Happy birthday Edinburgh Festival!
It's 65 years since it began and this year's fun is about to get under way. So, try Matthew Bell's brilliant quiz on this cultural extravaganza (answers at bottom of page)
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The familiar faces
1. Which festival regular said: "People are always coming up to me and saying, 'Go on, tell us a joke.' You wouldn't say to someone, 'Oh, good, you're a gynaecologist – would you mind taking a look at my wife?'"
A: Nicholas Parsons
B: Michael McIntyre
C: Al Murray
D: Russell Kane
2. Richard Curtis got his big break at the Fringe while a student at Oxford. His then girlfriend left him for another man, whose name he has subsequently given to several boorish characters in his films. What name is it?
3. For a point each, name the four original stars of the 1960 show Beyond the Fringe.
4. Which of Tom Stoppard's plays was debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1966?
B. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
D. The Real Inspector Hound
5. As which famous person did Graham Norton dress for his 1992 stand-up show, with such success that one local media outlet thought the star really was in town?
A: Margaret Thatcher
B: Princess Diana
C: Mother Teresa
6.Clarissa Dickson Wright was a regular Edinburgh presence for many years, when she ran a business in the Grassmarket. What was it?
A: A wine bar
B: A law firm
C: The Cooks' Bookshop
D: A pie shop
7. Dudley Sutton, aka Tinker from Lovejoy, performed a 2003 show called Killing Kittens. Why did he call it that?
A: It was a reference to his rural upbringing
B: It was the name of a band he played in
C: Because he had read on the internet that "every time you masturbate, you kill a kitten"
D: Because his ex-wife told him that was all he was good for
8. Which Shakespearean actor performed in a sixth-form production of Hamlet at the Fringe before he/she was famous?
A: Derek Jacobi
B: Mark Rylance
C: Peter O'Toole
D: Judi Dench
9. Dave Gorman's quest to find all the Dave Gormans in the world, which became a book and a TV series, started as a Fringe show in 2000. It all began when he discovered he shared his name with whom?
A: The founder of Pukka Pies
B: The president of Papua New Guinea
C: The assistant manager of East Fife Football Club
D: Al Gore's half-brother
10. Which Edinburgh veteran's first job was working in the Clydeside shipyard in Glasgow?
A: Robbie Coltrane
B: Nicholas Parsons
C: Billy Connolly
D: Rory Bremner
1. Why did people walk out of American author David Shields's talk at the 2010 book festival?
A: Because he was too boring
B: Because a fire alarm went off
C: Because he said Scottish food was rubbish
D: Because he slagged off Jonathan Frantzen
2. In what year did the computerised ticketing system fail, losing organisers £300,000 and forcing the director to resign?
3. In 2004, Christian Slater had to pull out of a Fringe production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest because:
A: His wife had given birth
B: He had chicken pox
C: He had to do jury service
D: He went on a bender
4. Why was Joe Power booed and heckled during a 30th anniversary gala show at the Assembly?
A: Because he was rude about Scots
B: Because he was a psychic medium
C: Because he said Glasgow was better than Edinburgh
D: Because he forgot his script
5. A VW Passat started rolling down the hill towards the queues outside the Pleasance last year. What happened next?
A: Comedian Adam Crow threw himself in front of it and called for help, but they ignored him, thinking it was a publicity stunt
B: Comedian Adam Crow blew its tyres out with an air rifle, as part of a publicity stunt
C: It crashed into a lamp-post, narrowly avoiding disaster
D: The driver woke up and applied the brakes, and was later arrested for drink driving
6. Nicholas Parsons was once running late for his show and couldn't find a taxi, so he stopped a driver in the street. What happened next?
A: The driver gave him a lift but charged him a fare.
B: The driver gave him a lift but, being a tourist, got hopelessly lost.
C: The driver refused him a lift because he was "a celebrity".
D: The driver refused him a lift because he was Nicholas Parsons.
7. Which Edinburgh festival was panned last year, variously called a "disaster", "rudderless", prompting its director to resign?
A: The Fringe
B: The film festival
C: The book festival
D: The Military Tattoo
8. What bizarre decision was taken by Edinburgh councillors after they ran out of the funding needed to construct a new tram network?
A: To ask for a bailout from the IMF
B: To sell off individual trams as private vehicles
C: To ask residents to volunteer help with construction of the lines
D: To shorten the tram route so it doesn't come into the city centre
9. What did super-boffin Robert Winston allegedly steal while appearing at the Edinburgh book festival?
A: His own book
B: The lectern
C: A pen
D: A rubber duck
10. What drama interrupted Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz's talk at the 2010 book festival?
A: A woman in the front row collapsed, and was resuscitated by Stiglitz
B: He fell off his stool
C: Four activists stormed in to protest against the sponsor, RBS
D: His mobile phone went off
1. The annual comedy awards were sponsored for years by Perrier. But what were the Tap Water Awards?
A: The prize for the least funny acts
B: An alternative prize sponsored by Scottish Water
C: An alternative prize set up to boycott Perrier after it was bought by Nestle
D: The name of Russell Kane's first sketch show
2. The BBC sitcom The League of Gentlemen started life as a stage show at Edinburgh in 1994. But where did they get the name?
