Late night last night so not too early a start for our first performance of the day, Hint of Lime’s production of The Power Behind the Crone at Four @ Assembly George Square Studios, at 12:00 noon on Tuesday 22nd. Let’s read the blurb: “Alison Skilbeck’s serio-comic celebration of Shakespeare’s older women, directed by Tim Hardy. ‘There are no good parts in Shakespeare for older women’. Professor Artemis Turret, played by Alison Skilbeck, sets out to refute these words in an illustrated lecture. Her old chum, international star Dame Bunti Smart, who was to perform the speeches, lets her down. Professor Turret is forced to unveil her own hidden theatrical talents in seven wildly contrasting roles. Skilbeck’s five-star Mrs Roosevelt Flies To London had a near sold-out run at Assembly last year.”
If this is half as good as it sounds, it’s going to be absolutely brilliant! The premise sounds so funny and a good performance should make this magic. Check back around 1.15pm to see what we thought. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Now it’s time for the show that we look forward to the whole year round. It’s the irrepressibly brilliant Abigoliah Schamaun and the amazingly wonderful James Loveridge hosting Spank! at Belly Dancer @ Underbelly, Cowgate, at midnight on the night of Monday 21st. Here’s the blurb: “Spank! returns for an incredible 14th year with sexy hosts, awesome comedians and gratuitous nudity. With the most exciting comedy and cabaret on the Fringe, don’t miss the ‘best wild night out’ (Scotland on Sunday) at the festival!”
This will be our first of three visits this week, and for this first one we hope to be accompanied by our friends Lord Liverpool and the Countess of Cockfosters and their entourage. Check back around 3am (or maybe early on Tuesday morning) to see who were the guests, who got naked and how much fun we had. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
So to my surprise the hosts were Danny O’Brien and Eleanor Conway – and they were great. We had an amazing nine acts, including The Establishment, Saskia Preston, Olaf Falafel, Danny McLaughlin and Sean Patton. The naked promo was by a doctor promoting the Anthony Nolanv trust. We think we may have seen him before. All in all an amazing show, and we didn’t get back to the hotel till 3am.
As a scholar of the old English Literature (well, I was once) and someone who’s fascinated by the history of the theatre, it sounds like this next show should be dynamite. It’s DROLL at Space 1 @ theSpace on the Mile, at 22:05 on Monday 21st. Here’s the blurb: “In 1642, theatre was made illegal. Theatre didn’t die. The award-winning Owle Schreame theatre company present a chaotic and semi-improvised selection of rough, wild, raucous and bawdy, short (illegal) plays from the 16th and 17th centuries. Unperformed for almost 400 years, Drolls were the farcical, chaotic mini-productions held in secret during the outlawing of the theatres, usually finishing with the cast getting dragged to jail. Every performance is unique. Described as innovative, interactive and genuinely engaging, ‘this rare oddity of a production is bacchanalia, call-the-police, drunken theatre: not to be missed. Don’t’ ***** (Guardian).”
I’m hoping for some bawdy fun but also for something that will make this a unique entertainment – not sure what that might be! It’s spelt with capital letters online, so I’ve kept with that formation, but I have no idea if it’s necessary! Check back around 11.15pm to see whether it ticked all the boxes. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
That was absolutely fascinating. The humour of John Swabber, a tale of ridicule and adultery performed with gusto and the first time these pieces have been performed since the 17th century. Remarkable on many levels, and it makes you want to find out more about the drolls. Go see!
Next up is a comic whom we saw earlier in the year and I am officially a major fan – I mean, Tezbian. Yes, it’s Tez Ilyas: Teztify at Beside @ Pleasance Courtyard, at 20:30 on Monday 21st. Read the blurb: “Tez Ilyas feels like he’s constantly on trial. It’s time to teztify against all the assumptions the world has of him. Armed with his trademark cheek and uncompromising approach, don’t miss this slick, smart and typically subversive show. Star of BBC Radio 4’s TEZ Talks, BBC Two’s Live from the BBC and BBC Three’s Man Like Mobeen. ‘Ilyas has a slickness more reminiscent of US comics, and the gags to back it up’ (Guardian). ‘Radiantly entertaining’ **** (Times). ‘A vital discussion of some of the most difficult issues facing this country’ **** (Telegraph).”
