Friday, 26 August 2011

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 part one

I went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Sunday and came back last night, I'm going back again tomorrow (I came back for one day of work!) so I thought I'd post my thoughts on some of the shows I saw on Part One of the trip, before I forget them all after Part Two!
The first show I saw was The Man Who Planted Trees, a kids show which I was attracted to by the puppet in this photograph and by my pal Calum recommending it. It was really lovely, a simple poignant story told by a soft spoken English bloke in French and English while the other guy provided the comic relief in the form of a wise cracking American puppet dog- the dog was coincidentally the best actor I saw this last week.
Mind you, the actors in Subsist, a post-Zombie Apocolypse drama, were pretty darn good too. I've known the company since they were students and now they are fully formed actors. A good gimmick; there are four different endings and none of the actors know which it'll be until the final scene- the one I got was chilling, though I believe most of them are! Trapped in the claustrophobic venue with them the play was terrifying. Great achievement for a play with no actual zombies.
And on a lighter note some radio4 types pretend to teach lions synchronised swimming. Paul Merton's Impro Chums was such a timewarp of a show! I like Radio4 but this was like Radio4 in the 1950s! Still a giggle but wow, times have changed. Nice and gentle, I hope the 70 year olds in the audience weren't too upset by the eff word.Jimeoin is another one good for a giggle. We saw him last year so Laura and I decided to go again! He had a new show, and only did about three minutes of last year's material. A lot of this year's show seemed to be observational comedy about different birds- not women, like pigeons and swans... I like him, he has a mad face. That's really all you want from an Irish comic.
My Family saw the Duchess of Malfi a few years go without me, I really wanted to see it because I love Imogen Stubbs. I missed it though, can't remember why. Anyway, I was on my way to buy shoes when I was given the flyer for Malfi, a version of the play set in a Jazz club. I thought, yeah, I don't need shoes and stumbled into the Bedlam Theatre.
It was exactly what I pictured- in a good way! These Revengers Tragedy type plays are always good when the blood and horror is choreographed, jazz was the perfect choice. The music and mood was so well done. Good company too- The Offshoots- good name!
Set in a fudge shop, about guys working in a fudge shop, free fudge?! The Fudge Shop was fun and the fudge was sickly. Luckily they also gave out free bottles of water for you to wash it down with. For the cheapest show I saw (seven quid) it was really good value! My friends have given it five stars, I reckon this is because they're starving, I'd give it three and a half, cut that baby-blowjob joke and you'd get four. Loved the ending, really fun.

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