A: It's a pub in Blackheath.
B: It's a novel by John Boland
C: It's a Manchester strip club
D: It's a play by Samuel Beckett
3. Which of these has NOT been used as a Fringe venue?
A: Public loos
B: Royal yacht Britannia
C: Someone's front room
D: The back of a taxi
4. The Reduced Shakespeare Company launched its hour-long adaptation of the Bard's works at the Fringe in 1987. How many plays do they squeeze into the hour?
5. Comedian Richard Herring has complained that Fringe organisers have censored the name of the show he is putting on this year, Talking Cock. How does it appear in the programme?
A: Talking Clock
B: Talking Cack
C: Talking C!ck
D: Talking C*ck
6. Which Independent on Sunday journalist hasn't performed at the Fringe?
A: Matt Chorley
B: Matthew Bell
C: Janet Street-Porter
D: John Rentoul
7. The festival was originally the idea of Rudolf Bing, an Austrian-born refugee from Nazi Germany. What was his job in 1947?
A: East coast train driver
B: BBC orchestra violinist
C: Manager of Glyndebourne
D: Literary editor of The Idler
8. What city was actually Bing's first choice?
9. How did Bing make himself unpopular with councillors during preparations for the first festival?
A: By running up an enormous expense account
B: By installing his mistress at the George Hotel
C: By proposing that the festival open with a High Mass at St Giles's Cathedral
D: By leaking unflattering stories to the press
10. Which respected theatre critic once wrote an essay entitled "Why I hate the Fringe"?
A: Michael Billington
B: Quentin Letts
C: Sheridan Morley
D: Libby Purves
1. Five of these jokes were voted the best of the festival, and five were voted the worst? Which were which?
Bec Hill: "Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today but they didn't have the energy to climb up the stairs."
Robert White: "For Vanessa Feltz, life is like a box of chocolates – empty."
Dan Antopolski: "How many Spaniards does it take to change a light bulb? Juan."
Tim Vine: "I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again."
David Gibson: "I'm dating a couple of anorexics. Two birds, one stone."
Sara Pascoe: "Why did the chicken commit suicide? To get to the other side."
Emo Philips: "I picked up a hitchhiker. You gotta when you hit them."
John Bishop: "Being an England supporter is like being the overoptimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day."
John Luke Roberts: "I made a Battenberg where the two colours ran alongside each other. I called it apartheid sponge."
Emo Philips: "I like to play chess with bald men in the park, although it's hard to find 32 of them."
2. Five comedians, five gags. Who cracked which ones?
A: Tim Vine
B: Sarah Millican
C: Josh Howie
D: Marcus Brigstocke
E: Jack Whitehall
I. "I've got nothing against the Chinese. Don't get me Wong."
II. "I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say 'bought', I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid."
III. "My mother told me, you don't have to put anything in your mouth you don't want to. Then she made me eat broccoli, which felt like double standards."
IV. "Uncle Ben has died. No more Mr Rice Guy."
V. "To the people who've got iPhones: you just bought one, you didn't invent it."
1. According to the official count, how many festivals take place in Edinburgh throughout the year?
2. People from how many different countries were recorded performing last year?
3. Research into all of Edinburgh's festivals, published last year, concluded that they contribute how much to the Scottish economy?
4. How many shows were world premieres last year?
5. How many shows were performed last year?
6. And in how many venues?
7. What percentage of shows are comedy?
8. By what percentage does the population of Edinburgh increase during the festival?
9. How much does a licence cost to hire a venue seating up to 200 people?
10. And how much did it cost in 2005?
The familiar faces 1. A 2. C 3. Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett 4. B 5. C 6. C 7. C 8. A 9. C 10. B
The cock-ups 1. D 2. B 3. B 4. B 5. A 6. C 7. B 8. D 9. D 10. C
Trivia 1. C 2. B 3. B 4. D 5. D 6. D 7. C 8. A 9. C 10. A
1. Tim Vine: "I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again." David Gibson: "I'm dating a couple of anorexics. Two birds, one stone." Emo Philips: "I picked up a hitchhiker. You gotta when you hit them." John Bishop: "Being an England supporter is like being the overoptimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day." Robert White: "For Vanessa Feltz, life is like a box of chocolates – empty."
Sara Pascoe: "Why did the chicken commit suicide? To get to the other side." John Luke Roberts: "I made a Battenberg where the two colours ran alongside each other. I called it apartheid sponge." Bec Hill: "Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today but they didn't have the energy to climb up the stairs." Dan Antopolski: "How many Spaniards does it take to change a light bulb? Juan." Emo Philips: "I like to play chess with bald men in the park, although it's hard to find 32 of them."
2. A – IV B – III C – I D – V E – II
The numbers 1. B 2. D 3. D 4. D 5. B 6. A 7. B 8. C 9. C 10. B
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