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Edinburgh Festival Day 2: Sha-la-la-la, wo-o-o-o: Karen Carpenter haunts the Fringe. Mark Wareham discovers it is yesterday once more-ore-ore . . .

It is customary for the Fringe to throw up five versions of Abigail's Party or a dozen Macbeths. But no one honestly expected 1993's strange case of the three Karens. How could they? There are any number of defunct kitsch pop groups that could have attracted Edinburgh show-makers. This year's tributes to Boney M and Gary Glitter are only to be expected. But the Carpenters? They only make the very occasional outing on the Pete Murray Show, and it's been a while since they were piped across the food aisles of Asda, so why would anyone in their right mind sit down to write a show about such long- forgotten purveyors of sha-la-la-la schmaltz?

Edinburgh Festival Day 1: A day out with Arthur Smith

MORNING Personally I have only ever seen morning in Edinburgh when it has turned up unexpectedly during the night. Therefore I recommend you consult the Fringe Brochure, find a dull production, perhaps something in a foreign language by students, and sleep soundly throughout it. Over an invigorating coffee in Princes Street Gardens, take a red pen and carefully print the word PRESS on your bus pass. You are now in a position to avoid the horrendous expense of being at the Festival.

THEATRE / False servants: Paul Taylor on Marivaux's The Game of Love and Chance at the National. Plus London Fringe round-up

ASSUMING a false identity so as to be able to do some incognito monitoring of a prospective lover seems to have been quite the rage in 17th- and 18th-century drama. In Marivaux's The Game of Love and Chance, now revived at the Cottesloe, the convention is taken to tangled and neurotic extremes. The heroine of As You Like It, say, or Marivaux's own False Servant, is already (for non-amatory reasons) disguised when she crosses swords with the love-object. In The Game of Love and Chance, by contrast, both the heroine and the hero (due to meet for the first time on a parentally arranged trial courtship) take the conscious step of swapping roles with their servants just so that they can size one another up from this privileged / unprivileged position.

PLAYS / Anything but child's play: Fizzy Jelly, said Ken Campbell, was other-worldly. But could he persuade others it was the children's play of 1992? Sarah Hemming reports

'JUST SAY when you want me to storm out,' says Adrian Mitchell, with a mischevious glint in his eye. The judging for the W H Smith Plays for Children Awards may not reach Booker panel intensity, but passions are running high.

Post-it notes towards a culture: This was 'zero week' in Edinburgh. Sabine Durrant saw the festival organisers get ready for impact

The man was so hot he was overheating. Bang, went the box as he plonked it on the counter. Up went the heads. 'This,' he spat into the face of the woman in front of him. 'This, is a bribe.' This was actually an insipid-looking sponge cake in a white carton and the Assembly Rooms box office looked singularly unimpressed. But the man with the steam in his ears was in full flow. 'No I will not keep my voice down,' he ranted. 'It's three days until I open and the press office is Dragging. Their. Arses . . . Now, sell, sell, sell.'
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