E front of house
First out of the traps with our Guest List slot is DAVE GORMAN and his Edinburgh alphabet.
A is for Americans American tourists know about tartan. A Scotsman might think that his tartan is a symbol of his national heritage, but Americans have invented new tartans using day-glo colours and used them to make trousers. Nice. '
B is for Booze Most performers' festival fuel of choice. If you indulge during the festival there is one guaranteed recovery programme that I can personally recommend. I call it September.
C is for Currency Scottish pound notes can be confusing for the humble English visitor. Often, I’ve put my hand in my pocket, rustled a couple of notes and thought I had a couple of fivers. Only to feel a fool when stood at the bar with a round of drinks and two quid.
D is for ‘Dot dot dot' Otherwise known as ellipsis. it's the punctuation you use when you want to cut a bit of text. Beware reviews that contain too many ellipses. ’Inspired . . . talented’, might well have started life as 'Inspired by my arse. The cast is far from talented.’
E is for Ego Performers are notoriously egotistical. So many huge egos descend on one place, it's bound to lead to conflict. Egotistical fools the lot of them. I never get involved but then I'm far too busy being brilliant.
F is for Frying Scottish chippies are famous for deep fat frying everything. But don't complain. The Scottish are hard. Like their arteries.
6 is for Global Warming Fringe programmes. Leaflets. Flyposting. Producing all this paper leads to global warming. This whole festival was created by some shrewd Edinburgh folk who were feeling chilly. II is for hangover See 8.
I is for Irony See J.
I is for Iugglers They brighten up the place with their enormous jester caps. If you ask me there just aren’t enough of them.
It is for Kids With so many great shows there must be plenty to keep the kids occupied. But choose wisely, Martin BigPig - Funny Ha Ha maybe, Bondage, maybe not.
I. is for Ligging This involves scoffing as much free drink and grub as possible. It leads to B, H and M. M is for Migraine See H.
N is for Networking The TV industry hits town sharking for talent. If you talk to any performers, note that they never make eye contact. They are far too busy looking over your shoulder for 'the-TV- exec-looking-for-a-new-face-to-present-a-slot-about- cross-stitching’.
O is for Opportunism Every performer must grab every available opportunity to publicise their show. Dave Gorman is appearing at The Pleasance every night at 9.30. That sort of thing.
P is for Plug See 0.
Q is for Queues Audiences faced with so much
32 TIIE usr 6—13 Aug 1998
choice will often be led by the Crowd. 'If all those people want to see it, maybe I should see it too '
R is for Reviewers I have heard many top names in comedy describe prominent reviewers as 'luckWits'. I don't subscribe to this view. Certainly not before the festival. No, no, no. If you're a critic, you may rest assured that I'm certain this festival \Nl“ see you reach the top of your form. A critical genius in the making. Must read. Five stars.
S is for Sell There are 1,309 shows in 164 spaces. Companies have to go for the hard sell. Streets become heavily congested with crowds of pamphleteers. Last year, I sat in traffic so long that a policeman gave me a ticket. To see a play he was in. T is for Tattoo The Edinburgh Tattoo takes place in the the castle. There is a’tattoo held on Fantasy Island, but apparently, it is much smaller and less impressive.
U is for Unknown Every year an unknown performer makes it. Make a point of seeing at least one unknown. They may be the next big thing and
Dave Gorman gives 26 reasons not to come to Edinburgh
piowde y0u With hours of smugness
V is for Vomit See M.
W is for Winners There are rewards available in all categories of performance Each year new awards spring up. Soon we expect every comedian to be able to boast 'award Winning’
x is for Xylocarp A fruit such as, say, a coconut. Nothing to do wuth the Festival, but if you have a game of Scrabble it might make the difference.
Y is for Yes Which is what yOu say when someone wrth a fistful of flyers asks if you are coming to their show. For the duration of the fesuval there is a yes amnesty whereby everyone knows it means nothing at all and no-one takes offence at your non-arrival. Z is for Zeitgeist The Spirit of the times. What art should reflect. For example the zeitgeist currently dictates that it is unfashionable to use words of German origin.
# Reasons To Be Cheerful (Fringe) Dave Gorman, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 11, 25 Aug) 9.30pm, £9/f8.50/£8/£4 (£8/f 7. 50/£ 7).