Th e Br i e f i n g


BOOKS Great news following worries that Ahdaf Soueif would be unable to leave Egypt for this year’s EIBF: the inspiring Egyptian writer has coni rmed she will appear on Sat 18 Aug, at Charlotte Square Gardens, to discuss her incredibly affecting memoir. See for more.

INTERNATIONAL The EIF continues to l ex its visual art muscles, this year hosting the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) exhibition, The Guthrie Thrust Stage 1948 - 2011: A Living Legacy. The scale models and photographs can be seen throughout the festival. In other news, the EIF have teamed up with Lothian Buses to offer the Lowland Hall Bus Link to the Royal Highland Centre, to help to facilitate audiences who want to get to one of their three shows there. Leaving from and returning to The Dome on George Street, the 45-minute journey from the centre to Lowland Hall will cost £6 rtn. See eif. for more.

MILITARY TATTOO Disney Pixar’s big- screen success Brave is set to feature as part of this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. A military take on the soundtrack will be played for visitors. See for more. THEATRE For your latte with something a little different, check out Bedlam Theatre on the 6 & 9 Aug, when the foyer and café will be transformed courtesy of Sparkle and Dark’s Travelling Players. Prepare for puppets and paper cranes and we’re assured you won’t be disappointed.

VISUAL ART Finally, Summerhall are giving the i rst 20 List readers holding a copy of the magazine a chance to see their secret art exhibition for free, subject to availablity. See summerhall.

10 THE LIST 2–9 Aug 2012

An optimistic purchase

Stage and screen star Tiffany Stevenson looks on the bright side, as she prepares to bring her latest show to the Fringe

I have a friend who is ill in hospital and I had no idea what to buy him. I know the norm in these situations is l owers or maybe a bunch of grapes . . . touchy if they’ve just had their piles removed. I went for a box set of 24 and another friend of mine commented, ‘That is an optimistic purchase . . . ,’ bluntly suggesting that said friend may not have enough time left to watch it. This got me thinking, what a ridiculous statement! I mean, isn’t every purchase optimistic? I don’t go to the supermarket to buy a week’s worth of food, get to the counter and deliberate . . . better not buy those knickers in case I shit myself to death in them. I can push it even further, I reckon every decision we make as human beings is an act of optimism. Getting up in the morning for a crappy job is optimistic. Putting on your make-up is an act of optimism, especially if you’re a guy. Getting on a train is an optimistic decision and bringing a show to the Edinburgh Fringe? Massively optimistic!

You may say: ‘Listen Tiffany, if that is your real name, I am a pessimist: I believe the glass is half empty.’ I would suggest that if you bought a drink in the i rst place then you are an optimist and also IT’S YOUR ROUND. I’m

an optimist like the rest of us, I’m so optimistic even my blood type is B +. Spending money is the ultimate act of optimism, especially if ten pounds of it goes on an show that a performer optimistically brought to the Fringe. I can optimistically recommend you see me at Underbelly, Lady Carol at 6.30pm at Assembly Rooms and Felicity Ward at 10pm at Underbelly.

So there you go! No such thing as a pessimistic act apart from watching Requiem For A Dream that is the soul equivalent of drinking a bottle of gin then punching yourself in the face repeatedly for an hour and 45 minutes. Who owns that i lm? I mean, it’s the kind of i lm you watch once and then regret it. You only need to purchase that i lm if you think: ‘You know what? My life is just going too well . . . maybe I should watch an amputation followed by a double ender and a lobotomy’.

Although, optimistically speaking, maybe

that’s the perfect Edinburgh hour?

Tiffany Stevenson’s Uncomfortably Numb, Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, 4–26 Aug (not 13), 7.50pm, £10-£11 (£9-£10). Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £6.