News – Views – Reviews

Fringe Media Centre
Edinburgh, August 2008

Edinburgh Fringe Rains in 1.5 Million Tickets

Source url: FMC

Despite torrential rain and the Olympics, Edinburgh Fringe ticket sales exceeded 1.5 million. This is a 5% increase on the sales during the Olympic games in Sydney eight years ago and 9% decline on last years sales.

Organisers expressed satisfaction with the result. Jon Morgan, Fringe Director, says: “This is the third year that the Fringe has sold in excess of 1.5 million tickets signifying another fantastic year for the world’s biggest arts festival.”

“At the start of the festival many were worried about the loss of venues, impact of the Olympics and the economy. In a difficult year, with record rainfall and problems with ticketing, Fringe–goers have come out in force and enjoyed the festival.”

Full service dinner at the Towers

Source url: The Independent

You can mention the war if you like, but just don’t ask for more butter. Because if you do, your waiter, Manuel, will find an unsuspecting female diner and proceed to head–butt her. Welcome to Faulty Towers: the Dining Experience – a real–life night with Basil, his wife Sybil and the English–mangling Spanish waiter who are abusing audiences at the Edinburgh Festival.

Here, in the B’est Restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh, diners can feel part of a 13th episode of John Cleese’s drama, which was inspired by the Monty Python actor’s experiences in a Scottish hotel.

The show “stars” three impersonators of Basil, Sybil and Manuel who roam through the restaurant, taking their comedy to the tables, and occasionally making such a large scene that everyone is involved.

‘A laugh is rare in a gallery’

Source url: The Telegraph

He might not thank me for saying it, but Arthur Smith has achieved the status of “veteran comic”. But it’s not so much his age – he’s only 53 – as the fact he has been part of the comedy circuit for so long.

“Someone once described me as the Zelig of comedy,” he says, “and I think I know what he means. I’ve been involved in a lot of things because I’m the classic dilettante, doing anything that appeals at the time.”

Smith first came to prominence in the 1980s as part of the alternative comedy scene, but he’s also a documentary maker, raconteur, radio host and playwright. He was nominated for an Olivier award in 1992 for the West End production of An Evening with Gary Lineker (which he co-wrote with Chris England).

Eros Vlahos: Problem Child

Source url: The Independent

Having recently been a judge at the Newbury Comedy Festival’s Wise Crackers competition for 12– to 15– and 16– to 18–year–old comedians, I was prepared to be pleasantly surprised by 12–year–old Eros Vlahos. I was not disappointed.

This blond, curly mopped comedian lies somewhere between Bart Simpson and a “chillaxed” Little Lord Fauntleroy. He knows we’re thinking that we might have to spend 50 minutes in the company of an obnoxious brat and says we are absolutely right, but it’s a far more agreeable experience.

Rabbits won’t do for magicians in Edinburgh

Source url: Times On Line

Pete Firman is tapping a 4in nail into his nose with a hammer. A few moments later he is swallowing a maggot. And if that makes him sound like the sort of performer who puts on whiteface, harasses pedestrians and generally makes the Edinburgh Fringe feel like a compulsory trip to the circus, think again. Firman is a magician. He is light entertainment to the bone. He performs in a three–piece suit and plies the gabby patter of a northern comic. But Firman knows that magic has to stay surprising to survive.

He is not alone. It’s a big year for magic on the Fringe. This year a dozen acts at the major venues alone are trying to show that this stuff is too interesting to relegate to weddings, cruise ships and kids' parties; trying to show that Derren Brown isn’t the only man – and, sorry, it is just men we’re talking about here – who can trick us into feeling good about being fooled.

Edinburgh Fringe Preview – A Performer’s View

Source: Tom Bell, FMC

I first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000. I started comedy at University, purely amateur stuff, and ended up taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe in my first year. I had no idea what to expect, and the sheer majesty of it, endless shows on every subject from every corner of the globe, here, in Edinburgh.

It was incredible, but such hard work. We would force flyers on an unwilling public for up to 6 hours a day and then still only play to a handful of people, but we didn’t mind, not once, we were all just so thrilled to be there. Away from the comfort of friendly student audiences I quickly realized how bad our show was (our best review all run said I had “the delivery conviction of a turnip”) it just didn’t matter, I was hooked. I saw shows that inspired me with their scope and beauty, performers I wanted to emulate and some truly awful shows, worse than my own, which cruelly gave me hope.

Fringe Media Centre Launched For The 2008 Edinburgh Festival

Source: Fringe Media Centre

Fringe Media Centre launched its 2008 website ( today. Packed with the latest Internet gadgets, the idea for the FMC was inspired by the festival artists’ demand for more affordable advertising leading up to the Fringe, the need for more efficient marketing, and an effective way of ensuring a sold out show with a captivated audience.

An option which unlike paper–based publicity material can be updated as festival progresses keeping content fresh and offering dynamism, as new reviews come in and events occur.

F.M.C. provides this facility with a variety of features for each artist including podcasting, video posts, RSS news feeds, blogs, slideshows, e–mail accounts, links to add their ‘WebStage’ to social networking sites and to ticket reservations. The personalised ‘WebStage’ for each show allows them to communicate with audience, critics and sources for future funding.

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