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From Edinburgh With Love: Barrymore, Berkoff & Brave???

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It’s still two weeks before the Edinburgh Fringe officially begins, but the game of speculating which shows will transfer to London after their three weeks north of the border has already begun in earnest. Some – such as the self-penned play by inimitable American comedian and this year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards host Joan Rivers – have already scheduled their runs down south. Others will be hoping that the Edinburgh buzz will help propel them onwards.

At a glance there are three in particular – all with big names and West End producers already attached – that have automatically high transfer potential. Michael Barrymore reprises his performance as Spike Milligan, with Jill Halfpenny as his agent, in Richard Harris’ Surviving Spike at the Assembly @ George Street. The new play, produced by Bill Kenwright, had a tryout at Windsor this past February (See News, 17 Jan 2008).

Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1954 movie classic On the Waterfront has also already been seen regionally – at Nottingham Playhouse in April (See News, 9 Jan 2008) – but producers have now opted for another out-of-town stint in Edinburgh prior to the anticipated West End transfer. In fact, that decision was taken too late to make the official festival programme but, trust us, the play is running at the Pleasance Courtyard from 31 July to 25 August 2008.

And at the Fringe’s new musical venue, the George Square Theatre, the partnering of not one but two reality TV favourites - I’d Do Anything’s Niamh Perry and Any Dream Will Do’s Keith Jack – is attracting a lot of attention for Matthew Brind’s new Second World War-set musical Only the Brave (See News, 19 Jun 2008).

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