Festival Diary: Forde lets Pleasance boss off the hook with ‘whiny’ baby rant

Matt Forde has done Pleasance boss Anthony Alderson a bit of a good turn by accidentially seizing his mantle as the bad-guy of the Fringe, which he had undoubtedly held since pulling the plug on Jerry Sadowitz at the weekend.

Perhaps inspired by my colleague Gaby Soutar’s excellent weekend column bemoaning the standards of behaviour and levels of decorum among festival audiences this year, Forde decided to let off steam about the crying baby in his crowd.

Forde expressed his dismay at having his show derailed and pleaded with people not to “bring babies to adult shows.” Adding that he knew he was sounding “whiny,” Ford compared the crying baby to a continually-ringing mobile phone.

After posting a plea on Twitter, Forde then found himself at the centre of something of a social media storm.

Comedian Matt Forde has divided opinion after asking parents not to bring babies to his Fringe show.

To be fair to him, Forde had divided opinion a lot more than the cancellation of Jerry Sadowitz, unlike the Glasgow comic he at least stands a chance of capitalising on a flurry of headlines as his Fringe show is due to run until the end of the Fringe.

Conspiracy theories may be intrigued to discover which venue he is appearing at – the Pleasance Courtyard, where presumably he is in line for a free drink or two for diverting attention away from the venue’s under-fire artistic director.

Gaby had set out her vision of creating a prototype device for theatres and cinemas to eliminate audience members for coughing, chatting or rustling too loudly during a show.

I was dreaming up my own devices of torture after Alexander McCall Smith’s appearance at the book festival was interrupted not once but three times by the same loud mobile phone ring tone from the lady in front of me.

McCall Smith was amusing himself at managing to get appearances of fellow author Ian Rankin into his 44 Scotland Street novels – as well as the fact his Inspector Rebus novels were on sale for 50p each in Edinburgh’s second hand book shops. I was amusing myself at wondering if there could be an Edinburgh-set crime novel that starts with someone falling – or perhaps pushed – from a book festival balcony.

If I was allowed a favourite Fringe-related podcast it was would have to Boss Wummin,’ which has regularly brought the bantering and bickering mother and daughter team behind Gilded Balloon – into my living room – since they launched it a few years ago and kept it going during the darkest days of lockdown.

The last I listened to, as the Gilded Balloon’s programme was taking shape, included the revelation that its legendary, and somewhat notorious, Late’n’Live, was undergoing something of a makeover and would be starting before midnight for the first time. An all-female line up of hosts – Thanyia Moore, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Jay Lafferty and Lou Conran – have been booked for the new-look show, which is starting at 11.30pm, apparently due to demand from performers for an earlier night.

Mark Nelson posted fresh evidence of the desire by performers to have an earlier night when he posted the running order for the show on Facebook, highlighting that fact he was headlining, rather than John Bishop, because the latter wanted to go on stage first, ensuring he would be off-stage by midnight.

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