Nostalgia: City benefits from the Fringe

Marillyn Gray as Cleopatra, accompanied by her hand-maidens, at the Pollock Hall in 1963. Picture: TSPL
Marillyn Gray as Cleopatra, accompanied by her hand-maidens, at the Pollock Hall in 1963. Picture: TSPL
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THE Fringe festival once again transformed the Capital into a riot of colour this week, with venues springing up across the city for the start of the world’s biggest arts event.

The internationally renowned event has been bringing the weird and wonderful to the theatres, bars and streets of the city for decades, and this year will be no exception.

Harmonica player Larry Adler outside Morton House in 1965. Picture: TSPL

Harmonica player Larry Adler outside Morton House in 1965. Picture: TSPL

In 1963 pedestrians were treated to the sight of Cleopatra, played by Marillyn Gray, as she was joined by her hand-maidens for a walk around the city centre to promote their show Toccata for Cats, playing at Pollock Hall.

Harmonica player Larry Adler provided some welcome street entertainment outside Morton House on Blackfriars Street in 1965, and even took the time to show some local boys how to play.

One of the strangest sights seen in the Capital included a pack of camels resting in Parliament Square as they awaited their cue to join the Tattoo in 1963, with curious local youngsters keeping a safe distance from the impressive animals, being looked after by their owners.

A two-headed monkey clown waiting on a bus would seem out of place anywhere else, but it was just another day at the fringe for the performers from the Open Hand Tickling Machine theatre workshop in Stockbridge as they waited to get transport to their venue in 1988.

Children keep a safe distance from a group of camels sitting in Parliament Square as they await their cue to take part in the 1963 Tattoo

Children keep a safe distance from a group of camels sitting in Parliament Square as they await their cue to take part in the 1963 Tattoo

The city also sees some more traditional entertainment of course, and in 1977, performer Bob Berky the clown attracted a gaggle of young fans as he rode through the streets of the city on his unicycle, accompanied by his faithful dog.