The festival might not have started, but the PR certainly has. Here are ten publicity-seeking ideas… not all necessarily wise.
1. Darren Walsh: Six Foot Silly
Darren Walsh is attempting to tweet a record 1,000 puns – all based on the names of comedians performing at the Fringe. It’s the maximum daily limit imposed by Twitter, and Walsh admits: ‘Some will be good, some will be bad and some will be downright terrible.’ A sample, based on the stand-up Tim Shishodia: ‘What kind of kebabs do you like, Tim?’ ‘Shish’. ‘Oh, do ya?’ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters 16:00, August 4 to 17
2. Stuart Goldsmith: Prick
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society handed Goldsmith a PR coup on a plate – as well as making themselves look ridiculously out-of-touch – when they censored the title of his show. Although the blue pencil equally applied to shows including Richard Herring’s Talking Cock and even phrases like ‘the bastard child of…’ in the blurbs, Goldsmith was the first to point out the draconian approach. And he’s further exploited the show name by throwing the gauntlet down to critics: review the show without any penis-related double entendres or the fund of cash he’s giving to charity will deplete every time. Pleasance Courtyard 19:30
3. Caimh McDonnell: The Art Of Conversation
This white-haired Irishman started the idea of targeting journalists – offering to pay £100 for charity for everyone who came to review his show. Thus guilt-tripping them to attend AND spending his money more effectively than had he retained the services of a publicist for the duration of the Fringe. Just The Tonic At The Tron 18:20
4. Dan Willis: Various shows
For most people, performing one Edinburgh show a day is stressful enough – but Dan Willis is performing six one-hour shows every day (almost) – his new show, Working Comedian, his back catalogue and hosting the Jocks & The Geordies showcase – with as little as 15 minutes turnaround between some of them. ‘I get bored when I’m not on stage,’ says Willis and I’m sick of people saying [a comedian’s] hours are easy.’ All the shows – at least until he collapses of exhaustion – are on the Laughing Horse Free Festival.
5. Andrew Cox: When Holidays Attack
Australian spoken word artist Andrew Cox launched a space probe into the upper atmosphere to promote his show, When Holidays Attack. The probe, named Crikey 1, was lifted by a giant helium-filled weather balloon over the Western Australian outback. As it reached morethan 18miles up, a recording of Cox recounting his travel stories played, before the probe fell back to Earth. It was found 100 miles awayin kangaroo inhabited bush. Spotlites @ The Merchants’ Hall, 18:50 5-12 only
They look get through thousands of would-be comics… a 12-hour gong show with hopefuls trying to stay on stage and beat the gong. It’s going to be massive – but will it be any good? The Shack 12:00 August 13
7. The Noise Next Door: 24-Hour Improv Adventure
Another endurance test – that Mark Watson has a lot to answer for (even if the late Ken Campbell was doing 50-hour improvathons long before then). This five-man troupe have some excellent set pieces in their repertoire, but a day-long marathon, taking place across the city on August 13/14, throws up a whole realm of other challenges… They are planning to get people to send suggestions for venues and what they should be doing via social media – for example going into people’s homes to make breakfast or to work at a box office in a certain style.
8. Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist
This free show – about an incident-packed trip to Thailand – is sponsored by Escorts In Edinburgh – and punters who take his flyer in get a ten per cent discount on their lovely lady for the evening. There’s a certain synergy to that. Alternative Fringe @ The Hive 17:45
9. Sex Ed: The Musical
Will be parading a 16ft long giant sperm down the Royal Mile to plug their show. TheSpace @ Surgeons Hall 18:30
10. This Arthur’s Seat Belongs To Lionel Ritchie
Though the ‘…belongs to Lionel Ritchie’ gag, a veteran of so many festivals, has grown very tired. But they still have ideas behind them, such as this one-off gig atop Arthur’s Seat, featuring Josie Long and Arthur Smith. Smith, of course, is an old and/or lazy man who can’t be expected to reach the summit of Edinburgh’s mountain on his own… so will be transported there by sedan chair. Summit of Arthur’s Seat 14:00 August 18