Julian Hall's Edinburgh Festival diary

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The Independent Culture

Before the Fringe fun gets underway, there is an important housekeeping notice. Mr Jerry Sadowitz has kindly disseminated the following among the members of the Fourth Estate: "Dear sir/madam, This [email] is a request all newspapers/magazines, that if they feel they must review my show in Edinburgh, could you PLEASE not quote the actual material in the review? A very important element of comedy is surprise, and it can often make the difference between a show that works and one that does not. I would be very grateful if you could acknowledge this email as it would help put my mind at rest. Thank you, Jerry." In case you were wondering, that's a verbatim quote.

The sketch duo Mould & Arrowsmith aim to fix an audience member's broken laptop, live on stage, every day of their Fringe show. Unfortunately, they failed to fix their own when it died five minutes before the end of their technical rehearsal. The duo had to race across Edinburgh to buy a new one.

The American singer- songwriter and Fringe regular Dean Friedman (left) is accustomed to the trials of touring. But flying into Scotland for this year's festival represented a new challenge. While booking tickets, he was advised to get separate seats for his guitar and banjo, as it worked out significantly cheaper than the overweight luggage charges would have been. "The problem arose when I tried booking tickets online," he says. "The form insisted on both forenames and surnames, as well as indicating gender. I'd never stopped to consider what sex they were." After much consternation, Friedman booked an aisle and a window seat for Mr Albert Banjo and Mr Andrew Guitar.

juleshall@hotmail.com

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