Edinburgh Festival / Day 2: Side View: Miles Kington at the Fringe press show

I'M JUST old enough to remember the Soho of the late 1950s, when girls of the night jostled each other to attract your attention, and offer you 'a bit of fun, dearie'. I'd never met anything like it since, till Sunday, when I got into the Edinburgh Fringe Press Show. The idea is that the person from each Fringe company is allowed to attend, to talk to the press and media people. The sole representative from our group, Antidote Theatre, was actress Becky, appearing in a gripping drama called Answering Spirits at the Pleasance, but the company said to me: 'You're a journalist, of sorts] Get a Press pass] Go in there and tell people about your show] Don't come back till we're famous]'

So I put on a sticker saying PRESS and went into this huge room where about 600 Fringe performers were milling about looking for nice gentleman to offer fun to, and the sight of the Press sticker on my chest front was like an aphrodisiac, only they don't say 'Looking for a good time?', they say, 'Hi. I'm Stephen Keyworth from Manchester and I've written two plays for the Fringe, one being the first ever play about the bone- disease osteoporosis and the other about kidnapping', and all you can stupidly say is, 'Why about osteoporosis?', and when he says, 'I got the idea when my mother contracted it', you find yourself saying, 'Has anyone in your family been kidnapped, then?' and he looks at you oddly, but then there's someone else saying, 'Hi. I'm Peter Moreton and I'm playing Jesus in a new play called Temptations', and someone else says 'Hi, I'm Clive Shilson, I've written West Dreams about Mae West and the actress who plays Mae West is here, but unfortunately she has changed out of her costume and doesn't look so much like Mae West any more', and someone else says, 'Hi, Miles, persuaded anyone to come to the show yet?' - and it's our actress, Becky]

'Well, not really,' I say, 'but I'm intrigued by this new play about Mae West, and there's a guy from Chicago with the Annoyance Theatre presenting a show called Modern Problems in Science, which actually does improvised comedy of scientific problems and sounds really good . . .' and Becky looks at me queerly. We haven't spoken since, but then I haven't really spoken to anyone since, in case they have a show to plug.

If someone came up to me and said, 'Looking for some fun, dearie?' I'd probably say, 'Yes, if you promise not to mention any shows,' which reminds me, I've got to the end of this piece and I haven't even mentioned our show, Bizarre, at the Pleasance, God, the others will kill me, look, I've got a leaflet somewhere, don't go . . . ]

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