Liam Rudden: All are equal on Festival’s fringes

THE Fringe is a great leveller. That’s what I love about it. Famous names can find themselves sharing dressing rooms with complete unknowns, student companies or even the odd superstar of the future.

There’s certainly no room for ego, which is unusual in a world normally driven by the need for recognition and approval.

So it comes as no surprise to hear the gossip that does the rounds every year come the Edinburgh Festival.

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Tales of diva-esque exploits are now legendary and I’m sure 2012 will be no different. Sometimes, however, it’s the most unassuming of performers that turn out to be the biggest dramas.

Already this year I’ve heard of a ‘well kent name’ having a bit of a strop on being told that the one communal dressing room in the venue could not be exclusively theirs.

I’m guessing they were lucky to actually have one to share, many performers make do with the nearest Gents or Ladies.

Away from the venue, flyering is a must if your show is to sell. Another leveller, as no matter how much we try to avoid having those bits of paper thrust at us, if a recognisable face is doing the thrusting, the success rate of distributing leaflets rockets. Just look what happened a couple of years ago when Orlando Bloom hit the streets flyering for his sister’s show.

Yes, there’s no point in coming to the Fringe unless you make it an immersive experience. Some celebs have discovered this. I recall the looks of delight on faces last year when Queen legend Brian May and Ex-Eastender Anita Dobson decided to make the bar of the New Town Theatre a regular haunt, happily chatting away to punters and performers alike and embracing that elusive spirit of the Fringe.

So, I have no sympathy when I hear of the ridiculous demands some performers expect to impose each year, probably because I have also learned that, the more difficult the performer and the more extreme their demands, is often inversely proportionate to their talent.

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