Edinburgh Festival: Talk Of The Towns

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Indy Lifestyle Online
No publicity stunt is too bizarre here. The Malawian dance troupe who perform in Preacherman (see review, page 11) suggested that a goat sacrifice should take place after having two performances at the Botanic Gardens rained off. An acquiescent goat proved difficult to find, however. Meanwhile, the 18-year-old star of the children's show The Little Mermaid thought that handing out leaflets from a fountain on The Mound was an appropriate way of publicising it. A humourless park-keeper thought otherwise and invoked a bye-law against her. Then the comedy management organisation Avalon, unofficial guardians of the circuit, tried to drive a car into the Pleasance courtyard. A publicity drive became a publicity prang when it wouldn't get through the gate. A promenade production of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber in the Haunted Vaults - which lie on the site of a plague-ridden tenement, boarded up in 1645 with the occupants left inside to die - has been, ahem, plagued by genuinely spooky goings-on. Cases of technical gear have been opened and displaced, without any of the expensive equipment being taken; bunches of keys have moved from one room to another; strange voices have been heard over the crew's radio headsets; an actress playing a dead body in a glass case felt tapping on the outside after the audience had left the room. A dead-cert publicity opportunity for the Assembly Rooms' resident paranormal expert Max Maver, surely, before the company call in a priest.

After last year's glut of hitmen-have-kooky-conversations-about-food drama, it's time to pay homage to Irvine Welsh. Among the gritty black comedies about wayward youth, Eyes and Teeth keeps its bases covered by billing itself as "Shakespeare meets Trainspotting" and climaxing with a Reservoir Dogs-style shoot-out in a town square.

Spotted around town: Jarvis Cocker and Kylie Minogue (not together).