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Life on the Fringe

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Who says blondes have more fun? [Jul. 23rd, 2009|01:22 pm]
Life on the Fringe
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By Phil King 

Okay, so realistically the audiences for Denise van Outen's one-woman musical Basildon Blonde will beat my show Killing Alan for audience numbers, revenue and will be more heavily Googled. BUT there must be some reason I've chosen to return. My six-strong professional cast have all trained at drama school and been involved with some amazing companies and productions but will they beat the Big Names or are they just frittering away their time on the Royal Mile?

Three-hour flyering sessions in the rain, eagerly hounding reviewers to show up, then being nervous when they do, and checking those all important ticket sales may not be most people's idea of a summer holiday. The 2009 Edinburgh fringe will be worth all the tears though, as when it all goes well the cheers will be from the heart. Although Ms van Outen's marketing screams "Blondes have more fun - official" (in whatever accent you attribute to the claustrophobic cement streets of Basildon) everyone who makes the journey this year will be able to revel in a truly amazing theatra-musa-comic experience.

Now I know someone who turned down the keys to the city of Basildon and know the thoughts of my refuse collector on his council employers (yes, I share not only a venue but a geographic proximity to the above-mentioned Denise) and have some cynicism about a musical based on being of a specific hair colour within that town. But this is the Fringe and if Dud of Pete and Dud can get away with sending up 'God Save the Queen' during their early Edinburgh outings surely van Outen can send up herself.

Only time will tell what the clearly sizeable audiences will tell of "Basildon Blonde", but what I very much hope at this stage is that those same audiences spy the gleaming red and blue posters in the Underbelly for "Killing Alan" and decide to give that type of theatre a go too. Either that or I'm going to start dying my hair, taking singing lessons and using my council literature in my daily Edinburgh battle for ticket sales...

"Killing Alan" will be performing at the Underbelly's Big Belly August 6-30 (not 18th) at 16:40. Box Office: Smirnoff Underbelly - 0844 545 8252 / www.underbelly.co.uk, www.roughfiction.com