City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Bargaining On The Vim


By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 27 July 2008

It's like the lists we're encouraged to make up in the panic-strewn pre-Christmas weeks - do we have a plan of the venue? Has it got enough detail for the designer and director? Are we quite
sure we have insurance cover, and is it the right kind? When can we deliver the set to the venue, and can we get a van at the right time?

Sudden changes of plan mean re-arranging sleeping accommodation for the cast - a props list has
to be made for the benefit of a Fire Officer. There'll be more to come, be sure
of that. In John Mortimer's play ' A Voyage Round My Father', Mortimer pere argues against his son's marriage -

'You haven't bargained on the Vim'. (Vim
being a cleaning product rather than brisk marital experiences). If you're new,
or even not-so-new to the Fringe, the chances are you won't have bargained on
the Vim, either.

There are also a whole slew of Vim sales persons around too, all
of them ready to sell things you never thought you'd need - advertising space
mainly, but also lots of other things they seem to truly believe no Fringe
company can possibly do without. It's enough to cause the wise words of BBC
Scotland's shrewd political commentator to trip off the lips - 'Enough. Cease.
Desist'.

Not that they will, of course. For if the Fringe has become a trade
show of the UK 'creative industries' - and it pretty much has - one can hardly
be surprised if capitalism's parasites - advertising, 'PR' and the rest of the
circus, come flitting in through the same window of opportunity.

But I rant,
and wishing matters otherwise never made them other than they are. The hyping media
are relentlessly on the march, however, and if you stand still long enough,
chances are they'll sell you something you didn't really want and can't really
use - such as a ticket to their own show. As they say in Glasgow, youse have
been warned.