SCIENTISTS are visiting Edinburgh to photograph the exact moment at which a festival performer’s spirit breaks.
Human misery researchers from the Institute for Studies are using special cameras pointed at the stage in a pub basement venue that smells of chips and tears.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: “We hope to capture that moment when a mixture of sleep deprivation, Scottish food and an audience of six people who are basically sheltering from the rain utterly overwhelms a performer.
“Although it has never been captured, it is rumoured that at the very moment of soul-crushing you can actually see a person’s spirit leave their body as a vague greyish cloud, like a Victorian ghost photo.
“We’ve told the acts that we’re journalists from a magazine called ‘ComedyBuzz’. This may be a slight ethical grey area, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.””
One of the acts under surveillance is Tom Logan, who is performing a satirical monologue about a corrupt politician who is in love with a sandwich.
He said: “I’ve spent thousands of pounds and poured all my hopes and dreams into this performance. It will be great because I am amazing.
“I’ve already had nine five-star reviews on websites my brother set up. There will be all kinds of agents, TV producers and more than a few sexy girls in the audience.
“Best of all it’s being covered by a magazine called ComedyBuzz. I’m obviously ‘hot talent’.”