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Fringe Notes: 16/08/2010

*Nina Conti was a curious choice of headliner for the gimmicky 'Comedy in the Dark' at the Gilded Balloon. Somehow ventriloquism with the lights off loses a little of its magic.

*Tonight at the Book Festival, Fatima Bhutto and Fay Weldon talk about losing a parent and how it changed them. Ruth Padel chairs what should be a fascinating meeting of minds.

*It's battle of the sketch troupes in the Pleasance Courtyard where the Penny Dreadfuls, Pappy's and Idiots of Ants appear in succession. Coming on stage at the Pleasance 1 straight after The Penny Dreadfuls, Pappy's introduce themselves with the line, "so good our fans call us The Penny Brilliants." Back to you, Pennys.

Joke of the day

"I was named after my father, Bernard. I was about 33 years after him." - John-Luke Roberts