Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Goodbye Edinburgh 2009

By you time you read this the Edinburgh Festival will be getting ready to shop up for another year and drained comedians, like dead eyed soldiers that have seen action, will be quietly, sombrely packing their kit, like the unloved raggy dolls they are, and heading back to their civilian lives. For some it will be a return to the grind of circuit gigs and telly writing, for more the iniquities of temp work and supply teaching will be curling its frustrating finger, like a parent calling their child in for their bath. After a brief, beautiful bloom of a month’s constant gigging, vinegary chips for your dinner and nights that reluctantly end at four in the morning, performers return like sarcastic Persephones to the dark, dank realms of the real world.

If you’ve had a good festival and appeared in a well received show in a big venue, then Edinburgh is an experiment in mini celebrity; people unheard off outside of the sweaty, incestuous embrace of the comedy circuit, are reviewed in the daily papers and websites, their faces are plastered over the city’s hoardings, their passes get them into the private bars; they even have their own harem of teenage drama students flyering for their show. It’s bit like being a cross between a medieval monarch and an X Factor finalist for the month, but with more literary fiction references and self doubt. The festival is a month long office party and, without meaning to be crude, one bad STD, could knock out the entire comedy industry; however, it is a world as class obsessed as any Jane Austen novel. A whole Edinburgh etiquette has to be observed by performers’ in this casually, regimented society. Much like a Regency ball, successful comics can only be approached if they have made eye contact with you first, any drunken misdemeanours will be noted at the next night’s gatherings and shameless networking and social climbing will be recognised and, depending on how successful the person is, condemned or invited over for a drink. Any hopeful Becky Sharpe armed with only a venue pass and a glint in her eye, will hope to bag herself the next big thing, after all a single comic in a big venue with an eight o’clock show is usually in want of a girlfriend. If she succeeds she may unfortunately discover that her Edinburgh prince turns into a London pumpkin once the train leaves Waverly station and eleven months of grotty stag night gigs await their royal return.

Former ladette, Denise Van Outen is appearing at the festival this year in the show "Blondes". Blessed with a glorious singing voice and the face of an angel, her actual comic timing is leaving a lot to be desired with her show winning the dubious honour of containing the worst joke of the festival. Sad for her but confirmation that’s there’s more to being a comic than reeling off jokes written by other people and being known for being a bit of a laugh. The thinking behind it is clear as a smug TV producer’s glass of gin, Denise, the cheeky Essex girl, come on she was hilarious on The Big Breakfast, how hard can it be? Quite hard indeed as the legions of comedians can attest to over even smugger folded arms and indignant, rolling eyes. It was always going to be hard for a successful, glamorous TV presenter to have a go at stand up even in the gentler confines of a one woman cabaret style show. Nobody wants to hear a stunner complain about the hardships of being beautiful, we don’t want to know about the highlights we’re more interested in the dark roots. If she’d spilled her guts about being a "babe" approaching her sell by date, her failure to crack the US, with younger, skinnier girls snapping at her heels, screaming at the crowd that Cat Deally had stolen her life, now that, that would be stand up.

In need of a good joke is fellow blonde Melanie Griffith after admitting herself back into rehab for the third time. It’s reported that people close to her got suspicious when the fifty three year old became obsessed with the colour yellow insisting that everything and everyone in her presence wore the uplifting colour. Yellow, which ironically represents good health, was also the favourite colour of Vincent Van Gogh, who also became obsessed with it just before he shot himself. Let’s hope favourite colours are all Vincent and Melanie have in common. Although, it might be nice for Melanie, at this tough time, suddenly discovered a genius for expressionistic oil painting and it would be lovely for Vincent to realise, that he wasn’t dead afterall, but in fact married to Antonio Banderas. What a turn up for the books that would be? Hang on- "And it was all Yellow- The Mel and Vincent Story" I think I’m on to something, if we could get Coldplay involved, there’s definitely a one woman Edinburgh musical in that. Now, has anybody got Tess Daly’s number?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Best of both worlds!

