Monday, August 29, 2005

Life on the Fringe

John Fleming reports for the Writers' Guild from Edinburgh.
Until the last weekend of this year's fun fest, the most un-remarked-on development at the Fringe was the creative rise of the tiny and shabby Holyrood Tavern, a 50-or-so seater drab room behind a dingy pub at the bottom of the Pleasance Hill en route to the old Gilded Balloon and the new Smirnoff Underbelly. Seldom visited by Armani-clad media moths, only six years ago the Holyrood Tavern used to have naff shows you wouldn't want to see even when drunk and wearing a thin tee-shirt on a rainy day. In the last five years, though, it has been programmed by Vicky de Lacey (female half of the Brian Damage & Krysstal comedy act) and the Holyrood has become a fascinating hotbed of interesting acts - some brilliant, some talented though underdeveloped and some just plain bizarre.

Last year, the Holyrood Tavern's Wil Hodgson won the Perrier Best Newcomer award. This year, their Laura Solon rightly won the prestigious main Perrier award for Kopfraper's Syndrome while, with less of a fanfare, their Desperately Seeking Sorrow (Johnny Sorrow & Danny Worthington) was nominated for the new Malcolm Hardee Oy Oy award.

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