THE EXPERIMENTAL Cellnet / Festival FM 'People's Choice' Award has descended into farce. The phone poll was planned as a refreshing alternative to Edinburgh's plethora of gong-sounding critics, its pretension to let the public express their 'popular and unbiased preference' in voting for the best acts. But with the votes in, out went the idea of critical democracy. According to 'the people', the Fringe's top musical act is Children of the Silent Night, a musical about the life of blind-deaf-mute Helen Keller. The poll organisers, however, have refused to give the show the award. Instead, Festival FM's disc-jockeys have decided, in the manner of politbureaux of old, that the 'winner' is the Cauld Blast Orchestra. A Cellnet spokesperson refused to specify the number of calls received, but admitted: 'We were rather embarrassed by the number of calls in the music section.'
THE SCOTSMAN has awarded a joint Fringe First to the six shows in the Festival of Polish Theatre at the Demarco Gallery (see main feature). Other shows to receive Fringe Firsts this week are: Letters I Didn't Send, Believer, A Wilderness of Monkeys / Every Inch a King, and No Mean Fighter. Adrian Turpin