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Edinburgh Festival 99 Friday, 3 September, 1999, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Edinburgh from A to Z
From dance, film to opera - The festival needs some guidance
Edinburgh at festival time can be a complete maze. We give the definitive, alphabetical guide to see you through.

Auld Reekie: An olde Scottish name for Edinburgh which dates back to Victorian times. A reek is a thick fog which would engulf the city and was generated by the high concentration of coal-burning fires. All very Hound of the Baskervilles. The city's prize architecture has long been scrubbed clean of the after effects.

Everything you could ever want to know about boots can be seen at Boots, Boots, Kinky Boots! at the Bedlam Theatre from 23-28 August. The Raw Theatre Company promises a "wild journey from the factory floor to the catwalk" - and a free breakfast to (ahem) boot.

Former Coronation Street actor Stephen Billington faces controversy in stage play Corpus Christi which depicts Jesus Christ as gay. Written by Terence McNally, the play receives its European premiere at the festival. McNally faced bomb and death threats when it was staged in New York.

Edinburgh Festival 1999
Billington plays Judas Iscariot, who seduces Jesus into his first sexual experience. "There was no way I could turn the part down. I would urge people not to judge the play before seeing it," he said. In the Street, he was vengeful Greg Kelly, who took Sally Webster and her children hostage. The play runs from 9-28 August at the Bedlam Theatre - a former church.

The art form that dare not speak its name, dance (and "physical theatre") is often overlooked under the welter of normal theatre, cinema, comedy and music.

Giselle: Just one of the festival's dance events
But 1999's festival line-up includes the Dutch National Ballet and a series of performances by innovative French choreographer Boris Charmatz, both at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Fringe highlights include Pussy Galore's Flying Circus - about the relationship between a girl and her gay brother - and a version of Cinderella by the Turbozone company featuring aerial motorcycle stunts.

Fans still missing the BBC's cult drama This Life can comfort themselves with the world premiere of Elephant Juice, which takes place at the Film Festival.

Daniela Nardini from This Life appears in Elephant Juice
Written by This Life creator Amy Jenkins and starring the series' Daniela Nardini, it explores the lives of a group of thirtysomething Londoners as they face up to tricky questions about sex, relationships and love.

This year's Flux Festival will bring a diverse line-up of music to Edinburgh. Techno duo Orbital kick off the Flux shows on 13 August, while former Soft Cell singer Marc Almond, The Fall and Ivor Cutler also perform, as do Tindersticks and Nick Cave.

Gregory's Two Girls - the sequel to Gregory's Girl - gets its premiere at the Film Festival. Twenty years after Bill Forsyth's original film charmed audiences, John Gordon-Sinclair's character is now an English teacher at his old school - and is caught between two women, a pupil and a fellow teacher.

Holyrood Park is the venue for Fringe Sunday, a chance to see hundreds of musicians, comedians and street theatre - all for free. Don't bother to take sandwiches either because there will be lots of tempting titbits on sale rom stalls offering both traditional scottish and international cuisine.

International Photography is a cunningly-titled exhibition of more than 200 prints created by photographers across the globe. It runs from 8 August to 5 September, at the Photographic Exhibition Society. It is one of a series of art, photography and sculpture exhibitions held on the Fringe.

Comedian and broadcaster Phill Jupitus breaks out of the Never Mind The Buzzcocks studio to perform at the Assembly Rooms from 20 and 22-27 August .

Ken Kesey, the original bus driving Merry Prankster of 1960s California fame, is taking another trip to Edinburgh. Kesey, author of One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and long time friend of 'Turn on, Tune in, Drop out' guru Timothy Leary, performs as part of the Flux on 28 August.

BBC Radio 4 will also be taking some of its most popular shows to Edinburgh - with two editions of Ned Sherrin's Loose Ends coming from the festival on 14 and 21 August. Tickets are also available for a host of other shows, including editions of Just A Minute and The Way It Is.

You saw them on Light Lunch - now comedy duo Mel and Sue, graduates of the famous Cambridge Footlights society follow their UK tour with seven nights of shows at the Pleasance, from 15-21 August.

