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Mark Fisher
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Follow me @markffisher and @writeabouttheat I am an Edinburgh-based freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian, Scotland on Sunday and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success, published in February 2012 and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers published in July 2015. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide. See my website for more information and comprehensive Scottish theatre links.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Edinburgh Festival Fringe reviews

As always the Edinburgh Fringe is all-consuming, so no time to waste. There are links to some of my most recent theatre reviews and previews at Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Kylie in Edinburgh

My exploits with Kylie Minogue are published on the Guardian's Culture Vulture blog today. That version's been cut down to size. The full text is below.

On Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links today, there's a load of new links to Edinburgh Festival and Fringe articles I've recently been churning out.

Here's my Kylie piece:

This is what it's like at the Edinburgh festival. One minute you're getting all intense over My Name is Rachel Corrie, the true-life tale of a woman killed by an Israeli bulldozer, the next minute, you're out on the town with Kylie Minogue, fending off autograph hunters and getting nasty looks from neighbouring tables for making too much noise in an Italian restaurant.

On Saturday night, little Kylie – who is made of porcelain and takes up less space than a mobile phone – flew up from London with her two-strong management team to see Finding Marina at the Royal Botanic Garden. The show, performed by young victims of Sri Lanka's civil war, is directed by Toby Gough, who famously cast – or should that be miscast? – sister Dannii as Lady Macbeth in the Botanics in 1999.

Kylie has lent her support to the Sri Lankan project, sponsoring one of the performers in last year's tsunami-themed Children of the Sea, and visiting the country earlier this year when her course of treatment for breast cancer came to an end in Melbourne. Staying in true pop-star style on Taprobane, a tropical island hideaway (listen out for her forthcoming song about it), the 37-year-old hung out with the young performers, rode on the back of an elephant and joined in a sing-along on the company bus.

So in Edinburgh, after enjoying Finding Marina and walking straight past the paparazzi photographer who somehow failed to notice her getting into the black limo behind him, she made a bee-line to Gough's other show, a Cuban dance spectacular called Havana Rumba! which is playing to sell-out audiences at Assembly's St George's West.

Tipped off that the princess of pop was in town, I arrived at the theatre to the sound of the final applause only to discover that Kylie had taken to the stage for the final number. She'd alarmed her management by dancing on Gough's shoulders, wobbling precariously in front of the audience, many of whom had no idea who this diminutive unannounced guest was.

Dressed in a peaked blue John Lennon-style cap over tight-curled blonde hair, Kylie was every bit as pleasant and polite as they say. When she was interrupted later in the evening by a fan who spotted her in Giuliano's, the Leith Walk Italian family restaurant, she gamely agreed to have her photo taken, but quietly said no to an autograph.

By this time, Gough, fuelled by copious quantities of Cuban rum, was holding forth at a volume more suitable to addressing 27 Sri Lankans in the open air. "You're the loudest bullshitter I've ever heard," said one disgruntled diner as he left, not realising he was shouting over the shoulder of the most famous woman on the planet.

Kylie, meanwhile, was unperturbed, picking at her vegetarian anti-pasti and deep-fried calamari, and trying out an Indian dance routine as Gough told her she should be trying to break into the Bollywood market. She left at 1.30am, promising to hook up with the Sri Lankans the next morning, before vanishing again into the mysterious land of pop.