Episode 2 Edinburgh Nights with Sue Perkins

Episode 2

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Hello, we're slap bang in the middle of the world's cultural shin dig,


camping out to bring you the best from the Edinburgh Festival. Like


Laura's naked dance interpretation of Robert Runcey's autobiography -


smokin' stuff! APPLAUSE


Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together and stomp your feet!


The more per acceptive amongst you will realise they were tapping a


morse code version of the paper on arts and culture. See them at the


Assembly hall. After two weeks with stinking hyperactive dancers and


thespians, the city is earning its name of old reeky. There is nothing


like a dame, nothing in the world, there is nothing that you can name


that is anything like a dame, except my next guest, she is literally a


dame. Star of stage and screen. She's featured in a gritty warts and


all documentary about the Royal Family called Game of Thrones.


Please welcome, ladies and gentleman, Dame Diana Rigg!


APPLAUSE There you are. Nice to see you.


How does one address a dame? Just Diana. Is it true this is your first


Edinburgh? Yeah, it is. I can't believe that. No, no, sorry, no, I


did a poetry reading a thousand years ago with four guys in Saint


Cecilia's Are you hall. Sure it was a poetry reading? It was! The lady


who ran it, after the interval she used to knock on our door and go,


"The loos are empty." That was our cue to go back on. We should give


this back, talking of loos. I've never seen a dame break a toilet.


This is what happened in the portaloos a moment ago. I was nearly


not here. You know that old lady locked in the lavatory, that was me!


I was locked in the... Excuse me Fridayinging porta cabin -- frigging


porta cabin lavatory. It came off in my The show hands. Is a triumph. No


stone unturned. It's the collection of the world's worst notices or


reviews. It's a history of the theatre based on what happened in


the theatre from 563 BC to now with a lot of notices about actors and


actresses, the current ones, mostly alive. Bad notices, because it's


criticism that has joined us all together, from way back when. Do you


know what I mean? Yes, let's look at a clip of the show. Olivier just


crooked his finger. I went towards him. He was such a wicked old man.


He had a habit of rolling his tongue around his mouth and he went, "You


weren't wearing a bra during that performance, were you? And I said


no. He went, "Very disturbing." APPLAUSE


Cast Sir Laurence Olivier in a different light to the one we


remember him as. He was an epic actor. He was wonderful. He was


naughty. Forever afterwards he used to write me notes saying darling,


tits Rigg. Was it quaint then or just appallingly sexist? Oh, God no,


no, it wasn't, absolutely not. That's an example of Olivier being


just The show naughty. Pictured one of your legendary creations Emma


Peel who was an early feminist icon, nobody got the better of her. No,


but the joke was that the guys who wrote it, when I took over, they


were writing for a man. They didn't change The Script. So suddenly this


woman had all these male accomplishments and she became this


feminine icon. You knew that when you took the part on that it was


written for a man? No, I didn't. You just took it. I knew nothing. I was


completely and utterly naive about the whole thing. I didn't know


anything about, you know, awroughty or -- karate or anything like that.


Largely, the stunt men helped you. I just poked them and they did a


double somersault and landed on the floor, do you see what I mean? Yes,


that sounds perfect. You went on from one feminist heroine to


another. Your character in James Bond, the only woman that James Bond


ever wanted to marry. I know and what a James Bond that was! I've


heard the legend. Are they true? He was a They are nightmare. True. Oh,


God, I wish it had been Roger or Sean, but no, I got George.


LAUGHTER What was so bad about George? He was


stupid for starters. I wish you'd just say what you mean. So, he was a


sort of witless Bond. He was ghastly. He had read too many film


magazines and thought that's the way to behave. He was ghastly. I had to


marry the man. Well not for very long. No, thank It didn't God. Turn


out well. When the shot went through the temple, I went, "Oh, thank God."


