Edinburgh Festival 2003 preview pt.2

Edinburgh Festival 2003 preview pt.2

The story of my life

LIFE may sometimes seem - as described by Kander and Ebb - a cabaret, but there is still a breathtaking kind of arrogance in the belief that yours is an entire, bums-on-seats, that’ll-be-ten-quid-please, give-me-my-five-stars show. And yet each year there are those who take their divorce, their dodgy childhood or their cancer and turn it into an hour of an Edinburgh audience’s time. And audiences go.

Fringe benefits

GENTLE stretching and deep breathing may provide a suitable warm-up for many sporting activities, but when it comes to shaping up for the Fringe, you will need a training programme of marathon proportions.

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Critic's choice: Theatre

Boy Steals Train

For your convenience

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.

Burke's peerage

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.

Funny Ha Ha

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.

Critic's choice: Comedy

Robert Newman

Fame spotting

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."

For those about to rock

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.

Film noir's enfant terrible

ALFRED HITCHCOCK considered him his one true rival, yet the name Henri-Georges Clouzot doesn’t usually register with modern audiences.

Consuming passions

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.

The new adventures of ordinary man

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.

You couldn't make it up

Some of the following are genuine 2003 Fringe shows. Others are not. But can you tell which is which?

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