Edinburgh Festival / Day 8: Side View

Roberta Mock
Sunday 21 August 1994 23:02 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

JAMES HOLMES on performing without his anorak, indeed without any clothes at all, in Gee Wow] The Life and Times of Clive Neon: Warhol Superstar . . .

'Andy Warhol would appreciate the Festival. People are looking for their 15 minutes of fame and things get built up very quickly. You take away an illusion that it will have a huge impact outside because everything here is so insular. Last year, when we did Anorak of Fire, I was in the Assembly Rooms' bar and everybody was saying 'It's really happening. Your life is never going to be the same again.' There was a real buzz. Then I walked outside and was handed a leaflet for my own show. It rather puts things into perspective.

'When we started rehearsals for Gee Wow], the director, Sarah, suggested that I do the whole show in my underpants. We did that for two weeks and then it became natural to move into nudity. We're taking a risk, but I just thought it would be a shame to cop out on some level. I heard somebody say that the nudity is tastefully done. To name-drop, Greg Proops said he found it empowering.

'It's the audience who don't know where to look. I've been to shows where people have taken their clothes off and I've thought, 'Please, I'll give you any amount of money to put them back on'. They just looked so uncomfortable. Ten years ago, I did an amateur production of Equus here, and there was nudity in that. I was dead green and the show went really well. It sold out in this little church crypt and I thought people would start recognising me in the street. Then you leave Edinburgh and realise nobody knows anything about it. Andy Warhol would approve.

Gee Wow] The Life and Times of Clive Neon: Warhol Superstar. Transfers from the Assembly Rooms to the Pleasance (venue 33) on 24 Aug (to 3 Sept)

(Photograph omitted)

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