I’m really looking forward to this one – Tez makes such a brilliant connection with the audience, pointing out all the racist pitfalls that lurk beneath the surface of our modern society. It’s an hour of new material, so check back around 9.45pm to see how much we enjoyed it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Tez on brilliant form- making some very hard points, sometimes to shuddering effect. Very funny, and very memorable.
Sometimes when you see a title, you just know you have to go and see that show. That was definitely the case for me with Knaive Theatre’s production of Bin Laden: The One Man Show at +2 @ C venues – C, Chambers Street, at 18:30 on Monday 21st. Let’s take a look at the blurb: “‘Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to show you how to change the world…’ The world’s most notorious terrorist tells his remarkable, provocative and multi award-winning story. After a critically-acclaimed USA tour, this incendiary, intelligent show provides fresh perspective; creating a space for debate and dialogue within the unthinkable. Critic’s Pick Of The Fringe Award (Hollywood Fringe Festival 2016). Outstanding Actor in a Drama (San Diego International Fringe Festival 2016). Broadway Bobby (BroadwayBaby, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013). Top 5 Theatre Shows at the Fringe (List, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013).”
I’m sure this is going to have an element of the ridiculous about it – at least I hope so – but I’m pretty sure it’s also going to have its serious side too; and I do hope that rampant numbers of innocent deaths aren’t going to be comic material. We will see. Check back around 7.45pm to get our instant reactions. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
There was nothing ridiculous about this tour de force. Sam Redway plays Bin Laden taking the audience through the most powerful lecture and re-enactment of the birth of Al-Qaeda and it’s not only a mesmerising piece of acting but a daring challenge to the audience to examine their own motivations. In his place, would we – could we – do what he did? The answer is not straightforward.
Added to all that, I ended up playing the part of the founder of Global Jihad, Abdullah Azzam. That was a personal challenge, and I rather enjoyed it! Yet another must see show.
Sometimes at the Edinburgh fringe, it’s the shows with the most ludicrous titles that can offer the best drama; and that’s what I’m hoping for with Rosalind Blessed’s play The Delights of Dogs and the Problems of People at ‘Studio’ @ SpaceTriplex, at 16:00 on Monday 21st. This is what the official blurb says: “Terror. Joy. Rage. Jealousy. What does it cost to love? When does partner become possession? What is the price to be free? Who is gonna let the dog out? A harrowing but darkly funny look at the descent of a loving relationship into misery and abuse. There is a dangerous animal in the house, but it’s not canine.”
I think this may have legs, if you’ll pardon the animal analogy. I’m looking forward to seeing how the delights of dogs can affect the problems of people, so check back after it’s finished at around 5.30pm to see if we enjoyed it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Utterly shattered. A totally convincing portrayal of a relationship irreconcilably broken down even though he thinks he can keep it going by being practical and supportive. It’s way beyond that. The delights of dogs can mask the holes in the relationship…. or they can make them worse… Superbly performed, with some gentle fourth wall breaking; I say gentle, James said I was a F*** ing prick for not going on late night drinking with him. Not my fault. He caught me unawares. Another must see if you’re up at the fringe.
I’m very fond of contemporary dance and for some reason we’ve only got two dance shows booked this festival, and the first one Really Nice Theatre Company’s production of Two Little Boxes at Emerald Theatre @ Greenside @ Nicolson Square, at 13:50 on Monday 21st. Here’s the blurb: “A wordless blend of mime, clowning, dance and acrobatics, Two Little Boxes is a brand-new piece by Reallynice, exploring the construction of masculinities in young men. Suitable for the hearing-impaired.” Not that informative, there’s much more interesting information about the show if you check their website.
This looks very intense and thought-provoking, so I’m hoping for some well-executed dance and some inventive and intriguing choreography. Check back when it’s finished at around 3.00pm to see what we thought of it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
That was riveting stuff. All the rules of masculinity as played out by the medium of dance. All the aggression, the rivalry, the insecurities, the bravado and the camaraderie; set to an ever changing music track that encouraged the two (brilliant) dancers to explore all their inner depths. Funny, edgy and wonderfully performed. We loved it!