COMIC DEATH TOLL “IN THE HUNDREDS” SAY FRINGE ORGANISERS

28 08 2007

Calls for the Edinburgh Fringe to be scrapped gained momentum yesterday, after organisers announced over 250 performers had died at this year’s event.

The shocking figures were released on the last day of the Fringe, which saw 31,000 performances of over 2,000 shows.

At least 75 acts were pronounced dead on stage before the end of the first week. Six comedians are still thought to be on life support at the nearby Murrayfield Hospital.

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Those calling for the Fringe to be postponed indefinitely lashed out at the event committee, declaring their actions “reckless and cruel”.

“Their actions are reckless and cruel,” said Jenny Copperswaite, whose husband Barry died at the 2004 Fringe, ” and I’d go so far to suggest it’s tantamount to manslaughter.”

“The acts are forced to work up to an hour a day, every day for a month (except the 13th), living in bars and delis, drinking six or seven pints a day, putting on weight and taking drugs like they’re wagon wheels,” explained Copperswaite, “yet the organisers do nothing except shit on all the money they’ve screwed out the acts and the audience.”

The highest profile act to die at this year’s event was Robin Ince, performing his solo show Robin Ince Knew This Would Happen.

“I’d almost made it through to the end of the Fringe, and then I died on the last night,” said Ince.

“The show just fell apart. I’m devastated.”

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