The List’s Guide to the 1996 Edinburgh Festival

he 50th Edinburgh Festival began


officially last Sunday, but we at

The List have been busy since well before then getting our second . special Festival issue ready. You’re still in the midst of the biggest and best arts festival on the planet, and we’re still here at the heart of things. The List has eleven years’ experience as Scotland’s leading events guide, and we’re

o FEser‘

here to help you find out where to go, what to see and how to get the tickets. Here and in our next issue (due out on Thurs 22) we’ll be doing all we can to keep making this your best Festival yet . . .

TOP TWENTY: On page 9 we give our twenty tips for the very best Festival events taking place this week. If you can only take in a few. choose them from here.

THEATRE, ME AU COMEDY: To help you plan your daily Festival diary, our coverage of Theatre. Dance and Comedy is divided into six time bands. from 9am until late at night. Each section covers what we think will be the most interesting shows in that time band.

Fl", m, mm CLUBS: Each of these is covered in a separate section. which you can find following on from the time band sections.

NIT USTS: The first page of each section covers the most exciting events in that

section. Two or more shows may be covered in some depth but we also give some quick hits - our at-a-glance recommendations.

STAB Mm Events that we've reviewed are assessed for quality and value. and given one to five stars according to how good we think they are. We preview events we're unable to see before they come to the Festival. We don't attempt to assess them, but we do tell you why they're interesting. Previews are not given star ratings.

FREE MET OFFERS: Through our special contacts with Festival and Fringe promoters, we've secured some free tickets just for our readers. See pages 24-25 for full details.

Tickets and information

The number of festivals in Edinburgh during August varies. but only three have taken place every year since 1947. They are the International Festival. the Fringe and the Film Festival. Details of these festivals and other events are given below.




The original and most prestigious Edinburgh Festival, at which leading international performers of music. opera. theatre and dance are invited by director Brian McMaster to perform at the city’s best venues. The International Festival runs until Sat 3| August.

I Box Office Tickets for all International Festival events can be bought from the Festival Box Office. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh EH1 IBW. 0131 225 5756. Open Mon—Sat 9am—7pm; Sun IOam—5pm.

The following venues also sell tickets for all International Festival events:

King’s Theatre Leven Street. 0131 220 4349;

Queen’s ilail South Clerk Street. 0131 668 2019;

Tlclretllne Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street. 0131 226 2428;

Usher llall Lothian Road. 0131 228 1155. Any tickets unsold on the day of the performance are available on the door one hour before curtain up.

liali price tickets for some performances are sold - subject to availability - 1—5pm on the day of performance. at the Festival Box Office, 21 Market Street. 0131 225 5756. There is a maximum allocation of two seats per customer.

I Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert Thurs 29 Aug, 10.30pm. An absolute must. this annual open-air concert at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens is the high spot of the Festival's final week. This year. the Scottish Chamber Orchestra performs Handel and Brahms. while spectacular fireworks fill the sky and cascade down the Castle walls. Tickets giving admission to Princes Street Gardens are now sold out, so join the thousands on and around Princes Street for the best views.



The Fringe has an open-door policy and an anything-goes tradition which has allowed it to grow to enormous proportions. From early morning until late at night. somebody somewhere is ready and willing to entertain you. Whether the venue is a theatre. a church hall or a street comer. every art-form known to man will be on offer at almost 200 venues around the city. Theatre, dance. comedy. music. visual art and a few other genres defying categorisation are all on offer. The Fringe runs until Sat 31 August. To make the most of your time, pick up the indispensable Daily Diary. a huge sheet giving full details of each day‘s events, available free from the Fringe Office and other outlets around town.

I Box Oiilce Tickets for all shows in the Fringe are available from the Fringe Office. 180 High Street. Edinburgh, 0131 226 5138. Open for bookings in person 10am—7pm; or by phone 9am—9pm. Tickets tor Fringe events are also available in person from:

Scottish Gas Mobile Information Centre Princes Street Gardens. by The Mound. Open daily 10am-5.30pm.

Fringe Oltlli Teviot Row. Bristo Square. Open daily 10am-7pm.

6er centre South Gyle. Open daily 10am—6pm.

Waterstone’s Booksellers 83 George Street. Open Mon-Sat 10am—7pm; Sun 11am—7pm.

I Fringe Venues The Fringe as a whole is not selectively programmed. but several venues control and programme two or more performance spaces. and publish their own brochures (Assembly. the Gilded Balloon and the Pleasance share a single brochure) and also operate box offices for advance bookings for their own shows:

Arts International Exchange/Edinburgh Venne Associates .vioray House Theatre Complex. 0131 556 0102. Open daily lOam-midnight.

