If you were in Edinburgh during the 1977 festival there were two shows you couldn’t miss. One was the revue Beyond a Joke starring a young unknown called Rowan Atkinson. The other, down at the old Calton Studios, was a three-hander called Writer’s Cramp.
The exuberant comedy by first-time playwright John Byrne was one of those word-of-mouth hits that only the fringe could produce. The tiny venue was so packed that critic Michael Coveney had to crouch under a canvas chair occupied by a friend of the mother of actor Bill Paterson. “I have always retained a soft spot, and a bad back, for this wonderfully entertaining and freeform spoof revue,” he later wrote. [READ MORE]