Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 09/09/2002
No real surprises for any of you who were here in 1998, 1999 or 2001. Faithful old regulars Nick, Lesley, Jon, Charmian and Eve are back again. Lee's here for the first time. As for The Belated Birthday Girl... is this her first or her second Edinburgh Festival? Difficult to say, really. And the Film Unlimited posse who livened things up so much last year are back in slightly reduced form, as 7sarah brings her Coven Of Bitches into town during our first weekend.
Yes, Spank's Pals are returning to Edinburgh for the week, during the peak of its Festival frenzy. The International Festival that started it all, still struggling to persuade people that it's quite good really. The Fringe, whose anarchic spirit has come to symbolise what most people think this Festival means. The Film Festival, sneakily stealing the thunder of its London counterpart, with premieres of the best movies from around the world. And the Book Festival, quietly continuing to impress with the wide range of authors it attracts.
They're all going full throttle this week. And so are we, as we once again struggle against our hangovers to bring you day-by-day coverage of what's hot and what's not. Watch this space.
- Saturday August 17th - "I preferred John Otway when he was a one-hit wonder" (promo t-shirt)
- Sunday August 18th - "When I was young, I didn't have nightmares about my parents disappearing. I had daydreams." (Neil Gaiman)
- Monday August 19th - "I was in a gay bar last night. Know how I could tell it was a gay bar? BECAUSE IT WAS IN EDINBURGH!" (Jerry Sadowitz)
- Tuesday August 20th - "Family size packet of Lemsip, please" (Spank The Monkey)
- Wednesday August 21st - "Talk to the stigmata 'cause the face ain't listenin'" (Jesus Christ)
- Thursday August 22nd - "Is the Pope a Catholic? Or is he a Buddhist with a well-developed love of money?" (Simon Munnery)
- Friday August 23rd - "Look at my enormous cock, and if you don't I'll hit you with this big club" (The Cerne Abbas Giant)
- Saturday August 24th - "Jimmy opens the studio door, finds Ronan Keating waiting there, and tells him to fuck right off" (Roddy Doyle)
- Spank's Pals' Postscript - final thoughts from all your favourites
Napier University are once again responsible for keeping Spank's Pals off the streets at night, thanks to their fabulously cheap Vacation Letting Service, which lets out self-catering student flats in primo locations for not all that much money. You need to book early, though: if you miss out, the Scottish Tourist Board can usually work wonders even at short notice. As far as transportation goes, this year we've forsaken the delights of Great North Eastern Railways and decided to fly up with easyJet instead. A speedier alternative, or a further source of comedy material? Time will tell.
edinburgh-festivals.com, with help this year from The Scotsman, provides you with a one-stop shop for all your Festival needs. You get links to the official sites of the Film Festival, Fringe Festival, Book Festival and International Festival, with programme details and online booking facilities where available. There are also links to reviews from all the main Scottish papers to help you make up your mind.
iofilm (formerly known as Inside Out) is a splendid Scottish arts webzine that particuarly comes into its own during the Festival season. You'll find the best coverage of the Film Festival here, no matter what anyone else tells you.
Fringe4Free [dead link] will send text message Fringe reviews to your mobile on a daily basis, providing you're the sort of brain-frazzled tumour-thumbed functional illiterate who can only concentrate on 160 letters at a time.
Film Unlimited, the most intelligent film community on the web (it says here), have been discussing their 2002 visit to Edinburgh [dead link] on their talkboard for close on a year now - in fact, pretty much since they came back from last year's visit [dead link]. They'll presumably be telling you what they think about the stuff they see, too.
The Assembly Rooms, the Pleasance and the Gilded Balloon will exert their usual stranglehold over the media coverage of the Fringe, and if you're not careful you may get the impression they're the only venues around. Is the Traverse Theatre big enough now to go on that list? Maybe, but their reputation as the best Fringe theatre is still second to none, and they're already stirring up the shit with new plays like Stitching.
Web 13 [dead link] continues to be the Official Internet Cafe Of Spank's Edinburgh Diary 2002 - bollocks to easyEverything. (If they can't supply a PC with a floppy drive, I'm not interested.) I'll be the one sleeping face down in a keyboard there most mornings over the next week.