Meet the Scotsman every Fringe hopeful is keen to make a date with
FROM a “wizard of positive thinking” and a real-life dame, to the daughter of a Holocaust survivor with a comedy about Hitler, they queued for hours to sell their shows to the scribblers covering the world’s biggest arts festival.
In just a few years, the Fringes annual meet-the-media session has become a must-do event for performers, publicists and promoters.
Like a fancy-dress form of speed-dating, the event saw huge crowds snake outside the Fringe Central headquarters at Potterrow for the chance to make their pitch in just a few minutes.
And the, immodest as it may be to mention it, longest queues by far are to meet some of the staff of The Scotsman covering this years Fringe.
Memorable pitches included a comedy featuring highlights from every Western film ever made, a drama about a cat on the loose in New York and a rock music-dance piece featuring a grown-up Canadian woman playing an angst-ridden teenage boy.
Roughly half the shows involved sex in some shape or form. Michael Pope has stories to tell about his life as straight man working on a gay sex-line in New York. The cast of Sex Ed: The Musical are promoting their show with a giant sperm and free condom giveaways on High Street.
Andrew Cox has the best, if slightly implausible, publicity stunt Ive heard for a Fringe show launching it in space.
My show, When Holidays Attack, is all about the various things that have gone wrong when Ive been travelling around the world over the years.
I made a recording of some of my stories and launched it in a helium-filled weather balloon in the outback in Western Australia, which was eventually found in the bush.
Louise Templeton claims she is the oldest Fringe virgin in town, at the ripe age of 54, in the one-woman show Uncoupled.
She plays one half of a happily-married couple torn apart when she discovers her husband has a secret porn addiction.
Im definitely a late-starter. Ive only been a professional actress for three years, I was advising on furnishings in John Lewis until then, she said.
So many people are telling me they can related to the play.
One of the few shows Ive heard of is the intriguing Desperately Seeking The Exit, the Fringe show created by American writer and performer Peter Michael Marino, based on the experience of trying to turn the Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan into a hit West End musical.
I had the idea of a musical based on the film, but featuring the music of Blondie, in 2005 and it took two years to do all the deals and get it ready for the premiere.
The whole show was a complete disaster. The reviews were absolutely terrible and it closed within a month. The title actually comes from a quote from a London critic.
While the celebrated Lanarkshire-born composer Patrick Doyle has been grabbing the headlines with his involvement in the Disney-Pixar film Brave, his son, also Patrick, is directing a Fringe revival of Glasvegas, a musical inspired set in 1950s Glasgow that his father took to the festival in 1977.
Patrick jr said: My dad wrote Glasvegas with Morag Fullerton. When I went looking for them the last remaining script was in the Glasgow University archives and the music was only available on a single cassette recording.
Of all the groups thronging the Royal Mile every day, few are as keen for the heavens to open as the cast and crew who have brought 1,500 rubber ducks with them from Exeter University to help promote Plastic Beach.
Co-director Grace Gibson said: The play is inspired by a real-life incident, which saw 7,200 rubber ducks accidentally released into the Pacific Ocean, and tells the story of a beach-comber obsessed with finding them. Weve had great fun leaving them around the Royal Mile so were hoping for a bit more of the Edinburgh rain.
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