APPLAUSE Will you share with us your worst


review. Yeah, sure. No problem. I was in a play called Abilar and


Eloise. I played it in London and on Broadway. We had a nude scene. The


director assured us the nude scene was absolutely essential, which it


wasn't. The nude scene, an American critic said, "Diana Rigg is built


like a brick mausoleum with insufficient flying buttresses. " I


can't... Stay with us for a while. Sure. No turn unstoned is at the


Assembly. In the month-long marathon of mayhem which is the fringe, it


comes down to the survival of the fittest, sheer Mark Watson on


maintaining the pace. We're right in the middle of the


Edinburgh Fringe. For performers doing three, four, five gigs a night


can take its toll. To get through Edinburgh you need talent, a bit of


luck, but you need stamina. If you're going to survive August as a


performer you have to be match fit. I'm going to meet the act with the


most physical stamina in town. The acrobats are performing their show


in the big top. We will fly you through. Good. And they're going to


show me the ropes, if you will. Higher? No, that's enough, I think


height-wise, for me. Wow. That is amazing, actually. On balance I'm


not sure the circus life is for me. There's more than one type of


physical endurance at the fringe. I've been lost at sea for two weeks


now, I have maintained suss tennance for rationing a small box of


ultra-filled chewy choc chip muesli Another act bars. Who know abouts


stamina and survival against the odds is Sam Simmons, whose show


Death of a Sailsman, sees him as a gentleman stranded at sea on a wind


surfing board. I'm so lonely. We could be friends. The oyster, my


friend. Let's be honest, loneliness is not the biggest problem around


here. Most acts suffer from excess sociability. Another pint, please.


Keeping up your social stamina for the month is a challenge that has


sunk the most seasoned of acts. One popular show takes the arousing here


out of the bar and puts it centre stage. Erm...... I've got lines. So


many lines. Every night the cast of classically-trained actors performs


a Shakespeare comedy. And every night, one member of the cast does


it well, completely drunk. You can work on your physical stamina but


what gets performers through this long, often gruelling month is the


adrenaline, the thrill of performance, that's what we're in it


for really. I'm going to a show now in fact, on that note.


If you enjoyed that, I can thoroughly recommend check off on


coat main, amazing -- ketamine, amazing. He will be back next week.


Having won multiple awards for bravo Figaro, comedian Mark Thomas returns


to the stage with Cuckooed. It's a true story of how he discovered his


co-activist and close friend was spying on him for Britain's biggest


arms dealer. Ladies and gentleman, my pleasure to welcome Mark Thomas.


APPLAUSE Hello gorgeous. Hello. First of


all... You've got fab Thank you hair. Very much. You have an


incredible show, which I saw yesterday. Thank you. You moved me.


You keep doing it every festival. Tell us about the story behind the


show. Basically, there's a chap who was a very good friend of mine. He


gets accused of spying for BA systems. We used to go on direct


actions together and there was a massive act of betrayal. I've tried


to track him down to confront him. Although you've tried to track him


down and to contact him through text and other means, he has, at no


point, ever said he did it, didn't do it, he side steps it. No, BA


systems have admitted to spying on a small group of quakers and


guardian-reading athesits, which is quite nuts, but if you're that big,


they've been forced to admit in court that they spied. But this chap


has never said - never admit today. BAe Systems have said the e-mails


were sent anonymously. So you don't know. One of the big things is you


want to confirm that it actually happened. There's an extraordinary


moment, but you say that what you thought was loyalty towards your


friend is actually fear. You don't want to know. You don't want to see


the truth. You don't want to look at the report or accusations in detail.


Yeah, I think there is. Human beings have an amazing ability to block off


any notion that we're being duped. When I used to do telly stuff and


used to do quite bad things. I mean my mate used to say, like we did


really bad things for good reasons to bad people. Which kind of


justifies it, but only just. Sometimes I remember dog an


interview with a bloke who was just, he was running some private health


thing and he suddenly r realises that actually he's not doing an


interview that he thought he was doing. There's a look of terror


where he's denying it's going on. All of us have got that ability to


deny that something really bad is happening to us. We've got a clip of


the show. This happens, this is when you got arrested after a direct


action against BAe Systems. There was a big arms fair and me and my


mates decided we would try to stop this busful of BAe Systems arms


dealers and we ran at the bus, got the bus to stop and then I would nip


underneath and attach myself to the axel of the bus using a bicycle D


lock and my neck. I'm very open about the fact that we rushed the


planning meeting. I'm really open about that. Basically, that's what I


do. I attach myself to the underside of the vehicle and then eventually


after coming out, I am arrested and that's it. I'm taken to the police


station. This is what happens... As you're led away. As I'm led to be


arrested properly, I'm led towards the police van and Martin pushes


through the crowd. Pushes his way to the front of the tape and stands


there. "Clenched fist salute, I've got a camera. Come on photograph."


