Wacky, weird and provocative at Edinburgh Fringe

Wed Aug 5, 2009 3:55pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - A credit crunch musical, a fat Glaswegian Sikh who cooks and tells anecdotes and a man who washes his audience's feet await visitors to the 63rd Edinburgh Festival Fringe beginning on Friday.

The annual three weeks of creative anarchy in the Scottish capital will see more than 2000 comedy, theater, dance, music and other shows compete for attention at the world's largest open-access arts festival.

Comedians appearing at the Fringe will include top stars such as Ricky Gervais and Janeane Garofalo, Flight of the Conchords members, Alistair McGowan and rising talents such as 18-year-old Daniel Sloss alongside returning successes such as Laura Solon with her "Rabbit Faced Story Soup."

The global recession, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, extraordinary rendition and the class system are all themes that are addressed both in the Fringe's comedy and theatrical offerings that play alongside a raft of children's shows, events, exhibitions, dance and music.

Theater at the Fringe will range from David Mamet's play "Oleanna" performed by a Zimbabwean company, as well as "Barflies," a play adapted from the alcohol-laced stories of Charles Bukowski, to something entitled "Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theater Goes to Hollywood."

The Edinburgh Fringe Society's new Chief Executive Kath Mainland told Reuters on Wednesday that ticket sales were going well after the successful resolution of box office technical problems which plagued the festival last year.


"We've been selling over the counter, over the phone, and on the internet and ticket sales are good," Mainland said, adding that sales were up around the same level at this time of the year as they were in 2007.   Continued...

<p>Performers from The Aluminum Show are seen in the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland August 7, 2008. REUTERS/David Moir</p>