Now it’s time for our third and final visit to the show that’s one of our annual, must-see events. It’s the irrepressibly brilliant James Loveridge and an equally amazingly wonderful female host – not sure who she’ll be quite yet – presenting Spank! at Belly Dancer @ Underbelly, Cowgate, at midnight on the night of Saturday 25th. Here’s the blurb: “Spank! returns for an incredible 15th year with hilarious hosts, awesome comedians and gratuitous nudity. Showcasing the most exciting comedy and cabaret on the Fringe, don’t miss the ‘best wild night out’ (Scotland on Sunday) at the festival! ‘Comedy and legendary party night… if you haven’t experienced this night, get down there right away!’ (Time Out). ‘It’s raunchy, raucous and ridiculous. Utterly and absolutely hilarious’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘Everything you could hope for in a late-night comedy showcase… absolutely must-see show’ ***** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Atmosphere is electric… you just don’t quite know what is going to happen next… superb’ ***** (One4Review.co.uk).”
This is also going to be our final show of the Fringe for this year. Let’s hope they give us a great send off! I’m hoping that, even though this is the Saturday show, it will still be hosted by James; they don’t seem to be doing a Spanktacular show this year. Check back around 3am (or maybe early on Sunday morning) to see who were the guests, who got naked and how much fun we had. And thanks so much to everyone for reading, and I hope I gave you a feel for the spirit and excitement of the Fringe – and if you didn’t come this year, you must come in 2019!!
Final night in Edinburgh, final Spank. As enduring as Arthur’s seat, as constant as the morning star. Hosting was the new dream team of James Loveridge and Evan Desmarais, and our guests were Hot Mess, a musical misanthrope called Richard, Clara Cupcakes, the brilliant Tim Renkow, Tamsyn Kelly, Ro Campbell and the superb Lauren Pattison who threw a glass of beer over a punter who wouldn’t stop talking…. well she did warn him. The naked promo was a guy called James who simply did it so he could sing Happy birthday to Megan. Always an amazing night, still unbeatable entertainment!
We’ve left one of the top Edinburgh attractions till almost the end. We saw these guys in Edinburgh in both 2016 and 2017 with their shows DoomDah and Oink, and they never fail to bring joy. They’re Foil, Arms and Hog: Craicling, at McEwan Hall @ Underbelly, Bristo Square, at 21:00 on Saturday 25th. Here’s the blurb (which stays the same, year in, year out): “Irish comedy, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato… you racist. Sold-out Fringe 2009-2017. Over 100 million hits on YouTube. Foil, Arms and Hog celebrate a decade at the festival with their best show yet, Craicling. ***** (Irish Times). **** (Times). ***** (Irish Examiner). ‘Very funny’ (Rowan Atkinson). ‘An effervescent hour of fast-paced gags, fizzing with energy, invention and great lines’ (Chortle.co.uk). ‘Quite simply, a sensation’ (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine).”
In 2016 I got roped into so many sketches with them, because we sat in the front row. I have to say, I loved every minute of it! Last year I managed to avoid such audience participation. Check back around 10.15pm to see if I got into trouble again. By then the final preview blog should be available to read too.
As always, the three guys give us some brilliant, wacky sketches, with a reasonable amount of audience participation! You never quite know where anything is heading! It’s an extremely large hall, but surprisingly you don’t really miss the intimacy of the old smaller venues. Next year the Albert Hall?
After some political intrigue, the next play looks like it’s going to be about playing personal mindgames. It’s Entropy at the The Dairy Room @ Underbelly Bristo Square at 19:15 on Saturday 25th. Here’s the blurb: “’It was enormous, what I did. What else could I have achieved that would have received so much attention?’ Sam has turned up on Barbara’s doorstep unannounced after years of absence, not for nostalgic reasons, but for reasons of his own that become apparent as he plays games with her – and on her. An intriguing and disturbing play full of dark humour.”
Sounds very dark – but hopefully also very enjoyable. This will be our last play of the Fringe, so let’s hope it gives us a good send off! Check back around 8.30pm to see what happened. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Intricate and threatening two-hander, very suspenseful as it conveys the enduring after-effects of child abuse. But how much is in his imagination, and how much did she know about it? That would be your interpretation. Gripping and very enjoyable!
