Pleasance Boss Unveils Plans Ahead
It was the Pleasance's turn to launch their programme yesterday (Saturday). Walking to the launch in Pleasance Grand theatre you get a real sense of just what an expansive complex the Pleasance Courtyard venue has turned into.
Over a quarter century of the charity piling back all its profits into its operation means that there are now theatres and bars everywhere at Pleasance Courtyard.
It's also yet another Edinburgh University owned venue. Where would the Fringe be without the university support?
I arrived a little late to the launch to catch Camille O'Sullivan midway though a PJ Harvey song - she's got a beautiful voice. Worth checking out.
Compere Nick Helm's voice had been reduced to a rasp. With a Devil may care air, he threw open his shirt to reaveal his name drawn on his hairy belly, and stomped around the room trying to start a Mexican handclap and bullying audience members.
Skinny Englishmen Henry Parker's material seemed a bit thin, although the audience gradually warmed to his comical accents.
Steven Berkoff took on a dodgy scots accent to introduce an excerpt from Oedipus, a characteristically stylised and vigorous rendition of the Greek myth which he wrote, directed, and performs in (in the role of Creon).
It was then the chance for Anthony Alderson - in a list of "Cs" - to make his thank-yous, offer his highlights and layout a new vision for the future of the Pleasance. It includes a campaign to raise £4.5 million for creating a new performance and development space, as well as upgrading its London theatre. The Pleasance is going to sell spaces on a kind of Bayeaux Tapestry and start an adoption programme for individual cobbles in the courtyard.
After a close shave with a guillotine, Alderson gave up the stage for young revue team Sheeps - (who I didn't really get); followed by the slow, dry, humour of New York Hannibal Buress. He was funny. He plucks punchlines out of nowhere.
Out of the Blue, a 14-strong, male a capella outfit (with one beatboxing) completed the programme with a couple of songs, including what sounded like an improbable mix of It's My Life and Final Countdown.