The Edinburgh Fringe Full Monty (nearly) – Day 12, 16th August 2022

Another full day of shows in Edinburgh? Yep!

Here’s the schedule for 16th August:

12.00 – In Conversation with… Devi Sridhar, The Stand’s New Town Theatre. From the Edinburgh Fringe website:

Devi Sridhar“Devi Sridhar is Professor and Chair of Global Public Health at The University of Edinburgh. As a Rhodes Scholar she holds an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford, where she has since held research positions. She has served as a policy adviser for WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Scottish, UK and German governments and in 2017 she co-wrote the academic book Governing Global Health with Chelsea Clinton. Devi writes for the Guardian and is regularly called upon to discuss the coronavirus pandemic for broadcast media.”

Devi Sridhar was one of the few people you could absolutely trust when it came to discussing Covid during the pandemic. I’m not sure if this is a presentation by her or an interview (by some unnamed person!) but whatever I’m sure it will be fascinating.

UPDATE: Not entirely sure what I was expecting from Devi Sridhar, but this conversation with sports journalist Graham Spiers revealed her motivations for becoming a public health expert, her background, her opinions on a wide range of subjects and also much of the private person behind the headlines. She’s a natural at the Q&A, and it was a fascinating hour. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

13.30 – Can the Police Be Feminist? The Stand’s New Town Theatre.

Emily Mann“Integrity, fairness and respect. Sound familiar? Sounds feminist. These are the values of policing in Scotland. But can policing have a feminist agenda when the police are renowned globally for misogyny, racism and homophobia? Emily Mann (The University of Edinburgh) asks are policing and feminism even compatible? And what would need to change to create a police force that genuinely does protect and serve everyone?”

The second of two Spoken Word events this afternoon, this is a vital subject and I shall be very interested to hear what Emily Mann concludes.

UPDATE: Edinburgh University PhD student Emily Mann didn’t conclude anything; rather she posed a rather loose introduction to this fascinating subject and quickly passed it over to the audience for their observations and questions, to the majority of which she had no answer. This wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it sparked off a big discussion between Mrs C and me later on about so-called Police Canteen Culture and abolitionism, which I really wasn’t aware is actually “a thing”. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

16.00 – (Le) PAIN, Assembly Roxy.

Le Pain“'(Le) PAIN brilliantly expresses the pressure of generational expectations and a small-village mindset… using the metaphor of bread to capture the evolution of personhood, from ingredient to the dough and finally to hot-steaming wonder’ **** (Skinny). This five-star hit show is about breadmaking, physical heroics, growing up queer in a boulangerie in the south of France, endings and new beginnings and involves circus, dance, storytelling, Béarnaise folklore, video, karaoke and laughter. ‘Very funny’ **** (Guardian). ‘A thrilling collage’ **** (Scotsman).”

From the sublime to the ridiculous, if this show is done well I’m expecting it to be a total scream.

UPDATE: Jean Daniel presented us with some very funny moments and entertaining flour-based choreography; but the show itself came across as pretty surreal and I felt that maybe it was trying to tie together too many separate ideas. Nevertheless, there’s nice use of video, good pipe playing, and the oddest ever Holy communion! *delicious bread 😀 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

17.50 – Abigail Rolling: Shit Lawyer, Just the Tonic Nucleus.

Abigail Rolling“Abby has been chained to a radiator in the magistrates’ court for almost 30 years. With misanthropic mirth she pulls back the curtain on a criminal justice system in terminal decline. Dark. Funny. Underfunded. And that’s just her. The stories are true, the crisis real. ‘She’s ace’ (Micky P Kerr, Really Funny Comedy). ‘Some of the cleverest writing I’ve heard, beautifully balanced… truly masterful’ (RockCentral Promotions). ‘She’d better make it in comedy ‘cos she’s a shit lawyer’ (Picture House Comedy). ‘The funniest solicitor I ever met’ (Chris Lang, screenwriter).’”

I’ve never heard of Abigail Rolling but I’m loving the sound of her show. She could be the Adam Kay of Law!

UPDATE: “Shit Lawyer” is something of a misnomer as Abigail Rolling seems to be to be a pretty good lawyer; it’s just that when you’re defending someone who’s clearly guilty, there’s not much you can give. Less stand-up comedy, more light-hearted lecture, taking in some very serious and non-comedic topics. I wasn’t enthralled by her observation that 95% of women from Rotherham are in an abusive relationship, that doesn’t seem to treat Rotherham residents with much respect! (I know it’s meant to be a joke, but sometimes those jokes can feel rather iffy). One thing’s for sure – you wouldn’t choose to come into contact with the Criminal Justice system if you could possibly avoid it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

19.30 – Biscuit Barrel: Wafering Heights, Just the Tonic at The Caves.

Wafering Heights“69 sketches performed in an hour! The acclaimed hyperactive group return to Edinburgh. ‘The hit-rate of their sketches is high’ (List). Absurd slapstick, quickfire wordplay… and a detective trying to stop a killer from the future destroying the show. Skits include a bickering set of door keys, an abattoir for vegetarian substitutes, and the strange creatures of the Origami Universe. Featuring DazzReviews, as seen on YouTube. The Barrel have previously had sold-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Fringe, Winchester Comedy Festival and their own comedy night in Bristol. ‘Fast, slick and very funny’ ***** (Derek Awards).”

Here’s another show that has grabbed me by the ridiculousness of its name! We’ve not see the Biscuit Barrel before but I do like a good sketch show – and we have 69 of the little beauties promised!

UPDATE: The Basket Barrel team are blessed with heaps of energy, which makes for a very fast paced show. They’re also a very likeable bunch and, for the most part, naturally funny people. However, a sketch show has to stand or fall on the quality of its humour and nearly all the sketches were just dismal in the extreme. Should have been so much better than it was. ⭐️

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