The nineties were in many ways a simpler times, the Spice girls were the girl group that encouraged boys to get with their friends unlike the Pussycat dolls who look like they want to give their friends an eating disorder and their boyfriends an STD, terrorism was just something the IRA did and Brit actors were yummy and funny. King of them was Jude Law, dazzlingly handsome with a smile that made you want to attack your parents for not living in North London or you would definitely be going out with him. Cut to fifteen years later and sadly things have not turned out as, we assume, he wanted. Split from Sadie, cheated on Sienna, he’s now got a New York model knocked up and is facing the mother of all paternity pay outs. And he’s in a Shakespeare play- boring. Samantha Burke, Jude’s baby mama, informed the Alfie star (the most recent movie he was in anyone can remember) of their special little arrival using that most romantic of messages, a modern day stork if you will, a legal letter form her lawyer. What happened to the class of 1996? Ewan Mcgregor seems to have given up acting after the cinematic pile up that was the Star Wars prequels and Jonny Lee Miller has been MIA since since wedge trainers were in fashion. Maybe we could start a fund to get them in a “Trainspotting” sequel, although without the glamour of youth, gentle rounding of middle age spread and dissappearing hairlines, they might just look like real junkies in the park. Some roads are better left untravelled.

Someone else not having a great week is “Grey’s Anatomy “star Kathrine Heigl. Beautiful Kathrine is fast getting a reputation for being a bit of a big mouth. Let’s have a look at the evidence; the gorgeous blonde first broke through with the film “Knocked Up”. When interviewed by Vanity Fair about the movie, she described it as a hard film to love and misogynistic. Right, OK. She then wrote a letter to the Emmys asking them not to nominate her for any awards that year as her storylines were rubbish. Right. She then followed up the “misogynistic” “Knocked Up” with “27 Dresses” about a woman obsessed with weddings ( I think it was co written by Germaine Greer and Camiila Paglia but can’t be sure) and her latest film “The Ugly Truth” where a neurotic desperate singleton gets relationship advice from a man who seems to hate women- Kathrine co produced that last gift to the sisterhood. I think the actress’s actions are so bizarre and seem so wilfully set on offending as many people as possible, I almost suspect foul play. I don’t normally beleive in maleviolent mind control, voddoo dolls, or hypnotism gone bad, but I can’t help suspecting that former rom com queens Kate Hudson or Renee Zelwegger have the most to gain from this upstarts disgrace. Follow the money people. If I next spot Kathryn on television, blank eyed, unrinating on a puppy, while babbling about how much she hates earthlings, I’m calling the police.

Meanwhile sixteen year old Miley Cyrus is celebrating her special transformation from child star to future damaged young nutcase, with a pole dance at the Teen Choice Awards. But then, maybe I’m completely wrong, I mean apart from Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, and Christina wandering around in a pair of arseless chaps, lots of former Disney stars flower into balanced and contented adults.What better way to celebrate that special moment in a young woman’s life than to pop her in some boots and hot pants and have her master a dance usually accompanied by sweaty fivers in your g string so your children can go to college. Miley, as far as Disney, her Christian, conservative parent company are concerned ,is ready for the next stage of her career. The company that also produces her TV series and release her records go to great lengths to promote Christian values, the importance of the family and sexual abstinence before marriage. So as Miley was pole dancing her way to her first pap shot of her crotch she too would have been wearing her very own purity ring. In a turn of events, so unintentionally hilarious,it almost suggests the awards were taking the micky mouse, Miley presented that night’s lifetime achievement award to a certain Britney Spears. That’s right, Disney were able to present a woman, who cannot legally take money from her own bank account with a life time achievement award and keep a straight face. I’m suprised Britney didn’t didn’t start her acceptance speach by grabbing Miley and screaming- “My name is Britney Spears, King of Kings, Look on my Works, ye mighty and despair”. Mad mental Britney would have been the sanest person there

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Wait till Donna finds out, she is going to scratch that Megan's face...

