Re: List art competition (526)

I can't thank The List enough for the trip I won to Little Sparta. I've wanted to go there for years. and knew it WOuId be a really interesting and exciting place to see. And it was. but it was much more remarkable and special than that. The weather on Saturday changeable perfectly suited the constantly unfolding vistas of the place and its landscape. It was noble. witty. elegant. charming, intimate. universal. earthy. gtiirky. spiritual. and just plain breathtaking.

Happy birthday to Ian Hamilton Finlay. and thank yOu to The List for making this possible.

Susan Bittker By email


Can I stick my oar in with two Edinburgh Festival shows that are worth a punt? The first is Ian Watt's one-man performance John Laurie. Frazer B /. which runs at the Hill Street Theatre until 29 August. It's a spot-on impersonation of ‘Frazer' from Dad's Army and a fascinating insight into the Surprisingly interesting actor John Laurie. Ian first staged this at the Fringe in 2002 to good-sved audiences though little media attention for what reViews there were. see wwwianblain/ reviews.

(an is an occaSional stand-up comic but. as the shows he has written and performed at the Fringe over the last three years demonstrate. also a very good actor and a potentially very interesting writer. His 2003 show Legend of the BBC. was a rather subtle. bittersweet story based loosely on Malcolm Hardee and Charlie Chuck the latter of whom originally staged John Laurie. Frazer 8. /.

The second show to catch at this year's Fringe also involves Charlie Chuck and is tucked away at Venue 45 from 21th—27th. It is called ~ With reason Don't Be Afraid to Try. This production. performed by people from Leicestershire with learning disabilities. Down's Syndrome etc was partly conceived by good old Charlie. who also

2 THE LIST I 1 18 Aug 7001')

The List,

briefly performs on drums.

The show is a very sincere attempt to showcase the performers" abilities and talents but is a very risky venture indeed at a Fringe filled with cynics and. let's face it. airheads With degrees who work in the media.

When Dave (AKA Charlie Chuck) sent me a Video of an early version of the show. my first reaction was that he would get tarred and feathered and lynched from a lamp post in the High Street. It looked in the most appalling taste. although I knew it was sincerely meant to be inspirational.

But when I went up to Leicestershire and saw a run through of the show it was. in fact. admirable. inspiring and entertaining. However. I told Dave they had to be careful in choosing the title of the show (they have) and to make it very clear in the Fringe brochure exactly what the show is (they havent)

The end result. on stage in Edinburgh, is geing to be at one extreme of the spectrum or the other no in-bet\.veens here. I fear. It will either be an inspirational and triumphant experience or you wrll see Charlie Chuck dangling from a lamp post while his politically correct assassins prod the swmging body With the sharp end of their pens.

The road to Edinburgh is paved with good intentions but. for three weeks every year. the city is peopled by Cynics.

John Fleming


The List Festival party was the best you've hosted in years. It may have been a much smaller. more intimate venue. but I actually got to talk to lots Of people I haven't caught up with for ages. and the acts were absolutely fantastic. Especially the NoFit State CirCiis performers. who swung above Our heads all night. but will always be worthy of their elevated position.

Jenny Mitchell

By email


At a time when. by your own admission. there are ‘a million' shows on the Fringe. why do you only bother to run a Top

14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE

or The List at the CCA

350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow GZ 3JD or email editor@|

20? All it means is that you run the obVious hits that all the other myriad newspapers and magazines are talking about. Why not run a Top 50’? That way. you could give readers a glimpse of some of the excellent shows that aren't necessarily being backed up With a huge PR machine to guarantee column inches. Mel Rogers

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I thought your writer had a point when he wrote about the Clyde and its riverfront. How often do we see pictures in the local press. of glamorous new buildings or bridges that are supposedly going to save our lives. when in fact many of the footpaths by the river are overgrown With weeds. It's the spaces in between the

buildings that really need son‘e

thought. and | Just don't have any confidence in the City Council when it comes to basic problems like that. But I have to disagree With the article on one issue: your writer describes the Armadillo as a 'one liner". but I think it's lovely and I'm sure lots of other people agree With me. Imagine the boring box we


might have had otherWise. Let's not knock the small achievements we have managed to make.

Jim McLaren

By email


Don't you dare put words into my mouth. Malcolm Jack. I love Supergrass? Do I hell. They're probably my least favourite band in the history of (lull. derivative pseudo pop. ‘An indelible tinderbox of nostalgia Wéilillig to be sparked every time you hear the perfect pop piano plink of the first seconds of “Alright”? I've worked hard to erase the memory of that dreadful song from my mind. so don't bloody well try to suggest that I'd enjoy remembering it.


By email


ln ssue 526 we ran a rewew of Jo Spence's photography exhibition at Street Level. That's the good news. The bad news is that we elided the two names of the gallery into one word. and then we suggested it was in Edinburgh. Of course. it is in Glasgow. Sincere apologies.


Have you ever had an experience that you know Will never be replicated? Tonight l saw Brendon Burns in the tenets of the Pleasance Dome! Now that doesn't sound special by itself. but given the fact that when I went to answer nature's call I discovered Burnsy pacing up and down the gents' Sinks. it's

starting to gather form.

However. that's not all. as the entire room was full to bursting with people. Not lust men but women too. It seems that Burnsy needed to Visit the little boys' room during his set and simply decided to take his audience With him. While it is slightly disturbing. you have to agree that it is totally original

and leftfield.

Unfortunately. I couldn't stay for long. as I needed to get to a show (and find a toilet I could use) but it seems that Burns is really back on form this year. so should be worth a look. though I doubt he'll make the mid show pitstop a regular


Richard Biggs I>ehincIthefi‘inge


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