Monday, August 27, 2007

Yann Martel / Ricky Gervais / Seriously #4

Event #36: Yann Martel

Yann Martel won the Booker Prize for his novel Life of Pi, about a young Indian trapped in a lifeboat for months with a Bengal tiger. Today he was talking about the new illustrated edition of the book, Tomislav Torjanac, the creator of these illustrations being selected in an international competition. All his images for the book show the protagonist' point of view, so you only see his hands and feet. This new edition is not officially available till late September, but the local publisers, Canongate, made copies available for the festival.
Martel also spoke about his current project, slated for a 2008 release. It's called "A 20th Century Shirt" and it has two components - a novel and an essay. They will deal with the same material, essentially a non-mimetic analysis of the issues at the core of the Holocaust, much as Orwell examined a totalitarian society in Animal Farm.
It was revealed that Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director of Amelie, Delicatessen, ... will be taking on the film version of Life of Pi.

Event #37: Ricky Gervais - Fame
Not bad stand-up gig at Edinburgh Castle - the steep ticket prices supposedly because of "venue hire". I would have expected more though for £40 quid than an hour show that started 20 minutes late which the audience huddled on very exposed bleachers. The seat I book was positioned right behind a (small-p) pole, which completely blocked any view of the stage. After complaining, I was given a seat up towards the front on the side.

Ricky and his giant Emmy (or is that ME?)
The show was pretty well structured, but I thought there was too much stuff that he had already aired repeatedly on talk-shows over the last year.

I didn't see the big RICKY neon sign from my seat.

Entertaining David Hume.

Earlier in the day I bumped into Paul Ross from the Seriously cast, who suggested I join them all for a trip to the Spiegeltent after tonight's show. Ricky's show got out late, so I didn't think there was much chance of catching Seriously one last time. I dropped into Starbucks to wait it out, as there was nothing else open along the Royal Mile. I got round to the Roxy at 11.15 to find the show just going in as they had been delayed by the previous show at the venue. So I got to see
Event #38: Seriously
and was pleased to find that everyone was in particularly fine voice that evening. Dean said that they were all finding little nuances to explore through the week and he'd been particularly pleased by the way it was going. With one more night for the Fringe run, he offered me another comp ticket for tomorrow night.
We all traipsed down to the Spiegeltent for a couple of drinks, and then to some underground nightclub off the Royal Mile. It was a bit too noisy and stale-smelling to really enjoy, so I slipped home at 3am.

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