What the salute you did was less bravoment No the clenched fist


salute wasn't that it was like this. It was more Tooting popular front.


When you talk about direct action it's interesting because you get the


sense of the camaraderie. You get the sense that it's fun. You get to


be big kids doing something profound. That's where I think the


sense of your friendship with Martin really comes across. You say he's


there for you when you're arrested. He's there when you come out. We


did, I mean, you would do these things that really you shouldn't do.


Not just attaching yourself to buses, which I wouldn't recommend to


anyone. I think that's a rule for life. Martin, for example, he put a


custard pie into the face of the chief executive of this arms company


just went up and pied him. You know, there's a certain wonderful childish


Gleeson about For sure that. . Childish glee about that. Yeah, for


sure. It bonds you Your show together. Last year was profound


about your relationship with your father. This year, another male


friendship under the spotlight. The connection that you have with your


male counterparts, you just manage to draw so beautifully. I won't wax


lyrical but I can really love your show. You must see it. There's


surprisingly little bitterness towards the man who was effectively,


you believe, sending personal details to your enemies. Without


getting too Johnny Cash about the whole thing, all of us are in need


of redemption. We are slow to give it on occasion to other people.


Actually, I think the whole thing about it is - and there's an


interesting thing which actually, you know, this is not a man with a


lot of money. You know, I don't think he made an enormous amount of


money. You feel sorry for someone in those It's an circumstances.


Extraordinary piece of work. You're going on tour with it. I am. Yes. In


August, this city is the only place to be. Here is the wonderful Tim Key


with his Edinburgh essentials. My name is Tim. I am I bearded poet


and comedian. I have been coming to Edinburgh for 14 years. Every year,


there are things that change and there are things that stay the same.


The things that change are one, whether I have a beard. Two, the


different, exciting shows I watch. Three, the name of my show and the


things I say and do on stage. And four, I sometimes try a different


pie. The things that stay the same are: One, the terrible, terrible


things I put in my mouth. Two, the drizzle. Three, hearing bird song on


leaving a bar and four, my pilgrimage to salisbury cag. Every


year I have done this run, for an hour you can focus on pain and just


feel heroic. -- Salisbury Crag. As I become fatter from the effects of


being a professional comedian, so it becomes more difficult. It is a


struggle. Not exhilirating any more, just a problem to be solved. But I


always do it. I bound up like a Ghazal, an garb gazelle, an


overweight one with mild respiratory problems. My legs are heavy and my


mind doesn't think it's a great idea. I am driven this year by the


fact that there is a camera on me and the fact that if I don't do it,


there will be some kind of karma and my show will go wrong. For various


spiritual reasons, I have to reach the peak. And I do. That's the


reward. A God-like view onto Edinburgh's roof tops and beyond,


into the creativity and excitement that pours around this city in




Tim Key with his heavenly view of Edinburgh. My final guest tonight is


the winner of the 2013 Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. She's been


receiving rave reviews for this year's show an Ungrateful Woman.


Welcome Bridget Christie. APPLAUSE


How are you doing? Very well. The show is doing spectacularly well.


Oh, is it? You should know. It was the night I was in. Feminism again,


Bridget? Surely... You mean again... Yes, who would have thought there


was two hours worth to talk about? I know, there's only 200 thousand


years of patriarchal rule. Right, OK, so, basically, the show last


year was going to be my last show for a couple of years. Not forever,


so because I thought that I was going to have a couple of years out,


I just - it liberated me from the need to be liked or popular. So I


just thought I'd say what I liked. Unfortunately, people liked it. So I


had no come back Are you again. Vurs with feminism because now it means


you have to work? I am a bit tired, yeah. I'm sure feminism has improved


the quality of many women's lives, but no, it's completely ruined mine.


