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Issue #14 - Thursday 19th August - FREE

PLEASANCE EXPANDS LONDON BASE The Pleasance has long been a beacon for young people seeking support and opportunities for their entry into the arts industry. Performers, designers, technicians, front of house

– we saw the perfect opportunity for creating this permanent training ground, as opposed to it existing only for the Edinburgh festival.” Christopher Richardson, founder

staff, managers, financiers and producers have all found their perfect training ground in the Pleasance before heading onwards. “The Pleasance in Edinburgh has long held an international reputation for supporting and presenting the best new talent” says Hannah Eidinow, who is in charge of the Pleasance’s creative development. “We aim to give young people a platform to gain practical experience, but not to get in their way.” Now, the Pleasance is looking to expand their London base to further support the great work done at Edinburgh. “With so many incredible people finding their feet at the Pleasance Edinburgh, we realise that expansion is necessary to maintain our nurturing spirit year-round” says Hannah. “When land became available next to our existing site – some of which already contained recording studios

of the Pleasance and experienced designer of theatre spaces, has drawn up plans for the new site, incorporating desperately needed facility additions. Christopher also designed Pleasance London’s existing 298 seat theatre in 1995. Rehearsal rooms will be a prime addition to the site, providing accessible spaces that young performers can use to develop new work. Utilising the existing building’s facilities, recording studios will also be available, supporting the work of companies like the London Urban Collective. In addition, a kids’ art café will bring some of the Pleasance’s recent success in creating events and spaces for children to London. Kidzone, launched this year in Edinburgh, has been a huge success. Further exhibition space will also be available. Finally, the expansion will also

benefit the Edinburgh element of the Pleasance by providing a greater amount of office space to facilitate the Pleasance’s many talented backstage staff. The sooner that building work can begin, the sooner an invaluable resource can be added to the arts

industry. In order to fund the project, £1 million needs to be raised. There are many ways in which you can help and support this fantastic project. By becoming a friend of the Pleasance, you’ll receive priority bookings, discounts and even free tickets to selected shows whilst also supporting this project. Alternatively, you could make a donation and sign up for Gift Aid to be added too. “Pleasance has an astonishing reputation for building excellent theatres,” says Hannah, “and we want to build this new space to help young people as soon as possible.”

MORE INSIDE... » Interview with All-Powerful» »

Warrior Jimmy McGhie 5 Top Puppet Shows Popcorn Comedy


INTERVIEW - JIMMY MCGHIE How does this year’s show compare to 2009’s? It’s going well. Last year’s show was more of a story show, more tightly written and more scripted. I found that it would either go brilliantly well or fall completely flat. This year I wanted to try a different approach, so this show is more stand-up-y. This is much looser – still quite tightly structured – but looser and I can play around within it a little bit more. If I go off on flights of fancy within it, the show doesn’t become upset. Your show has one of the longest Fringe titles ever, what’s it all about? The theme of the show is lack of dynamism. My lack of dynamism. I went to Africa this year, had a reasonably affecting time, and read about an African dictator names Joseph Mobutu. The title is the translation of his name, which he changed legally

to better suit his character. He was obviously an evil, all powerful, kleptocratic man, but clearly led an astonishing life. It became a crux for me, comparing his life to my life. All mine’s got is Apple products and Tesco Express and modern, urban living. So you use personal experiences in comedy, then? How does it travel from reality to performance? What often happens is I’ll be telling a friend something and they find it amusing I think… ah, that could work as material. Your friends do tend to get quite used to you trying material out on them in conversation – “I’m not part of your homework”. Generally I’m quite excitable and my friends just have to listen to me recalling stories, especially if I haven’t seen them in a while. But I don’t tend to specifically practise material with my mates, at

least not consciously. Do you involve audiences’ stories too? I think it’s important to create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in these small Fringe spaces so that audiences can enjoy themselves for an hour. Usually if you talk to someone in a gig you end up taking the piss out of them and I would hate to do that in this kind of environment. I like to chat and improvise, but not at the expense of audiences’ enjoyment. Is Edinburgh Fringe a showcase or a testing ground? Many comedians seem to start working on material in the Autumn, hone it during the Winter then find a nice theme, narrative and title in Spring before heading to Edinburgh in the Summer with a finished and polished show. I do it the other way

round, writing a new show in March, then previewing it in May or June. The bonus is that barely any of my material in this show is repeated – this is new stuff from anything I’ve been doing on the circuit. I hope that’s the kind of original comedy that people are looking for at this festival. Jimmy McGhie: The AllPowerful Warrior Who With His Endurance And Inflexible Will To Win Goes From Conquest To Conqest, Leaving Fire In His Wake Pleasance Courtyard 4-30 Aug 21:45

Bringing internet to life: POPCORN COMEDY

For those choosing between a night out at the pleasance and an evening at home watching clips on YouTube, Popcorn Comedy could provide the answer. Fusing live comedy performance with the very best of online comedy clips, Popcorn Comedy has been delighting audiences across the country, and has now arrived for the first time here in Edinburgh.

Headline acts perform live material and then also introduce video sketches, cartoons and recordings, either of their own making or of their personal selection. Popcorn comedy also encourages new talent by inviting the creators of successful online comedy videos to appear at the live events, offering a rare personal interaction with the utterly

sprawling web world. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Popcorn Comedy are back performing in the King Dome. Line-ups for each performance will be publicised right here in the Pleasance Times, as well as at box offices. Guests include Pappy’s, Jarred Christmas and Frisky and Mannish, all of whom will join compere Caroline Mabey and Poppy (Right).

