Edinburgh Festival Day 18: Festival Eye

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The Independent Culture
The most prolific Independent reviewer (74 shows so far) has been overtaken by a 73-year-old retired librarian from San Francisco and her 68-year-old cousin. Beatrice Cummings and Cynthia Laing (who plan their Edinburgh campaign on a wall-chart with the precision of Bomber Command) have soared past the 80 mark, despite boycotting foul-mouthed late-night comedy. But the cousins, who commute daily from Glasgow, are taking it easy this year. In 1989 they won an award for being the most active fringe-goers when they saw 95 shows. Their target this year is a meagre 91.

BLURRING FACT and fiction on stage has catapulted comedian Alan Davies into a furious row about his heritage. In his stand-up show The Love Child of Alan Ladd, Davies pursues the running joke that his mother had an illicit union with the Hollywood cowboy actor (the star of Gun for Hire) of which he was the illegitimate offspring. Joanna Raleigh, 31, a relative of Ladd's from New York who has been holidaying in Scotland, asserts that Davies has corrupted the actor's memory. Miss Raleigh has threatened that if he fails to withdraw his claims before he goes on stage tomorrow she will take him to court. Raleigh's attorney is expected to jet into Edinburgh today from Los Angeles. The unrepentant Davies has said he will respond in kind - and will instruct his solicitor to hire a bike and cycle up immediately from London.

IN ONE of Edinburgh's more baffling thefts, Paul Morocco and the EC Band's juggling equipment and stage outfits have been stolen from a parked car. Anyone offered a job lot of ping-pong balls by an anonymous man in a fruit-patterned suit should alert the police.

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