Edinburgh Festival diary: book festival | Emma Thompson

Actress Emma Thompson. Picture: Getty
Actress Emma Thompson. Picture: Getty
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THIS diary has already reported the admirable crusade by the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust to protect the capital’s Unesco designation.

But its correction service to sort out the worst punctuation blunders blighting the city backfired somewhat on the opening day of the Book Festival.

It was unusually balmy in Charlotte Square, but I am not sure that can be blamed for some rather erratic tweeting from James Robertson’s event on how to explore the literary landscape of the city.

Not only did the official @cityofliterature feed get the author’s name wrong but a quote attributed to Muriel Spark somehow became “Murder Spark.”

To compound matters, the literary guardians were then pulled up by the Book Festival for using the wrong hashtag.

UNTIL this festival season I had only previously had one “Fringe dining experience”. A nerve-jangling evening with Fawlty Towers characters Basil, Sybil and Manuel causing havoc was something to behold, but hardly relaxing.

I had a few butterflies entering the home of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for an evening At The Illusionist’s Table.

Rogue Compass’s production may have a price tag of £59, but with three courses, two drams of the society’s finest and almost three hours of trickery, it might just be the best value show I’ve seen so far. I wasn’t the only one who found illusionist Scott Smith increasingly bamboozling – and I swear it wasn’t just down to the cask-strength potions served up.

I admit to losing count of the number of Emma Thompson sightings at the Fringe.

Sketch comedy duo Croft & Pearce were among the acts reporting the Harry Potter star had dropped into their show.

I say reporting, as Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce insist they were too busy trying to keep “super-cool” when they met Thompson at the Gilded Balloon that they failed to get the all-important picture.

But they win bonus points for sheer brass neck for sending me a picture anyway – with the pair pointing to where Thompson should have been…