Miles Kington: G8 has all the elements to be a Fringe success

They have a hit on their hands. I think this G8 Summit will be touring the world indefinitely for years to come

Share
Related Topics

And I think I know what all those people are doing at this very moment. They are looking at the newspapers or the TV news, and studying reports of the G8 Summit in Edinburgh, and they are saying: "How did these guys get everything so right? Here is a show which has never gone to Edinburgh before and they have got everything right on their first visit!"

They certainly have.

One of the first things that any Fringe show must attempt to do is create controversy. There must be an element of nudity or sex or drugs or a whiff of some kind of wickedness - cruelty and suffering are always good - which will get the authorities agitated and thinking about banning it. As soon as a show is said to be running the risk of being banned, it will sell out. If all this can provoke protests in the street, so much the better.

By this yardstick, the G8 Summit has done better than any Fringe show in history. There have been shows in the past which got the Edinburgh City Council very worried, but I cannot remember one which had angry crowds in the streets being held back by the police. And the clever thing is that it is not the fuddy duddy old councillors that the G8 Summit has enraged - it is the young people! That was a brilliant master stroke, to antagonise the very people which you might think a Fringe show would want to appeal to.

The G8 Summit has also got all the reviews it can cope with, all the publicity and all the coverage. And this it has achieved partly by obeying another rule of Fringe success: get a big name on board.

This never used to be the case. In the old days of the Fringe you went to Edinburgh unknown and hoped to come back a star. In these days, however, it is quite common for comedians to hit Edinburgh after they have made it big, and coin it in, and it is also becoming more common to get star names in straight acting roles. Last year, there was an all-star production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in Edinburgh which transferred to London, and although I can't remember any of the names of the stars involved, mostly because I had never heard of any of them, the principle was good.

Well, this G8 Summit has got big names in droves. All the top performers are there with their own acts, and their own catchphrases. Legendary American comedian GWBush with his own particular take on the English language, his catchphrase "We are winning in Iraq", and his hilarious act in which he attempts to prove that global warming is not taking place. Top British performer Tony Blair, who likes to use his catchphrase: "I am not sorry that I toppled Saddam Hussein", in answer to any question, even though he did not actually topple Saddam Hussein. These and other big names are all on stage together. Success guaranteed.

The only thing they may have got wrong is the venue. Traditionally, a show does best in Edinburgh if it is near the centre and accessible. No matter how good a show is, it is never easy to thrive on the outskirts, and experts think that Gleneagles Hotel, more than 30 miles away, may be just a little too far from the population centres to pull in the crowds.

No matter. The show has got everything else. Publicity, coverage, controversy, protest and a memorable catchline ( "Make Poverty History"). There have been calls for this G8 Summit to be the last, to wrap everything up now, to solve the problems of the world on the spot. I think they would be crazy. They have got a hit on their hands. I think this G8 Summit will be touring the world indefinitely for years to come.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Question time: Russell Brand interviewing Ed Miliband on his YouTube show  

Russell Brand's Labour endorsement is a stunning piece of hypocrisy

Lee Williams
IDF soldiers and vehicles in an image provided by campaign group Breaking the Silence  

'Any person you see – shoot to kill': The IDF doctrine which causes the death of innocent Palestinians

Ron Zaidel
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before