Fringe Mania 2014

And so it begins!
Whilst the Fringe used to confine itself to August, over the last few years it has made tentative steps into July and this year continues this new tradition. Likewise the previews for shows generally took place on the Thursday and Friday before the opening weekend but this year sees many previews today –Wednesday- with the shows proper starting rather tomorrow or Friday.
First things first though and the inevitable round of press launches must be got out of the way although this evening these will be cut short as I have a date with the legendary Burt Bacharach who at eighty six may be in the winter of his years but his music continues to spread the eternal youthful optimism of summer; what the world does definitely need now is love! And plenty of it too!
Back to the fringe however and my first show proper tomorrow comes from yet another great contributor to music and youthful optimism- maybe not so much optimism as intent but at the time it offered hope so this is optimism as far as I am concerned- Glen Matlock formerly of the Sex Pistols. Ousted from the band at their breakthrough point in favour of an untalented but more obvious poster boy, Sid Vicious, Matlock was temporarily displaced from his place in history despite having contributed many of the band’s best musical numbers. This show allows him to reassert his input and will include readings from his autobiography: ‘Glen Matlock: I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol’ is at Assembly George Square until August 5th at 7.30 pm.
Next on my agenda is another legend thrown up by the punk movement, Julie Burchill. Definitely a divisive figure-loathe or despise her is perhaps the best way to describe her- Burchill is probably one of our better known journalists although controversy rather than news is what she courts.
I plan on following this show up with another figure form the 20th century who was as important and influential in his own way to a certain section of our culture, Quentin Crisp.
To finish off my first day of shows I plan on taking in Ruaraidh Murray’s new show ‘Boxman’. Murray has established himself as a force to be reckoned with over the last two Fringes and as an Edinburgh native who returns home during this time of year to perform his own work- based in London he has a successful career in the industry- and his shows are always very corporeal and high octane. All of these shows are on at the Gilded Balloon and start at 1.45, 3.00 and 4.15 respectively.
The rest of the weekend includes a show about Richard Burton, an adaptation of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and Mark Ravenhill’s ‘Product’ amongst others but reviews will be posted several times during the day to keep you updated and in the know.
Another show for your diaries however is a chat show/ discussion type event taking place over two nights- 11th and 12th August- with writer and cultural commentator John Robb hosting the chair and engaging in discussions about everything musical and anarchic. Guests are being split into tow gender specific- or not so in some cases- nights with the first seeing Faye Fife from the Rezillos guest with The Twinsets a Teen Canteener and the troublesome one from The Trama Dolls. The second night includes The Merrylees, Roy Moller a Neu Reekie representative and writer Neil Cooper. Starting at 11pm in Bob and Miss Behave’s Bookshop in Holyrood Road this is likely to be a busy and in demand event so best get there early.
Off now to prepare for the press launches which usually find me cornered like a victim of flesh eating zombies in ’28 Days Later’ once performers find out I am a reviewer. It takes more than a baying crowd however to get me into their shows. I usually find bribery, corruption and the offer of a free meal work better!

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