Julian Hall's Festival diary

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One of the performances of the Fringe production of On The Waterfront, directed by Steven Berkoff, included an appearance from a pigeon that had accidentally got into the venue.

Ironically the production contains a scene set in a pigeon loft, in which actors impersonate a feathered flock, so audience members were heard to comment on Berkoff's "genius symbolism".

Niamh Perry, a finalist in BBC1's I'd Do Anything and star of the musical Only the Brave at the Fringe, celebrated receiving her A-level results in Frankenstein's, an Edinburgh bar. Feeling a little merry, her co-star Keith Jack, runner-up in Any Dream Will Do, Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for a lead for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, climbed on to the karaoke stage and serenaded Perry with that very song.

Roy Hattersley's dog Buster is a VIP at the Book Festival. The privileged pooch is registered as an author, thanks to Hattersley's book Buster's Secret Diaries. This year it was his master's book that was under discussion instead, so Buster was out of the spotlight. Just as well: the canine would have been embarrassed when his owner's mobile rang during the event.

Vicar's son and comedian Markus Birdman has followed up the Christian-mocking antics of his 2007 show Son of a Preacher Man with this year's Sympathy For The Devil. Given the theme of his shows he was amazed to find out that, for the rest of the year, his venue serves as the student chaplaincy at Edinburgh University.