My Edinburgh: Paul Daniels, magician
Thursday 11 August 2011
Even though I love coming to Edinburgh at any time, I particularly love coming in August, when the wonderful madness of the Festival combined with the Fringe turns this beautiful city into a cross between Rio and Disney. Debbie and I had only been here for two days when we looked at each other over dinner and at the same time, with big grins on our faces, said: "Isn't this exciting?"
Sure, the temporary dressing rooms are awful and the lecture room turned into a cabaret theatre does not provide the best environment, but none of that matters. The audiences are here to enjoy themselves and they do, big time. The range of shows on offer, this year almost 2,500, can't be equalled anywhere else.
What do I like best? Talking to the groups of young actors who are just starting out. I love their enthusiasm and excitement. I like walking the streets and seeing people in the craziest outfits, running from venue to venue. What do I like least? Not being able to see all of the shows.
So far I have managed to select the most drunk lady I have ever had on stage and to be heckled by a 20-month old child. I love this business.
Best tip? Turn off the main streets and dive down the alleys. You'll find courtyards and even palaces. No wonder JK Rowling imagined Harry Potter here.
Paul Daniels: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow, Assembly George Square (0131 623 3030) to 28 August
Paul Daniels's must-see
Performers I have enjoyed have been the amazing a capella group FORK in 'Pink Noise' and cabaret act Lili La Scala's 'Songs to Make You Smile', both at Assembly George Square, and the eccentric Christine Hamilton in' High Jinks with the Hamiltons' (at Udderbelly's Pasture). I want to see Morgan and West, Ali Cook, Dave Gorman and Sarah Millican (of course).
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
The Fall, series 2, episode 3 – TV review: The Gillian Anderson drama is starting to push the realms of plausibility, but who cares?
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'