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Issue #13 - Wednesday 17th August - FREE Of: Matt Green Interviews: »» InTheDefence London Underground CUl-DE-SAc writer »» Unemployed?

Matthew Osborn

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MERV’s 20 Years


Merv, what’s made ‘Pick of the Fringe’ the longest-running show at the Festival Fringe? It’s always been a truly Fringe-y event. I’ve kept it simple. Pick of the Fringe features me, Merv, an enthusiastic and trustworthy host. Audiences trust me and my team

left, Omid Djalili, Right, Merv Stutter

to pick only the best shows. They can expect exactly five minutes of quality entertainment that will leave them wanting to explore the Fringe more. As a veritable festival legend, have you developed a loyal following? Oh, two or three… more than that, actually… really quite a lot. Generally when I ask who’s seen the show before, a forest of hands shoot up. People often tell me “Merv, every year we come straight from the train to your show.” What can we expect at the 20th Gala? A spectacular celebration event with previous Spirit of the Fringe winners and current favourites. It’s the largest, and hopefully the best, Pick of the Fringe in our 20 year history. I’m also auctioning off my signature pink jacket, with all proceeds from both this and the show going to the South African charity, Imibala which sponsors Cape Township children through school. Merv’s 20th Year Gala, Pleasance Courtyard, 17 Aug 15:00 / Mervyn Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe, Pleasance Courtyard, 18-28 Aug (Not 23) 13:00

Celebrating his 20th Year, Mervyn Stutter throws a gala with...

Antonio Forcione Idiots of Ants The Magnets Omid Djalili Pajama Men Pip Utton Ed Byrne Camille The Lot!

Matt green meets matthew osborn Comedian: Matt Green >

Cul-De-Sac Writer: < Matthew Osborn

Matt Green: Now Matthew, you’ve made a clever move writing a play – you can put your feet up now that it’s in performance. Matthey Osborn: That’s right, I only have to be up here for a couple of days, then back down to London. MG: To earn a bit of cash, unlike everyone here! Cul-De-Sac has been going down well. MO: Fantastic, I’m really glad it’s getting a good reception. It’s about these men who live on a cul-de-sac and how one of them, called Tony – offstage throughout – dominates the other men. I’ve tried to give a sense of the way in which people’s deepest darkest appetites for sex and violence, which in previous civilization have been suppressed, are exploited in our culture as a means of controlling us, scaring us and selling us products. MG: I’ve seen extracts at Itch: A Scratch Event. Quite J.G. Ballardian, I thought. MO: He’s my biggest influence. His subject matter interests me and I wanted to write about similar things but in a different way. MG: The extracts I saw were extremely funny, is it still? MO: It’s definitely comedy, but dark comedy. Not just gag after gag. MG: After Itch, have you got involved in rehearsals? Or do you keep a distance? MO: It’s strange. Sometimes you think: “Oh no, I didn’t intend it to be like that!” But then other times you think: “Well I didn’t intend it to be like that, but actually that’s much better!” I’m very happy with how

it’s turned out. It’s not like comedy though, plays are more set in stone, there’s less room for changes now it’s opened. MG: Whereas comedy can evolve a bit during the run, responding to topical elements. And thankfully, there are countless topical elements to choose from here in Edinburgh! What’s the first thing you think when you think about when you step off the train at Waverley and catch that first hoppy whiff? MO: There’s too much comedy! I get sick of comedy and comedians. You can have too much of a good thing. Apart from your show, of course, Matt. MG: You’re too kind. What else are you looking forward to? MO: Phil Nichol’s monologue

All is not as it seems in the cul-de-sac.

piece, written by Dave Florez. Brett Goldstein’s show about running a strip club, too. Cul-De-Sac, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug (Not 22) 15:15 / Matt Green: Too Much Information, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-28 Aug (Not 22) 20:30

Steve Backshall Brings wildness to pleasance

Wild wanderer of CBBC fame, Steve Backshall, will sign autographs at Pleasance KidZone in the Courtyard this morning. The children’s TV star, currently fronting the Deadly 60 series will meet fans of all ages and sign copies of his new book, Looking for Adventure! from 11:00am-12:30pm. Free postcards of his forthcoming book, Predators will be available to all Steve’s fans.


Want to Find work in the arts?

One in five 16 to 24-year-olds are out of work. Are you? Four days of workshops offering discussion and advice on careers in acting, producing and directing, led by two youth unemployment charities - Project Scotland and Amber UK - culminate on Thursday with a performance of The Ducks. Written by fast-rising playwright Michael McLean, The Ducks centres on youth unemployment and its consequences; loss, loneliness and beer. Coming to a close on Thursday 18th, the final session will involve discussion and interviews with company members and the two charities, followed by a short performance of The Ducks. Impact Arts, 2nd Floor Arts Complex, St Margaret’s House, 151 London Rd, EH7 6AE, 18 Aug 10:45 Interviews, 11:30-12:30 Performance / The Ducks, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug 15:25

In Defence of...