Into the home stretch now as we embark upon our last four shows on our last evening in Edinburgh. First up, it’s Westminster Hour at Novotel 1 @ Sweet Novotel at 17:55 on Saturday 25th. Let’s read the blurb: “Fatal consequences in this fast-paced and darkly comedic drama with unexpected twists. On the evening Home Secretary Archie Cornwall celebrates the passing of new, tougher sentencing for convicted paedophiles, a seemingly random shooting in South London leads a former lover to implicate Cornwall in a historic abuse case. But is he too powerful to fall – and who will be silenced to save him? From the writer of the cult play 3000 Trees: The Death of Mr William MacRae.”
Westminster Hour stars Rachel Ogilvy & Andy Paterson. We’ve seen a number of plays based on political intrigue over the last few Edinburgh Fringe seasons and they’ve all been highly entertaining. Check back around 7.15 pm to see if this one was too. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Smart little production, featuring two thoroughly corrupt characters, but you can’t work out how they’re going to resolve the problem till the last minute. Two excellent performances too. Nicely horrible!
Our next show stars a comedian whom I saw for the first time last year in one of these various variety-type shows and he really impressed me with his likeable and thoroughly recognisable brand of humour. It’s Ben Clover: Crème Brûlée at The Loft @ Laughing Horse @ The Counting House at 14:45 on Saturday 25th. Here’s the blurb: “A single creme brûlée can change the course of your whole life. Find out how in the latest show from award-winning stand-up Ben Clover. ‘A delight’ (Chortle.co.uk). ‘Comedy gold’ (Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard). ‘Impressive’ (LondonisFunny.com).”
I have no idea how a dessert can change your life but I’m willing to find out! Check back around 4pm to see what it was all about. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Ben’s tale of dessert-based revenge is crammed with jokey observations and has loads of opportunities for very entertaining banter with the audience. He really creates a warm and comfy environment for us all to relax; a small venue which Ben uses to its best advantage. Lots of laughs in this very funny gig!
After what I think will be quite a serious start to the day, I’m hoping for something just a little lighter with our next show. It’s Outside Chance’s production of Born on a Monday at Olive Studio @ Greenside @ Infirmary Street at 12:50 on Saturday 25th. Here’s the blurb: “Button your shirt. Go get a haircut. Saturday’s a great day to die. How do we prepare for life knowing full well that nothing will go according to plan? Based on the classic Solomon Grundy nursery rhyme, born on a Monday is a grimly humorous look at life, death, and all the days in-between. This company-devised piece features new writing, original music and a team of multidisciplinary young artists exploring the moments that make us feel like we’re dead and the moments that make us feel like we’re really alive.”
I wonder how differently we would lead our lives if we knew for definite on which date we’d die. There’d be no hiding place! It’s a scary prospect. Mind you, I’ve no idea if that concept is part of this play! Check back around 2 pm to see what we thought. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Everyone’s dying in this town, so Chris the podcaster tries to investigate, but gets caught up in the weird goings on himself. A delightfully quirky, unpredictable, funny little play, with an engaging and likeable cast. It really benefited from its uncomplicated staging. I’d be lying if I said I fully understood the plot, but somehow that doesn’t matter!
Our first show on Saturday is, I think, going to be an intriguing mix of dance and physical theatre. It’s Definition of Man at 11:25 on Saturday 25th at Mint Studio @ Greenside @ Infirmary Street. Let’s read the blurb: “A sexier, more violent Waiting for Godot, Definition of Man is a physicalised post-apocalyptic decreation myth that won Best in Dance and Physical Theatre and Ripest Show at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe. Drawing from Kenneth Burke’s essay of the same name, the show investigates the human drive to communicate and the inevitable breakdown that results from the inherent incompleteness of language. The one-act show was created by Nikki Muller and Jason Rosario by synthesising personal narratives, academic texts and Russian counterbalancing to explore issues of identity, race, gender performance and communicative breakdown.”
This ought to be first rate – it comes highly recommended – but I’m not entirely sure what to expect. Check back around 12.45pm to see what we thought of it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
The last man and woman left alive in a post apocalyptic world, as interdependent as two chromosomes, in a beautiful, moving, thought-provoking piece. How sad the company chose to destroy it by having an official photographer snap and click all the way through. No matter how delighted you are that you’ve made it to Edinburgh, and how much you want photos to attract future audiences, that disrespects the current audience and is an abominable practice.