little red jacket





The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is officially the largest arts festival in the world.

It began back in 1947, as a post-war initiative to re-unite Europe through culture, and was so successful that it inspired more performers than there was room for.

Now in its 60th year it is as contemporary and relevant as ever and is constantly evolving to accommodate all of the people who want to attend. This year's fringe will incorporate over 28,000 performers, 17,000 artists, and 261 venues and over 1.35 million tickets worth more than £10 million will be sold.

From comedy, drama and theatre to musicals and opera, there is a plethora of culture from which to pick and choose. Into this arena walked Erica and I. It was our third trip to the Fringe and this year's programme promised to be as exciting as former ones.

Day of arrival, Princes Street

Fringe festival entrance, Royal Mile - an extravaganza of delights

We like comedy, dance, and burlesque, and we were not disappointed with Empress Stah who provided exciting naked acts of exotic and sexual performances that simply dwarfed the other acts at The Cave of the Golden Calf. Her finale was spectacular being naked except for gold glitter. With some erotic moves, poses and actions she mesmerized the audience; she concluded in sprinkling water over herself to expose her alabaster-like skin. It took our breath away.

A full review of the Cave of the Golden Calf by Vivien Devlin can be read at the foot of this page. For those of you that adore Berlin-style cabaret with its slightly debauched style you’ll enjoy Vivien’s piece.

The Extreme Dance Company from Portland, Oregon was innovative with their dance evoking sensuous emotions with clever chorography and stunning movement. Performed at the Demarco Roxy Art House venue it was our first entertainment on arriving at Edinburgh. We left after the company came back on stage and chatted.

Many more shows were booked and attended, too many to mention individually except for just one...

Something Blue by the Jammy Voo Theatre. Five young women with some amazing talent: Yngvild Aspeli, Claire Coache, Kate Edwards, Emily Kreider and Eliza Wills. The show dedicated to, ‘It is better to have loved and lost the plot.,’ gave a tender and poignant look at love. A bittersweet comic cabaret about falling in love with use of clowning, puppetry, physical theatre and song.

Now for pictures – enjoy! 



I am Reckless...Impulsive
 I don't wanta think about it, don't
   wanta think clear.
Don't analyse what I'm doing here
 wanta be Impulsive
     and lose myself in your kiss.
You're giving me a feeling
 it's a sudden rush
   acting on the moment
Wanta be Impulsive...Reckless
 and lose myself in your kiss
I want to be Impulsive.
 I'm gonna be Impulsive
and lose myself
    Lose myself.

Stephen Kipner, Clif Magness

Wilson Phillips, CDP 7937452 SBK Records 1990


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    Alice from the Freefall Theatre Co.                        Bev and Louise

    With Oliver and Alex from The Young Actors Co

     Ann, Georgina and Sue

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     Claire from the FitzTHEATRE and an Edinburgh                                          Kristall and Robert
     version of Sondheim's demon barber.

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     Members of Dae-gu City Modern Dance               With Elizabeth and Harriot - Hunter Productions
     Company (unfortunately no English spoken)

     The witches Millicent, Hope and Fiona

     Teala, Linnea, Alexsis, Emma and Alice from the magnificent Extreme Dance Co.

      Jamie's skill with a floating crystal ball is legendary! The Devil's in the detail.

     Wallace of Scotland. He was generous, kind and a genuine Scotsman.

     The time of day for a wee dram.

    With a glass of Laphroaig 15 year double cask matured whisky, a firm bar stool and Daniel
    the barman at the Scotch Whisky Experience.





    A demure pose

     Or is this an arresting one?




    In reflective mood







Review:  The Cave of the Golden Calf
6 August, 2007 - 20:18 — Vivien Devlin
Status: 5 Star
Venue: Assembly Universal Arts
Company: Golden Calf
Running time: 90mins
Performers: Empress Stah, Marni Rice, Scottee, Ryan Styles, Suppositori Spelling, La Celine, Andrew Brown

Willcommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to the Cabaret, 21st century style - sexy, sophisticated, classy and deliciously camp. The genre of cabaret, created as avant garde, risqué adult entertainment in Paris in the 1890s, has always been about pushing the boundaries of taste and decency from naughty but nice to the daringly decadent. This show takes us on a journey through the past century from Montmartre, Weimar Berlin and Soho nightclubs, English Music Hall to the underworld of grotesque burlesque, striptease and drag queens.

The original Cave of the Golden Calf was a Bohemian Soho nightclub, founded by the legendary socialite Frida Strindberg in 1912, inspired by the Kaberett Fledermaus of her native Vienna. Arts and theatre entrepreneur Andrew Brown revitalised the Cave for the Fringe festival in 2005 and 2006, featuring a unique showcase of music, comedy, mime and exotic burlesque performances. The Cave is back this year in the dark and intimate space of the Mysterious Theatre with its private bar, downstairs at Assembly's new venue in Freemason's Hall.

As always the line up of star turns is a diverse and eclectic mix, hand picked from the cabaret circuit of London, New York, Australia and San Francisco. As always the debonair Andrew Brown takes the role of MC, in his scarlet smoking jacket and tartan trews. The mood and tempo begins soft and slowly as mime artiste Ryan Styles - described as the new Charlie Chaplin - delights us with his moving performance as a clown with a pregnant bump, ballooning his way in a gentle waltz across the stage. His sad face crumples in despair and then gradually smiles in heart shaped happiness.

A shift up gear next with La Celine who captures the spirit of Edwardian London Music Hall as Naughty Nancy, the working class cockney girl in her feather hat and lace bloomers, as proud as a Duchess. Later on, La Celine transforms into the tough-talking Fraulein Fritz, carousing and schmoozing the gentlemen in the audience. This lady is a natural comedienne and character actress par excellence.

The musical star of the show is Marni Rice, accordionist, French chanson singer and rock chick from New York. In red fishnet stockings and black boots she sings Kurt Weill's love song Nanna's Lied with passion and panache, instantly creating the atmosphere of a smoky Weimar Berlin nightclub. Any moment you think Sally Bowles will walk on stage. The beautiful, cool and sassy Marni also sings like Edith Piaf and performs her own raunchy rock ballads.

From laid back entertainment we hit the hard stuff. It's Burlesque time with exotic, erotic trapeze artist Empress Stah with her cheeky Hello Sailor! acrobatic routine and later shows off more performance art skills as she reveals all in a wickedly witty gold sequined finale. At the start the MC has promised a late night show of "balloons and pricks." Balloons of all shapes and sizes are blown up and burst.

Now enter Suppositori Spelling, the stunningly glamorous 6 ft drag queen from San Francisco. Dressed in blue satin and big hair she sings, she lip synchs, she dances, she prances - picture Madonna on speed. And to a fabulous neo-classical track by Loop Station, "Last time I saw you I nearly drank myself to death," her outrageous Mermaid sketch is one of the many highlights of the night.
Since its debut on the Fringe in 2005, the Cave of the Golden Calf has matured and developed with style, confidence and professionalism. This year's extravaganza of utterly unique cabaret performances is sensational. So make your way to Venue 7, get yourself a strong drink, and enjoy 90 minutes of cool, crazy, camp adult entertainment to end your Fringe day with a bang.

Times: 2- 26 August, 10.30pm


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