Edinburgh Festival Day 5: Apparently ..

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The Independent Culture
AS ANY comic knows, the Fringe Club is the toughest gig in town, especially if you're being heckled by one of your own kind. In recent nights veteran comedian Al Murray has taken to lashing out from the stalls at the stand-ups on stage, rallying the crowds behind him. The reason for this ungentlemanly conduct? Murray has to shut up his rivals and shoo them off to stand a chance of starting his own show on time.

THE EVENING shows in the Gilded Balloon-run 369 Gallery have suffered from loud music bleeding through the back wall from the Pelican bar next door. Entreaties for peace and quiet from the GB's artistic director Karen Koren had no effect, but performer Rhona Cameron knows the power of a pint: she offered the band who would have been accidentally accompanying her Tuesday night show a crate of booze to take an hour-long break. Problem solved.

THE EMO Philips Award for the most surreal happening of the Festival goes to the Demarco European Arts Foundation where there was an impromptu gathering of theatre artists from former Yugoslavia on Wednesday night. At one table, a group of exiled performers from Sarajevo were meeting again for the first time in two years. At another, the director of the Bitef Theatre in Belgrade chatted with Gordan Stefanofski, director of Sarajevo at this year's LIFT. It was a profoundly moving meeting. Until the entrance, at the bidding of Richard Demarco, of a cabaret performer with an impromptu audition piece which involved spraying false snot over the assembled audience.

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