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
Chris Addison

Pleasance Upstairs, Venue 33, 7.30pm, pounds 4 - pounds 9

Clever boy-next-door chats amiably with the audience like a favourite school teacher. Taking sips from a mug of tea, he proves himself worthy of the Pink Panther saying, "gentleman, scholar and acrobat". From tornados in Birmingham to lectures about Stephen Hawkins, it's well worth paying attention in class.

Life, Love, Sex and Death...And Other Works in Progress

The Famous Grouse House, Venue 34, midnight, pounds 5 - pounds 7

Stevie Jay holds his audience in the palm of his hand as he delivers his theories on life, love, sex and death. But this isn't over-serious: the philosophy is tongue-in-cheek and most of it is woven with comical anecdotes, involving pets, grocery shopping and single women.

Laughter and Cultural Identity

Post Office Theatre

Today 5pm, pounds 4 - pounds 6

Don't let the title put you off. In the midst of the Fringe's frenzied comedy circus, there is the oasis of sanity that is the Book Festival, where a panel of comedy writers and biographers talk about what actually makes the punters laugh. Is our sense of humour defined by where we're from? Or are mother-in-law jokes universal?

Rubbaball-Rome!!!

Pleasance Upstairs, Venue 33, 2.30pm, pounds 3.50 - pounds 8

Rubbaball's production follows the premise that Caesar was one of twins separated at birth. The cast of two race through a deliciously silly show with clipped articulation and ridiculous costumes. The gags come thick and fast and sound not unlike a Goons' show. The chariot race kicks Ben Hur's into touch. Don't miss.

Diary of a Country Priest

Filmhouse, Lothian Road, Today noon, pounds 3 - pounds 4.50

The Robert Bresson retrospective continues with the 1951 masterpiece that secured his international reputation. The film explores the isolation and struggles of a young curate in rural France as he tries to win over his parishioners. This is a stately, bleak, difficult film but one that moves you profoundly.

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