Walking around town in the sunshine, studying the hoardings of posters which line the road down and back up to the Assembly Rooms, my attention became focused on the use of the word ‘chutzpah’ to describe Andrew Lawrence’s Hate Speech Tour.
If Andrew Lawrence has ‘chutzpah’, is it because he’s centrefold for Scotsgay rather than a neo-nazi, antisemitic Holocaust denier?
Clearly, I do not and never will have balls of steel, but one comment on my recent YouTube video states that I too have chutzpah. The question is, are there any venues out there with the chutzpah to host my new show, Tell Me More Lies?
The show contains a lot of whining, it’s true. The music is there to balance things out. It was a bit of a last minute decision having been out of the country and under the radar for some time. I sent off email enquiries only last week to 15 venues which were still advertising show slots on the Ed Fringe Society website. Two responses: one venue saying they were already fully booked up with acts, but to pop round to discuss eventual possibilities for next year and a second reply from Ghillie Dhu Autorium (no less!) for a four-night run in the middle of the Fringe. When I arrived in Edinburgh last week, I phoned the venue and made an appointment to go and meet the manager the next day.
Still undecided, I told the manager I would be ready to confirm the following day, August 14, for two shows this week. Fully transparent from the outset, I told him I would be publicising via email contacts and flyering only – venue details would be released at the very last minute. He seemed cool and assured me that Ghillie Dhu had no restrictions concerning performance genre or show content. After chatting with Matt, Venues Manager at Fringe Central who was very kind and helpful, I confirmed my acceptance of Ghillie Dhu’s offer.
The next morning, email from Ghillie Dhu telling me the Area Manager had expressed concerns and therefore they were no longer able to host my show. I pleaded; rushed into town to deliver a copy of the script and flyer. The manager, bless him, told me he would try to push it through, alas to no avail. Another email from a certain David Syme, Legal Manager of G1 Group, arrived at lunchtime. Simple refusal. No explanation given.
G1 Group is run by Glaswegian millionaire nightclub and casino owner, Stefan King. Mr King recently made the news after revelations of a two-way mirror at one of his Glasgow nightclubs between the ladies’ loos and a room where men paid £800 per viewing session. Mr King is also regularly named and shamed in the Scottish press for not paying minimum wage to staff. He recently bought up swathes of property in Edinburgh’s West End. The Scotsman, 2002:
Although Stefan King’s father is Catholic and his mother Jewish, neither chapel nor synagogue influenced the boy’s childhood. Today, he has no involvement in religion or politics.
Hmm, really? Tell Me More Lies! I hope the Ghillie Dhu manager doesn’t get into trouble. It seems I am too fringe for the Fringe, too outspoken for the rather laughable free speech pundits on the official listings and, well, definitely not kosher. Which is a shame because Tell Me More Lies features a couple of Jewish tunes including lots of accelerandos and key changes. It’s groundbreaking musical comedy interspersed with socio-political satire (aka whining). I’m sure the audience will be able to grasp irony and won’t go away believing I’m a neo-Nazi, Jew-hating, Holocaust-denying, extremist pin-up girl for Stormfront – even if the last one *might* be true (just a hunch).
Alison Chabloz is still looking for a venue with the chutzpah to host content worthy of a festival fringe. For all enquiries please use the form on the Contact page.