Edinburgh Festival `99: Pick of the Day

IF YOU GO TO SEE ANYTHING TODAY, THEN CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THESE FIVE MUST-SEE SHOWS
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The Independent Culture
l Vic Henley

Assembly Rooms, Venue 3 8.45pm, pounds 9-10 This eloquent Texan could cajole the roughest redneck to lay down his arms and start cuddling kittens.

The relentlessly engaging comic describes himself as a "jackass from Alabama, trying to raise a couple of chuckles".

He greatly underestimates himself - with the enormous charm on show, he could raise the dead.

l Astrid

Planet Pop, The Attic, Venue 56, 11pm

Not to be confused with the Scottish singer of the same name, this infectiously enthusiastic Glaswegian four-piece reveal some appealingly winsome songs. Their lyrics overflow with adolescent whimsy and they come equipped with fluffy blonde tresses that echo US singers Hanson. In fact, this is just what Hanson should be doing when they finally grow up.

l Stephen Fry's

`The Liar'

Gilded Balloon, Venue 38, 3.30pm, pounds 7

You are a liar. I'm a liar. We're all liars. Truth and originality do not exist. That's the creed of Stephen Fry's The Liar and its oracle, Adrian Healy. The team behind 1997's sell-out production of Latin bring you a fast, sardonic adaptation of the book. Its constant character-swapping and time-jumping will leave your senses reeling.

l The McBeige Lecture

Assembly Rooms, Venue 3, 7.25pm, pounds 6-9.50

Lenny Beige (otherwise known as Steve Furst) is a true entertainer, an all-singing all-dancing icon of self-reference.

This is your chance to be dazzled by the slickness of an old-time performer combined with material that's exploding with energy as he puts the world of showbiz to rights. (And be amazed at his undying belief in his own sex appeal.)

l Greg Fleet is Scary

Gilded Balloon, Venue 38, 9pm, pounds 7.50

This show is not so much about being scary as being scared, as Australian comic Fleet explores our darkest fears.

He explains religion, tells bizarre children's tales and relays his worst- ever moments on stage. There's a dark, melancholic edge to his tales, but he himself is relaxed and refreshingly honest. One of the talents of the festival.

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