UP A STEPLADDER, in a lift, in the back of a Ford Escort, in vaults, catacombs, courtyards, graveyards, or in a stately home on the banks of the Forth; Fringe companies famously do it everywhere, and there are so many shows playing in unconventional spaces on the 2003 Fringe that it seems it would be possible to spend three weeks seeing theatre in Edinburgh this August without ever stepping into a theatre.
IT’S A Saturday night in March 2003 at the studio space round the back of the City Theatre in Leipzig, and a capacity audience is piling in to see a special performance of Gagarin Way, by Gregory Burke, which has been in the theatre’s repertoire since last autumn.
CONSIDERING it’s all about laughter, comedy on the Fringe can be a very serious business indeed. With around 380 comedy shows jostling for a share of the audience, the stakes are high, both professionally and financially, for the performers, whether they’re a seasoned pro or a bright-eyed newcomer.
HAVING celebrity is like being a brand, complained the writer Philip Roth. "There is Ivory Soap, Rice Krispies and Philip Roth. Ivory is the soap that floats; Rice Krispies, the breakfast cereal that goes snap-crackle-pop; Philip Roth, the Jew who masturbates with a piece of liver."
TEN years ago, an article about the Fringe’s rock and pop programme would have been a sorry blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appreciation of the few sonic scraps to be scavenged beyond the diet of youth orchestras, folk sessions and late night jazz sets which remain the bedrock of the Fringe musical experience.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK considered him his one true rival, yet the name Henri-Georges Clouzot doesn’t usually register with modern audiences.
THERE are many reasons for drinking at Festival time. It’s hot and you need to cool down. You’ve got a couple of hours to kill between shows. You’re out with friends, dammit, and you’re feeling sociable. Or maybe a large whisky is the only thing that will erase the memory of the two hours of experimental performance art you’ve just sat through.
IN 1976, long before the advent of reality TV and webcams, Harvey Pekar (pronounced pee-car) turned his private life into a public spectacle via the medium of comic books. A curmudgeonly filing clerk from Rust Belt City, Cleveland, he one day realised that life was passing him by and he had nothing to show for it.
Some of the following are genuine 2003 Fringe shows. Others are not. But can you tell which is which?