By the time you read this, I may well be in small pieces all over the Pleasance Grand. The crazy chaps at Cirque Berserk – brainchild of Zippo the Clown – are putting me in their Globe of Death.
I was untroubled until I was told that Lucius – lead motorbiker in the Globe of Death – has broken more bones than Evel Knievel. However I am assured by their PR that it is all totally ‘family friendly’. So that’s OK.
I give PRs a hard time generally, but a plangent distress call from the delightful Sally Homer touched what passes for my heart, especially as it concerns something of a Fringe legend. “I cannot get Adele Anderson arrested!” she sighed. “She is the only post-cancer, transsexual, one third of the iconic Fascinating Aida, cabaret diva, singing songs about suicide on the Fringe and no one is interested…” Go on, be interested…
Lucy Frederick, a talented comedian, reveals she has identified a new plague. List Envy. Comics rush to boast online of their placings on the endless, meaningless, space-filler lists in Fringe media: Best Facial Hair, Best Shows Involving a Ferret, Best Mates Of Whoever Is Doing The List, etc, etc. Lucy is worried her “unlisted” status will affect ticket sales. So now she is No 1 on the Scotland on Sunday Top 10 Comics Who Have Not Yet Been Listed List. Facebook that, Lucy.
Everyone has a favourite prop disaster story but Richard Shelton, aka murderous medic Adam Forsythe in Emmerdale and here playing Frank Sinatra in Sinatra:RAW, has the most glamorous. His house in Beverly Hills caught fire while he was out on the town with Michelle Collins. “Michelle was terrified she’d left her hair straighteners on or a fag burning! But it was actually an electrical fault,” says Richard. Four fire trucks saved 300 pine trees in his garden, Anne Hathaway’s house next door, and Richard’s prize possession, Frank Sinatra’s own tuxedo, although the house was gutted. Richard is on the Free Fringe, so give generously, Sinatra fans.
Sometimes, in the shallow, vicious narcissism of August, you get to have a proper grown-up conversation. I waded through troughs of Facebook bile on the subject of the number of “Got Talent” shows that are hoovering up Edinburgh audiences this year and was pretty much convinced that the miasma of negativity emanating from the comedy circuit was mainly bitterness and envy.
Then I discussed it with Alistair Barrie. And I am now of the opinion that one should discuss absolutely everything with Alistair Barrie, a popular, headline comic everywhere but probably not BGT fodder. “It might be good for individual comics,” he says, “but is it good for comedy?”. Probably the most esoteric question I have been asked on the Fringe.
I am thrilled to get a message from someone who always epitomised what is good about the Fringe. After too too long a hiatus, Mika is storming in from New Zealand with a bouquet of beautiful boys, offering Salon Mika On Bare Feet Street, a haka-vogue cabaret, including a war-dance in make-up and heels in a location voted for by the public on Instagram every day.
I genuinely have no real idea what the Maori Megastar is describing. But that is the magic of Mika. And now Mika-Power is saving the planet. “No more flyers,” says the fabulous one. “Instagram only.” Best get the app updated then…