I think this year's show has got some of the most extraordinary


elements you'll see in any hour - you've got your struggles with an ad


agency over a yoghurt ad. And material about celebrity squares and


FGM. Not every show can have those elements. No, but in an hour, if


you're doing an hour of comedy, you can absorb serious stuff - I mean I


wouldn't do a club set... About FGM. No. It has to be a sort of try and


trick people, like, do a silly bit, then quite a sear bit. So -- serious


bit. So the FGM bit comes after a routine about buying some bunny's


ears in Ann Summers. I wouldn't do an hour about it. So it's Stealth.


For you, it's the idea that you can do something that is more mainstream


and under that slip something more involved. It's meticulously planned


and That's what structured. I thoughtment Why are you laughing -


it is! No, it's taken me a week to write it. No! Is there anything you


don't think you could talk about? Is anything out-of-bounds? No, it's not


the subject matter, it's what are your targets. You can talk about


anything. And anyone. You just, your logic and argument has to be robust


enough and the target of the joke has to be clear enough so there's no


people are not misconstruing what you're saying. I don't think any


topic aoff limits. I saw Bridget's show on the first day you did it,


and it was genius. It was amazing, the fact that you can interweave


this amazing story, very funny story about going up for a muller yoghurt


ad and FGM. I thought it was brilliant. I agree, you can talk


about anything because you don't laugh at people who are on the


receiving end. No, of course not. It's important to work out who your


targets are and how you approach them. Bridget's show is exemplary


about how you can actually, you can talk about things, it's not as good


as mine... LAUGHTER


Honestly, it's an embarrassment of riches on the couch now. Genuinely,


I have enjoyed your shows. Going back to obviously Dame Dianne why in


our midst, no turn unturned. Do drop the dame. I don't want to, because


I've never meant one. Diana. You know when you can go on websites and


you have to give your details... I don't do that. If you go on the


National Theatre website they have sort of like Prince, sort of regent,


Duke, all this kind of stuff. You could are you never tempted? No, no.


I'm actually a Colonel according to the National Theatre. I've a


reverend. I tried to change my name by deed poll. You remember when I


was really into Charles II. I do remember that. I want to sign my


chequings at Charles II. I had a couple of years where I was really


into him. They said you can't be Charles II but you can be Mr Charles


II. That would be insane. I don't want to be a "Mr". Are you really a


reverend? No, I'm going to be after this show. I became a reverend over


the internet. In America... You can buy a church for $110. I just went


for the I'm going reverend. To reeverybody deciding what kind of


prefix they'd like. Thanks to all my guests. Sadly, we're out of time to


Bridget Christie! Mark Thomas, the Reverend Mark Thomas! And die yaga


rig. We'll be back next week Diana Rigg, we'll be back next week at the


same timement You can see more from the festival in Edinburgh Extra on


BBC Four on Sunday plus a new performance every single day online.


We leave you tonight with the sensational lady Rizzo, here she is


with "If I were your woman." Good night.


# If I were your woman # And you were my man... You can


look me in the eyes, baby # You'd have no other woman


# You would be # If you had the strength to walk


out that door # My love, my love would overrule


your senses # And I'd call you back for more


# If I were your woman # If I were your woman


# And you were my man # Yeah, yeah


# Yeah # Yeah


# She tears you down darling # Says you're nothing at all


# But I'll pick you up darling # When she loves you for


# You're like a diamond # She treats you like glass


# Get you back and love you # But me you won't ask


# If I were your woman # If I were your woman


# Here is what I'd do # I would rather never, ever, ever


stop loving you n frightened, don't look so frightened. Love is forever.


# Life is so crazy # Love is unkind


# Because she came first, darling # Will she hang on your mind


# You are part of me you are, maybe you don't know it yet.


# I'm what you need # But we're too afraid to show it


# If I were your woman # If I were your woman


# Here is what I'd do # I would never, never, never,


never, never, never, never, never, never, never


# Never, never, never, never... Never... Never, never, never


# Never, never, never, never, never # Never, never, never, never, never,


never When I say never, 17-and-a-half nev


times, it's for real baby. # Stop loving you #




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