Some Fringe events really are worth getting upset about - Vladimir McTavish

We’re now in the penultimate weekend of the Fringe, so I apologise in advance for mentioning the F-word as I reckon a lot of local people are getting a bit fed-up of reading about it.

While a lot of column inches have been devoted to actor Georgie Grier, who posted a picture of herself shedding a tear after she only sold one ticket for her opening night, other people have experienced genuine trauma this festival.

Last week I reported about my friend and fellow comedian Raymond Mearns suffering a stroke at the end of the first week. I’m pleased to report that he appears to be making very good progress.

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Also, a Go Fund Me page set up by Scottish stand-up Graham Mackie has already raised a five-figure sum while the benefit gig for Raymond organised by The Stand has already sold out.

Ironically, he is actually on course to have his most financially-rewarding Fringe ever.

While the media were falling over themselves to cover someone supposedly crying over their audience of one, my mate Ralph Brown’s personal Fringe drama was only reported in this newspaper. Ralph’s show was disrupted by a drunken, deranged heckler pulling out a gun. Somewhat scarier than having to face a crowd of one.

Fortunately the gun turned out to be fake and Ralph has already written a hilarious routine about the episode. Catch him at the Waverley Tavern at 10pm.

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Utterly tragic, however, was the news last Thursday that shocked the comedy community to its core. The wonderful Lydia Cohen-Mason died unexpectedly in London while waiting for an operation. Many of us are still finding this news hard to take.

Lydia was a stalwart of the Laughing Horse Free Festival, producing shows, and rattling a bucket for donations at the back of the room. She was an enthusiastic supporter of new talent and was universally adored on the circuit. All of us who knew and loved her are still feeling devastated by her loss.

There will be a memorial gig for Lydia, raising money for The Sepsis Trust, next Friday at 5.45pm at The Three Sisters. That is an event much more worthy of support than buying a ticket for some actor who pretends to cry because they get an audience of one.

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