Barfly: Leith Agency acts up a storm

AS THE brains behind the Irn-Bru and Tango adverts, Edinburgh's Leith Agency has built its reputation on quirky projects. For the past couple of summers, it has taken pleasure in fooling tourists and residents by erecting spoof signs twinning Leith with other more glamorous locations, such as Rio de Janeiro.

But this year, the agency has decided on a more theatrical pursuit. Along with local theatre group, EGTG, it is putting on a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

But before you worry that Ed Brooke, the agency's charismatic head, has gone all serious on us, rest assured this will be Shakespeare with a twist: the play will be staged on a barge docked in Leith and will feature live music from local bands The Stantons and Fourteenhours. Performances start from tomorrow.

Insolvency group ready for a wind-up

AFTER spending the first half of the year winding up Scottish firms, the country's insolvency experts need something to make them smile.

Edinburgh Fringe comedian Susan Calman will be adding an extra set to her Festival schedule when she performs at the R3 Scottish Women in Insolvency Group (SWIG) event.

The annual show, now in its sixth year, takes place at the Edinburgh office of Burness solicitors and is open to all members of R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals in the UK, and any other insolvency professionals working across Scotland.

Glasgow born Calman will be performing two shows at this year's Festival: Constantly Seeking Susan and Susan Calman Chats Up. She said: "I'm very much looking forward to this performance; I'm sure the women at the SWIG event will be up for a laugh. I always enjoy performing back home in Scotland and I can guarantee that there will be plenty of smiles after I finish my set. This is a unique audience."

Fringe show aims to pay dividends

MANY complain about how expensive shows at the Fringe are but this one might be good for your wallet.

Rachel Bridge, who interviews entrepreneurs for a national newspaper, has just published her book How to Make a Million Before Lunch, filled with hints and tips on what to do - and what not to do - if you want to run your own business. She has also made it into a one-woman Fringe show. She says she decided a show would appeal to Fringe-goers who might be facing getting the sack.

"There are a lot of people out there who are losing their jobs or thinking it is time for a change - they are the people that would be interested to hear this stuff," she says.

It may be an occuptional hazard, but Bridge insists entrepreneurs are "amazing to be around" if only because some of the best often have "a streak of madness".

But will it also be entertaining? "There's no talk of business plans and synergies and investment strategies in my show. Oh God I hate that word synergies so much."