susan is no longer content to laugh with the herd and has recently started calling ottt little encouragements. ‘lt's lovely to have you back.‘ she cooed earlier this week at the Assembly Rooms. adding ‘()ooh. that‘s a good one. Simon‘ after each Fanshawe hon moi. The fortner 'I'hal's Life presenter is apparently unfazed by this potential Jodie l‘ostei'/;\Ionica Seles stalker situation. ‘She's a sweet little
woman. not frightening though just a
little strange.‘ he says.
Making a second visit to festival
Flyers is Hugh Lennon. formerly of
Hypno-dog fame but now. for the
moment at least. a solo act. We may be wrong. but this story bears the hallmarks of a classic Fringe publicity
‘ stunt. It runs like this: Hugh was taking ()scar for walkies on the Meadows when a rather pert little bitch caught his eye (Oscar‘s. that is) and the dog
skedaddled. Hugh. now minus his best friend and stage partner. is distraught and asks that anyone who spots a black labrador/retriever cross phone this number: ()l3l 662 4746. A five grand reward has been whispered. However Hugh warns that the dog should be approached with caution — susceptible people have been known to fall under ()scar's hypnotic spell. This, we suspect. is what has happened to the national television and radio stations who broadcast the story.
8 The List 25 Aug-7 Sept 1995