front of house
The backhanders begin here.
AT THIS TIME of year, it’s traditional for Fringe shows to send j0urnalists small tokens of friendship, little gestures of goodwill, in the hope that hacks Will cover their shows favourably. Offers of lunches, drinks and all expenses-paid trips to exotic locations are rOiitinely showered on the gentlemen of the press not, obViously, as attempts to sway our integrity or buy our honest opinions but rather as small reminders that the shows are out there.
Bribes, Please approves heartily of this fine custom and notes that for many poor scribes it is in fact the only way to earn an honest crust. Some have scurrilously suggested that these small inducements constitute some form of corruption in much the same manner as the recent ’cash for questions' scandal. Stuff and nonsense. While shamed MPs may have secretly accepted backhanders and tried to hide their payments, Bribes, Please has no intention to practise any such deception. Instead, we have embarked upon a new policy of openness and glasnost. To put it bluntly, send us cash, cake, booze, tabs, narcotics, Jewellery and nubile young things (either sex considered) and we'll print something nice about your show in this column.
Remember, it’s not the thought that cOunts but the gifts financial value. We’ll write adoring s0undbites which can be used in this and next year’s publicity posters — no matter how execrable the show really is. Things have been slow to start this year. So far the only goodies in the bribes box are two Chupa Chups 'melody' whistle lollipops, four squashed jam tarts, two squashed lemon curd tarts, some love beads and a small bag of rigaioni pasta whose provenance is unknown. Not exactly a bumper crop by anyone's standards. So come on, all you publiCity people, producers and playwrights, it's cheaper than an advert and less risky than a review. Send your bribes to Bribes, Please, The List, 74 High Street, Edinburgh, EH7 lTE.
You know it makes sense.
The people without whom the Fringe wouldn’t be the Fringe.
Name: Guy Masterson. Species: Actor/director/ producer.
Natural habitat: Everywhere, especially the Assembly Rooms. Specialities: Solo versions of major works; networking.
Is it true he's Richard Burton's nephew? I was wondering when you'd ask.
Well, he is directing Playing Burton . . . Yes. And he's known for his solo version of Under Milk Wood. Yes, but he doesn't boast about family ties.
Is he as wild as Burton? Well he likes a drink or two, but . . .
All right, all right. So, what’s he doing - apart from the Burton thing? Oh, he's only got three other projects on the go.
That all? He's directing Bye Bye Blackbird, a play about Zelda Fitzgerald. Ahl She liked a julep or two. didn't she? — and producing a show from New
Zealand, The Ballad Of Jimmy Costello.
What else? Acting in WASP, a play by Steve Martin.
What -— the Steve Martin? Yes.
The Jerk? Roxanne? Yes - and all the Crap ones too. Wasp won't be crap, though, will it? Well there's certainly a buzz
Ouch! Sorry — what say we go to the Assembly Rooms bar? You can — er —
sting me fora pint.
Will Guy be there? Probably. He’ll be the one who looks you in the eye
and shakes you warmly by the hand.
But I'm not a mover or shaker. . . No, but he's like that with everyone.
Nice chap, then? Definitely.
While browsing through the photo library for smutty pictures, our eye was caught by the striking resemblance between Dennis Pennis, showbiz correspondent and scourge of the stars, and Penelope Solomon as Miss Broadmoor, landlady to the thespians. As far as we know the two have never been seen in the same room together. You can catch Miss Broadmoor at 6.45pm nightly at the Pleasance until 30 Aug. Dennis Pennis, mysterioust enough, will not be appeanng
12 THE LIST 8—14 Aug 1997
The whole truth, sometimes
James Poulter is starring with Graham Duff in Poulter And Duff‘s A-Z Of Taboo. We were going to tell you what his favourite taboos were but couldn't spell them. Which is probably just as well to be perfectly honest. Say no if he offers you a drink. And never offer him your sausage.
What have you got in your pockets? Passport, money, tickets, lighter, fuses.
Square sausage or round sausage? What kind of cunt eats sausages?
When was the last time you broke the law?
I'm breaking the law now but nobody can see me, including the person I’m breaking it with.
What do you like most about yourself? I'm not a squealer.
What do you dislike most about yourself? I always take a joke too far.
What do you dislike most about other people? ldon’t know. Ijust don't like their faces.
What’s your favourite heckle?
An Australian shouted 'Show us yOur bloodholel’ at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. It’s my favourite because it terrifies me.
If you could time travel anywhere, where would you go?
Back to 1944 and the World War II so that I could help kill the Germans.
Are white socks ever acceptable past the age of sixteen? Only with a credit card.
What's your poison? Reindeer urine, or — to give it its slang name — Santa Fanta.
I Pou/ter and Duff A—Z Of Taboo (Fringe) Pou/ter and Duff, Assembly Rooms, (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug (not 72, 26) 7.55pm, f8.50/£7.50 (USO/£6.50).
Ha ha ha. Bang! Oops