Editor At Large – Issue 67


Posted by in August's Magazine

Welcome to my 30th year at the Edinburgh Festival, not in any administrative or performing capacity you understand, merely as an enthusiast and voyeur. My first show, How to talk dirty and influence people, was a brilliant one man piece about Lenny Bruce, performed in a primary school which – shock horror – no longer exists.

Back then I lived in Pitlochry and the last train was at 7.30pm, so I had to back myself to get off with a local girl in a nightclub (usually Bubbles in Leith) at very long odds, or sleep in the boiler room at Waverley station. The downside of the latter was that I emerged in the morning looking like Al Jolson, which, even then was a little un-politically correct. The upside was I was such a regular I used to get a morning call from the station staff. And once even coffee and croissants!

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Best memory? A night on the batter with Johnny Vegas and, bizarrely, one half of the Everly Brothers – he had fallen out with his sibling. Best gag? Always Stephen Wright, I had to leave one of his shows after half an hour because I had a stitch and I couldn’t breathe: “Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn’t happen.” Tip for this year? Enda Walsh’s Penelope at the Traverse.

That beacon of bonhomie in Leith – Tapa: Barra y  Restaurante – has opened a new outpost on Hanover Street

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