Dressed for success
If someone asked you to name the consistently best-selling show on the Edinburgh Fringe, what would you say?
This year's big name comedian? A stark drama about sex trafficking, which can accommodate a mere 13 people per show? Or a kids' show, based on a popular book, with plenty room for all on a damp Edinburgh morning?
Ten points if you knew the answer was the latest show from the Ladyboys of Bangkok.
The company has a long tradition of appearing in Edinburgh - this is their 12th year - and they even pay tribute to their "second home" in their own inimitable style in tartan mini-kilts and feathers.
They also immerse themselves in the local community - both appearing in events like the Cavalcade (they have their own float) and visiting local shopkeepers with free tickets in exchange for space for their posters and flyers, and good word of mouth recommendations.
The results speak for themselves. Hundreds are packed into their circus tent on the Meadows twice a night, seven days a week, for a combination of show, curry and a glass of bubbly.
The audience is largely local.
The woman next to us comes every year, and has already been twice this festival.
The show itself is a strange concoction of outrageous costumes and song and dance routines, with the songs and the impressions (Cheryl Cole, Michael Jackson, Olivia Newton John and the Village People) deliberately chosen to appeal to the mainly middle-aged, female audience.
Men foolish enough to stray in, are hauled up on stage for some public humiliation.
But once you've got past the initial "is he, isn't he?" as they parade past in a series of ever more revealing costumes, it's difficult to see where the show goes.
At least in this quarter, where we were mulling over the strangeness of being in the midst of the world's largest arts festival, at perhaps the most mundane of its offerings.
For those who came, along and clapped along, and clambered to their feet to sing along to YMCA, I can understand the appeal.
For all the trappings, it's old-fashioned variety entertainment.
A bit crude, a bit rude and a bit silly but a safe choice in a city full of more complicated offerings.
And with your dinner and a glass of wine thrown in too.
Not my cup of tea - but good luck to them - and all who venture along to their final nights on the Fringe.
Something tells me the Ladyboys will continue to be a fixture at the festival for some years to come.
If you want more from the Edinburgh Festival, I am presenting the current edition of the Culture Zone on the BBC Radio Scotland website.
There's a great collection of archive programmes relating to many of the artists appearing at the Festival including interviews with International Festival director Jonathan Mills, Book Festival director Nick Barley, Chief Conductor of the BBC SSO Donald Runnicles and a great archive interview from 1995 with the late great Sir Charles Mackerras.
There are also contributions from actor Alan Cumming and jazz legend Tommy Smith.
Just visit here
The Zone will be available online until Thursday 2nd September.