Say what you like about being dead but it’s a great way of moving on. As we gently shuffle off this mortal coil and finally register for that great social networking site in the sky, it was assumed that all our old problems were left behind. That is unless you’re connected to Jade Goody in which case, there are still scores to be settled, OK magazine spreads to fill, and digital TV programmes to record. That’s right, thanks to a “loving” Living TV special, recorded with a renowned TV psychic and Jade’s mum Jackiey clutching the very dressing gown she died in, we now have the latest update from the Big Brother star. Could Jade please come to the diary room one last time?

What did she have to say from her lofty position? A message for world peace? The meaning of life? The real reason behind the Katie/ Peter split? No, that Jack Tweed was a cheat, a bad’un and she wished she never married him and that her Mum had been right about everything. It certainly gives us a whole new terrifying vision of the after life, an everlasting dimension where your husband could still be really getting on your nerves. The psychic claimed that Jack’s philandering with glamour models so soon after her death was upsetting the immortal soul of Miss Goody. Jade wailed from beyond the grave that she should have listened to her Mum and that marrying him was the biggest mistake of her life. So, the “respected” TV psychic would rather ruin the memory of the 27 year old’s final happy days by claiming she was celestially shredding her wedding gown, rather than let her rest in peace? In her wedding pictures, the poor girl seemed genuinely happy, but instead they've decided to ruin those perfect memories by suggesting that Jade was now reassessing their relationship over some heavenly double G and Ts. We all suspected he wasn’t exactly Clark Gable but luckily Jade never saw it and she died without having to see the kiss and tells that were as inevitable as trash TV like this. It’s hard to deny Jade’s Mum her anger, the twenty two year old’s latest shenanigans have been insensitive bordering on the mentally retarded, Call me over romantic, but wearing the suit you first wore when you married your now dead wife for a night out on the pull, is at best a bit stupid at worst callous. Doesn’t he own any other clothes? There’s the alleged txt message to glamour girls charmingly asking if they want to “rump” and nights out at “Faces” night club in Essex, a kind of Wags Jerusalem. Jade you can do better. Surely there are some nice men in heaven you could turn to?

Don’t worry readers, if you find this all a bit confusing, maybe the book Jade’s Mum is bringing out soon, inspired by these sessions, will clarify things. Because grieving mum Jackiey is being helped through by not only her management team, a TV production company but a publishing house as well, eager to celebrate Jade’s memory in the most tasteful and lucrative way possible. You see that’s respectful Jack, you could learn a lot from them.

If you were to find the exact opposite of Jade Goody it would be Megan Fox, startlingly beautiful but with all the personality and humour of an unfair parking ticket. The woman manages to make being a bisexual starlet seem boring. She’s been labelled as the next Angelina Jolie mainly because she’s got brown hair and lips that look like they’re planning to take over the rest of her face. Her contribution to the screen so far is “Transformers” but calling yourself an actress because you’ve appeared in a film that bad is a bit like claiming you’re a Grand Prix driver because you walked by a car accident once.

She was until recently engaged to former 90210 star Brain Austen Green. I love Brian because he reminds me of a simpler showbiz time. Do you remember; the nineties? When all a young starlet needed was a babydoll dress and a nice new flowery hat, before size zero models and actresses checking into rehab because all their tattoos had exploded. The engagement is off and Megan will date other people, while Brian cannot. This is to allow her time to figure out what she wants, what she needs of course is a swift kick up the arse. Oh Brian, you don’t need this nonsense, you went out with Tiffany Amber Thiessan for crying out loud, the pretty one from Saved by the Bell, you brought Hip Hop to 90210, forget Enimen, you were the first great white rapper. What would Dylan do Brian, what would Dylan do?