The gates of George Square Gardens in Edinburgh open at 10am sharp, although most Fringe comedians and performers will never have been there at that – to them – unearthly hour.
Remarkably enough there is such a thing as a morning Fringe, though. It's a world of coffee-cups, pastries and babycinos, frequented by the parents of young children – those, for instance, in the snaking buggy queue outside Monski Mouse's Monster Baby Disco Dance Hall, or the small gathering nearby of three stage veterans, Nina Conti, Ali McGregor and Lucy Porter. These three sip coffee and exchange anecdotes about baby-led weaning, vegetables, playparks and breast-feeding around shows. Every now and again they glance at their children, one-year-old Drummond, two-year-old Beatrice and eight-month-old John respectively. Ali McGregor tells her daughter Beatrice, who clutches an inflatable Minnie Mouse, that mummy will come and join the disco shortly. And what comes out of wide-ranging babytalk, is that being a stand-up or Fringe performer, is a perfect career for a mother.
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