|By John Fleming|
Cunning Stunts, Chainsaw-Jugglers and 8-Month-Old Babies
Date: 18 August 2010
There’s been a distinct lack of publicity stunts in Edinburgh this year. The Fringe used to be full of bizarre events and admirably surreal attempts to steal a few column inches in The Scotsman. Where are the naked tractor rides, the motorcycle-riding chainsaw-jugglers and the men and women dressed as woodland creatures committing sex acts illegal in the majority of American states?
At the moment, front-runner for the annual Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award (for best Fringe publicity stunt) would seem to be Stewart Lee for his accidental promotion of the Frank Chickens who were not performing at the Fringe although, ironically, he was so successful in unintentionally raising their profile that they then made a one-off appearance (the first in 25 years) on his own Stewbilee book-promotion show.
People are at least starting to try now.
Always pro-active New York promoter Cal Wynter phoned me up to tell me Manos The Greek is going to offer to re-finance the ruined Greek economy.
Meanwhile, I bumped into Gill Smith, the 2008 recipient of (and, indeed, inspiration for) the Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award.
In 2008, she sent me an e-mail nominating herself for the main Malcolm Hardee Award on the basis that she could then justifiably put on her posters MALCOLM HARDEE AWARD NOMINEE (because she had nominated herself). She reckoned Malcolm would have approved. I agreed he would.
So we gave her a Cunning Stunt Award for best publicity stunt of the Fringe on the basis that, if we didn’t give her a Malcolm Hardee Award of some kind, she’d give herself one, thus diminishing our credibility.
This year, Gill is up here performing with her 8-month old daughter who does not take part in the stage show itself but who collects the money afterwards at Gill’s Free Festival show OCD: The Next Generation. Very difficult not to give money to an 8-month old smiling up at you expectantly.
The fact Gill is a new-ish mum is attracting other new-ish mums with small kids to her show and she reckons there might be some mileage in trying to get publicity on the basis that her show has had the largest number of audience members simultaneously breast-feeding.
Her husband has meanwhile been amusing himself by trying to (often successfully) persuade people that the baby long-pictured on the Gilded Balloon’s So You Think You’re Funny posters grew up to become the young woman bending over on the Spank! posters. Given that the Gilded Balloon is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, it is credible though deeply untrue.
Something of which Malcolm Hardee would have certainly approved: "credible though deeply untrue".
The 2010 Malcolm Hardee Awards are announced next Friday 27th August during Shaggers.
- by John Fleming
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
Related ContentBack to Edinburgh Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
|X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 |
The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L...
First things first, it's great to see the Southwark Playhouse open again. Set halfway down New...
|Clint Eastwood on board to direct Jersey Boys film?|
Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has reportedly been signed up to direct the film version of Jersey B...
|Michael Coveney: Big Apple bites and Manhattan memories|
You should always do new things in familiar cities. Over the past few days in New York, I walked a...
|Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus |
The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...
|Podcast: Kendal & co in Relatively Speaking Q&A|
Last night (21 May 2013), 140 Whatsonstage.com theatregoers attended Relatively Speaking at the West...
|1st Night Photos: Kimberley Walsh & Denise Van Outen toast Tointon in Relatively Speaking|
Strictly Come Dancing stars Kimberley Walsh, Denise Van Outen and Artem Chigvintsev toasted former S...
|ATG acquires Broadway's largest theatre The Foxwoods, home of Spider-Man|
In another significant step for transatlantic theatre relations, the UK’s biggest theatre ...
|Video: Sheila Hancock shows wild side in Barking in Essex trailer|
As this new trailer reveals, Sheila Hancock has had a dramatic TOWIE-style makeover for her forthcom...
| Review Round-up: Critics convinced by Relatively Speaking?|
Lindsay Posner's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking opened at the Wyndham's Theatre las...