Parties: Now there's lovely for you

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The Independent Online

The dress code was 1940s/glamour and attendees at the Edinburgh Film Festival's opening-night bash on 18 June did not disappoint. Tying in with the curtain-raiser, The Edge of Love, John Maybury's bio of Dylan Thomas, trilbys, nylons and spiv 'taches were very much in evidence. The film's stars, Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller, supplied the requisite glamour, the former effortlessly elegant in Chanel, while Sean Connery was as ruggedly handsome as ever... even with his arm in a sling after a golfing accident.

Jury member Joely Richardson looked similarly stunning in a floor-length golden gown, while Irish comedian Dylan Moran, here with his brilliantly titled A Film With Me In It, made himself at home in a venue – Edinburgh University's wood-panelled student-union building Teviot Row House – traditionally inhabited by stand-up comics during the August Fringe festival.

Fortunately, despite the wartime vibe, rationing had not been enforced and food was in plentiful supply. The seaside-themed menu included scampi and chips (in a paper cone, naturally) and... um... sausage and mash and Welsh rarebit.

While singer-songwriter Beth Rowley entertained the troops in the dancehall, pints of Guinness flowed freely – so much so that one enthusiastic dancer managed to spill a pint down my shirt.

Those who fancied a literary twist headed for the "writing room", a chance to "relax and listen to Dylan Thomas readings" – though really it was little more than a chill-out room. Fortunately, director Ceri Levy – at the festival with Bananaz, an access-all-areas documentary on the band Gorillaz – was on hand. His father grew up with Thomas, and Levy regaled us with a tale of how, as young men, the pair would travel to London, passing the time by calculating how many mice it would take to pull their train to the capital. Now that's a party anecdote.

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