The Best of Popcorn Comedy Pleasance Dome 19-21, 26-28 Aug 23:30


puppet perfection in these 5 shows... 1- Penguin Polly Dunbar’s book, Penguin, has won a clutch of awards from the likes of Nestle, UKLA and Red House since its publication in 2007. Having previously staged similar picture books, it was a natural choice for Long Nose Puppets’ new family show. This surreal story features a silent Penguin whom a little boy will do anything to get a reaction out of. Puppet makers Katherine and Polly use latex, wood, found objects and all things sparkly to make this show spectacular! Penguin, Pleasance Courtyard 4-29 Aug (Not 25) 11:20 2 - Nina Conti Becoming more staggeringly impressive each year, Nina Conti is now riding high as part of a ventriloquism renaissance. Her puppets are alive in the room, helping Nina peform clairvoyant tricks and devious pranks. Nina Conti: Talk To The Hand, Pleasance Dome 4-30 Aug (Not 23) 20:30 3 - Terrible Infants Based on a series of twisted tales by Oliver Lansley and Sam Wyer, puppets become the stars of the show in this performance of music, story telling and physicality. Truly, this highly acclaimed production celebrates all that is magical about puppetry, creating a feast for big kids and small grown-ups. The show is being revived for a one week run at the Pleasance, accompanying two other works by Les Enfants Terribles at the Pleasance this summer. The Terrible Infants, Pleasance Courtyard (Grand) 23-30 Aug 14:00 4 - Ovid’s Metamorphoses Exploring Roman mythology in the context of 1940s Britain, Ovid’s Metamorphoses use inventive staging techniques to tell each story. Puppet and human action become intertwined in this thrilling performance. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pleasance Dome 4-30 Aug 12:00 5 - Memoirs of a biscuit tin This quirky yet rich hour of storytelling features a wide array of theatrical spectacles, not least in its use of puppets. Exploring the story of a forgotten old lady, puppets bring characters and memories to life. Memoirs Of A Biscuit Tin, Pleasance Courtyard 4-30 Aug 14:00

@ThePleasance #pleasancetimes RT @ShappiKhorsandi Penguin is a beautiful puppet show for kids. Moved me to tears too. Pleasance Courtyard, go see if you’re in Edinburgh. RT @DeeringRob If I don’t get the ALevel results I need this Edinburgh run is all I have... Rob Deering’s Beat This, Pleasance Dome, 1130pm from tomorrow RT @RachelRoseReid @ThePleasance ...making vanilla cupcakes for you now. Who wants one? :) x (Press office did, and they were yummy thanks! Ed.) RT @SpotOnSue Ad infinitums oddessy at #edfringe was evidence that 1 excellent performer can hold an audience with nothing more that great presence RT @Answer42 If there is any justice in the world, John-Luke Roberts Distracts You From A Murder will win awards. #edfringe

Top to Bottom: Penguin, Nina Conti, The Terrible Infants (both)

RT @TheSimonEvans Right, off to do showcase show in Pleasance Cabaret Bar then a short play for Itch! in Beneath Beyond Bewildered or something. Laters.


THURSAY 18TH AFTER HOURS Pleasance Dome 00:40 Alex Zane David O’Doherty Paul Sinha Jon Richardson Andi Osho BBC COMEDY PRESENTS Pleasance Dome 23:00 Susan Calman Pat Burschter Rich Fulcher Dead Cat Bounce Greg Davies BEST OF EDINBURGH: THE SHOWCASE SHOW Pleasance Courtyard 13:10 MC SIMON MUNNERY IVAN BRACKENBURYS HOSPITAL ROADSHOW ERIC LAMPAERT ADDY VAN DER BHORG THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE

NICHOLAS PARSONS: HAPPY HOUR Pleasance Courtyard 17:10 John Bishop Suki Webster (Impro Chum) Kev Okian NICHOLAS PARSONS: HAPPY HOUR Pleasance Courtyard 17:10 Pappy’s Jarred Christmas NINA CONTI: TALK TO THE HAND Pleasance Dome 20:30 Abi Titmuss

ROB DEERING’S BEAT THIS Pleasance Dome 23:30 GARY DELANEY ALEX HORNE ABANDOMAN Please note that all line-ups are subject to change. Check the Box Office for the latest information.

RONNA AND BEVERLY Pleasance Courtyard 17:45 Josie Long Bill Coles STORYTELLER’S CLUB Pleasance Courtyard 22:00 ‘Family & Childhood Tales’ The Suitcase Royale Andrew Bird Tom Turner (The Grandees) Tom Web Sarah Bennetto (Host) VIVE LE CABARET Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu 21:30 Des O’Connor (host) The Wau Wau Sisters Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer Storm Large Peekaboo Pointe (NYC) Pippa the Ripper The Kitsch Kats Gypsy Charms

THE FIX PRESENTS Pleasance Dome 20:30 Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer Kunt And The Gang Simon Donald & A very special guest Hosted by Nick Helm ITCH: A SCRATCH EVENT Pleasance Courtyard 14:00 Phil Nichol Paul Foot George Ryegold Simon Evans Clovis van Darkhelm

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The Pleasance Times - Issue #14 - Thursday 19th