Assenny Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street. 0131 226 2428. Open daily

1 lam-midnight.

Fringe Olnli Teviot Row. Bn’sto Square. 0131 650 4673. Open daily 7pm—late. Billed Balloon 233-235 Cowgate, 0131 226 2151. Open daily 10am—4am.

Billed Balloon II People's Palace. 4 Old Fishmarket Close. 0131 226 2151. Open daily Ham-midnight.

Bill“ Balloon Ill Counting House. 32 West Nicolson Street. 0131 226 2151. Open daily llam-lam.

Pleasance 60 The Pleasance. 0131 556 6550. Open daily 9.30am—midnight. Pleasance Over The Bond Roxburgh Place, 0131 556 6550. Open daily 9.30am-10pm.

OIoena liall Clerk Street. 0131 668 2019. Open daily 10am—10pm.

Scottish International Famous Grouse House. 5 Chambers Street. 0131 220 5606. Open daily 9.30am—midnight. Theatre Workshop 34 Hamilton Place. 0131 226 5425. Open Mon—Sat

10am—1 m; Sun 10am—9pm.

Morse atre Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404. Open Mon 10am-8pm; Tue-Sun lOam—midnight.

All venues also sell tickets for their own shows shortly before performances begin. The map on pages 66—67 shows the location of all Fringe venues.

I The Fringe Olnh operates as a venue during the day but from 10.30pm it becomes a kind of epicentre for the world’s largest arts festival, with live music. club nights. comedy. cabaret, cheap food and - of course - four bars. which stay open until 3am. Membership costs £5 per day, or £20 for the season (£6 for performers). available from the Fringe Office or the Fringe Club.

I Fringe Sunday gathers 150.000 fun- seekers in Holyrood Park on Sun 18 August. l-5pm, for the biggest free show in the Festival. Fire-eaters, jugglers. buskers, pipe-bands. comedians, musicians - well, you get the picture offer highlights of their respective shows.





Drambuie Edinburgh Film Festival is also notching up its 50th programme this year. offering a wide range of cinematic events from a 1947 retrospective to world premieres of new films. from shorts to full-length features. from complete unknowns to superstars. The Film Festival runs until—Sun 25 August, and offers movies. filmmakers' forums and star appearances. Films are screened at the Filmhouse. the Cameo, the Dominion. the ABC, the Odeon. the UCI and the Glasgow Film Theatre.

I Box Office Tickets for all films can be bought in person at the Filmhouse. 88 Lothian Road. Edinburgh, EH3 982. Information: 0131 229 2550. The box ofiice is open daily 9am—9pm . Telephone bookings can be made on 0131 467 8855, 9am—8pm.

Tickets for screenings at other Film Festival venues can also be bought on the door on the day of the screening.


This outdoor military spectacular takes place at Edinburgh Castle. with plenty of ceremonial pageantry. massed pipes and drums and display teams from around the world. Scotland's national poet Robert Burns is the loose theme of this year's show: highlights include the South African Police Service Zulu Wam'ors. the US Army band Pershing’s Own and a crack artillery display from the US Army silent drill display team. The Tattoo runs until Sat 24 August. Mon—Fri 9pm; Sat 7.45pm and 10.30pm.

I Box Office Tickets are available by post. in person or by phone from the Military Tattoo Booking Office, 32-34 Market Street. Edinburgh EH 1 lQB, 0131 225 1188. Open Mon-Fri 10arn-9pm: Sat 10am—10.30pm.


I International Festival 0131 225 5756

I Fringe 0131226 5138

Arts international Exchange/Edinburgh Venue Associates: 0131 556 0102

Assembly: 0131 226 2428

Fringe Club: 0131 650 4673

Gilded Balloon: 0131 226 2151

Pleasance: 0131 556 6550

Queen’s Ha11:0131668 2019

Scottish International: 0131 220 5606

Theatre Workshop: 0131 226 5425

Traverse Theatre: 0131 228 1404

I Flh Festival 0131467 8855

(Filmhouse/Festival box office)

Cameo: 0131 221 9898

Odeon: 0131 667 7331

UCI: 0990 888 990

I INIth Tattoo 01312251188


I Internationalle http'J/

I Fringe

htt :llwww. I Fifi


I ‘ionrist Intonation 01315571700 I Annunciation cine-0131557 9655 I national Rail Enquiries 0345 484 950

The List 16-22 Aug 1996 3