Changing perceptions of institutions under fire

Most of us think that we know the tube. It’s an inconvenient convenience; a cramped and clammy means from A to B, plagued by incessant strike action. But if you take a moment to delve beneath the stereotypes of sweat and stress, delays and disgruntlement – a moment to (heaven forbid) look up from your iPhone/Kindle/Metro/ twiddling thumbs – you’ll find ample distraction and entertainment a-plenty in your fellow passengers. They’re a weird and wonderful bunch, and – even better – they’re always changing! New faces appear

at each new stop; new outfits hop on and off; new couples kiss or quarrel (it’s inappropriate yet strangely compelling). There’s an endless supply of elusive strangers for whom you can construct imaginary lives, or with whom you can (at least try to) make fleeting and flirtatious eyecontact. Like its map, the tube is a knotted and complex place, where, deep in the crush of the carriage, bodies brush against each other and lives meets like lines for a few fragile moments. One Under, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug 12:45

@ThePleasance #pleztimes RT @Theatresnotdead Everyone should see BANE today at the Pleasance Dome, amazing show #pleztimes RT @stevegreer: Lovely gallery of @idilsukan’s photos for @ ThePleasance on the Guardian’s website: RT @TumultinClouds Fleeto @ThePleasance went down a treat at Mervyn Stutter’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’! New audience in the making... @MadeinScot2011 #EdFringe RT @Al_Lorraine @ThePleasance @NTPHelm ‘s podcast is obsene, disgusting and fecking hilarious - also featuring @ amateuradam #edfringe #comedy RT @Madpixie: Well done to Team Kane @russell_kane @wheeliemancrow @ PatrickJMonahan @maxandivan @Abandoman @ThePleasance #edfringe

Presented by one of our comedy acts and featuring their special guests, including:

Joe Lycett, Matthew Crosby from Pappy’s, Jeff Leach, Dan Clark, Kate Copstick and a regular daily message from Angelos Epithemiou. EPISODE 8 (Today) EPISODE 9 (Tomorrow)

Isy Suttie, Jason Cook & Behemoth

Ed Reardon & Ford & Akram

WEDNESDAY 17th Alternative Comedy Memorial Society Pleasance Dome, 12:40 Josie long Sara pascoe Isy Suttie Nadia Kamil Tom bell Thom tuck John-Luke Roberts Alexis Dubus Tony Law & more AMUSED MOOSE COMEDY AWARD SHOWCASE Pleasance Dome 16:00 JASON JOHN WHITEHEAD ZOE LYONS SY THOMAS ANGELA BARNES ED CARUANA ELLIE TAYLOR WILL HOWELLS

CHORTLE PRESENTS: FAST FRINGE Pleasance Dome 18:40 MC - Chris Ramsey Dave Eastgate Tiffany Stevenson Sean McLoughlin David Mills Vyom Sharma Carey Marx Caroline Mabey Steve Pretty Dog Eared Collective John Robins Dan Antopolski Lili La Scala Just for Laughs Showcase Pleasance Dome, 23:00 MC Tim Rabnett Jimmy McGhie Phil Wang Tom Price Isy Suttie Stephen Carlin Tim FitzHigham

NICHOLAS PARSONS’ HAPPY HOUR Pleasance Courtyard 14:30 Russell Kane Adam Kay’s Smutty Songs Ed Reardon - A Writer’s Burden MERV’S STUTTER 20th YEAR GALA Pleasance Courtyard 13:00 Omid djalili camille the magnets ed byrne antonio forcione idiots of ants pip utton VIVE LE CABARET Pleasance Courtyard 22:30 Des O’Connor Ria Lina Frank Sanazi Johnny Electrolux Hustle Mat Ricardo Edd Muir - Frayed Knot Circus Gypsy & Viva - The Vive Showgirls Plus One moRe Special Guest

Please note that all line-ups are subject to change. Check the Box Office for the latest information.

FUNDRAISING FOR THE PLEASANCE You can support us in a number of ways:

1. Adopt a Pleasance cobblestone

2. Become part of “Pleasance History”

3. Simply donate your own amount

Famous for its cobbled courtyards, the Pleasance is the bedrock of great theatre and comedy. You can look after these very foundations by adopting your own pet cobblestone! We promise to provide you with regular updates on how it’s getting along.

We would be delighted if you joined our celebrity alumni on this extraordinary 231-ft long ‘Bayeux-esque Tapestry’, charting the history of the world according to the Pleasance. You will also receive a very beautiful portrait. All we need is a passport photo! And if you don’t have one immediately, it doesn’t matter, because you can always send it to us later!

TEXT: plez33 to 70070 (for any amount up to £10) BY TELEPHONE: Please call us on 0207 619 6868 ONLINE: Please visit www.pleasance. IN PERSON: Complete the Gift Aid form on the back of the Fundraising leaflet and drop it into Reception at any of our box offices in Edinburgh and London, or pop it in the post.

The Pleasance Times - Issue #13 - Wednesday 17th August 2011  

Merv's 20th Gala, spirit of the fringe, Matt Green interviews Matthew Osborn, Steve Backshall, The Ducks, One Under