The Nation's Favourite - The True Adventures of Radio 1 chronicled the life and times of Britain's most listened-to pop station.

The life and times of Radio 1 DJ Zoe Ball are brought to the stage
Now Alex Lowe's adaptation brings the tales of Dave Lee Travis, Chris Evans and Zoe Ball to life on the Edinburgh stage.

It runs from 6-30 August at the Pleasance.

Opera highlights include Puccini's Turandot at the Edinburgh Playhouse, performed with an all-Asian cast and chorus. The Eastern theme continues with Qu Xiao-song's Life On A String, and a performance of the music of the contemporary composer Gio Wenjing. Other performances include Verdi's Macbeth, while the Fringe offers a sequel to Madame Butterfly - Mister Butterfly, about a GI in Japan.

Edinburgh pubs will be packed to the rafters watering all the thirsty festival goers throughout the month of August. Those visiting Scotland for the first time will be pleasantly surprised by the rather different licensing laws. Many pubs in the city will be open until 3am while other joints will be jumping until the sun comes up at 5am.

Queues: If you are heading for the popular shows arrive early or book to avoid the long queues. Alternatively skip waiting in line altogether by picking the most tedious and amateur productions. Try making friends with the two other people in the audience and then head-off to the pub during the interval.

The Royal Mile is the hub of the festival.

Edinburgh's Royal Mile in festival time
Each year an unofficial walking tour of the street is given by the granddaddy of the festival fringe, comedian Arthur Smith. Publicised by word of mouth only, Smith often starts his tour at about 2am from the castle gates. Be warned - drunken lewdness is often the norm and sometimes the police show an interest.

Hermann Broch's novel about life before and after World War I, The Sleepwalkers, is performed in three parts at the King's Theatre. Performed in Polish with English 'supertitles', Krystian Lupa's adaptation lasts over 11 hours in total.

The 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair has its UK premiere at the Film Festival. It has only just opened in US cinemas.

Pierce Brosnan stars in the remake of the Thomas Crown Affair
It stars Pierce Brosnan as Crown - an elegant billionaire - and Rene Russo as Catherine Banning, an investigator who suspects him of stealing a priceless Monet. Faye Dunaway, who starred opposite Steve McQueen in the 1968 original, appears in the new version as Crown's psychiatrist.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Not at all - it's Ubersauage! It pulverises Pepperami, frightens Frankfurters and walks over Wall's. Fresh Blood Theatre's acclaimed show runs at the C venue at Over-Seas House until 30 August.

The Velveteen Rabbit is one of a number of children's shows taking place at the festival. Based on a book by Margery Williams, the show tells the story of a stuffed toy who wants to become a real rabbit. It is at the South Bridge Resource Centre from 9-14 and 16-21 August.

The written word also has its own celebration with the International Book Festival from 14 - 30 August. Billed as the world's largest and most influential literary event, the festival offers a copious menu of talks, readings and debates for readers and budding writers alike. A library-full of books of every imaginable genres can be snapped. And over 350 famous authors, including Annie Proulx, Vikram Seth, J K Rowling, Beryl Bainbridge, Will Self, Terry Gilliam, and Benjamin Zephaniah will be on hand.

X-rated: The near-the-knuckle thrills of the Jim Rose Circus come to Edinburgh in Secrets of the Strange, where Rose "leads and misleads a rapt audience on a journey rife with misunderstood and mysterious achievements and exploits". His show runs at the Guilded Balloon at the Palladium from 8-24 August.

Young people flock to Edinburgh many to take part in some of the thousands of performances in the city. For most it will be the first and last time they will tread the boards but some are sure to go on and find fame. If you want to spot some star actors of the future check out productions by the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and the National Student Theatre Company.

The Z Theatre Company are back at Edinburgh for their 18th year. Their show Playing With Murder promises a cure to "boredom, insomnia and flatulence" - or that's what the programme says, anyway. The company is based at Roman Eagle Lodge from 6-21 August.

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