Brian Ferguson: Hull is taking over the Fringe

Its last major deployment was for the filming of spectacular fight scenes for the Avengers: Infinity War blockbuster.

Hull's blue army has taken over! Picture: Contributed.
Hull's blue army has taken over! Picture: Contributed.

Now the City Chambers balustrade, which towers over the Royal Mile, has been pressed into action to help promote a “take-over” of the Fringe to promote Hull’s reign as UK City of Culture.

More than 150 volunteers were recruited to travel north for the day, join the flyering frenzy to promote the five Hull theatre companies staging work at the Fringe and form their home 
town’s name in the City Chambers quadrangle, 
normally reserved for VIP visitors.

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It has certainly thrown the Fringe flashmob gauntlet down to both Paisley and Dundee – both currently harbouring their own UK and European cultural capital ambitions.

• Here’s hoping Hull’s blue army didn’t encounter Australian comic Nick Cody, pictured, on their brief foray to Edinburgh.

Despite appearing to be one of the most laid-back performers in the city, he revealed a darker side in his show with a rant about flashmobs. Love them or hate them, particularly on the 
Royal Mile, it still felt a tiny bit harsh for Cody to say their antics make them viable targets for terror attacks.

• Talking of terror jokes, Glasgow funnyman Raymond Mearns was turning up the temperature minutes into his show at the Beehive.

With the Grassmarket basking on the first sunny day of the Fringe, Mearns warned his audience packed into the top floor of the pub for his free show that they might want to take their coats off.

He said: “You’ll be sweating more than a packet of semtex if you don’t.”

The heat was turned up on me after he brought his show to a halt, when I was struck by the curse of the cashless society. Realising I had arrived at his venue without a bean on me I fished inside my bag for my Fringe pass in the hope I could make a fast exit at the end. No such luck.

As I tried to slip down the stairs Mearns’s voice bellowed after me: “And where the **** are you going?”