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Eddie Mair | 12:59 UK time, Thursday, 31 July 2008

Nigel Wrench is taking a look at the Fringe Festival for us tonight (it starts officially on Sunday) and he writes:

"There's a new seriousness in the air on the Fringe. Of course you can still go and see "Why We Ate Cliff Richard" or any number of stand-up comedians. But you can also spend time in a cellar that aims to recreate the experience of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Here's a snap of one of the actors in "The Factory", Gary Faulkner


And if that's too relaxing (they're performing in old beer cellars in the venue that's become the Pleasance Undergrand), how about an evening on the flight deck of passenger jets about to crash (accidentally topical after last week's Quantas emergency over the South China Sea)?

Here's part of the script of Charlie Victor Romeo: a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder (hence the name of the play) of an American Airlines flight which hit trees as it approached a runway.


Below is the cast, from the US where the play has been a big hit, newly arrived in their rented Edinburgh flat and opening tonight:

At the back on the right, his face a little in shadow, is one of the show's co-creators, Irving Gregory, who's on PM this evening.


And this is Simon Stephens, the Olivier-award winning British playwright with the poster of his new play at the Traverse Theatre. "Pornography" is about the days just before and after the London bombings of July 2005. It promises controversy and an unflinching look at the motives of the bombers.

For light relief there is always the mayhem on the Royal Mile, home to every Fringe performer who wants an audience, ie all of them


The man on one leg is promoting Shakespod, one of several distilled productions of Mr William's plays that are available.

But my favourite poster on the Royal Mile yesterday belonged to none of the 2088 shows you can see on the fringe, but the one below, complete with legs of travelling minstrels


Who knows? Given the amount of reality theatre here this year, it's entirely likely that this poster will be transformed into a sleeper hit by the end of August."


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