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

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

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Scientists have discovered the perfect cheese for pizzas (it's mozzarella)  

Life of pie: Hard cheese for academics

Simmy Richman
The woman featured in the Better Together campaign's latest video  

Tea and no sympathy: The 'Better Together' campaign's mistake is to assume it knows how women think

Jane Merrick
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution