Next up should be a good twist on role-playing and comedy theatre. It’s Y-Axis Theatre’s production of TGIF at 22:30 on Friday 23rd at Haldane Theatre @ theSpace @ Surgeons Hall. Let’s read the blurb: “TGIF is the best worst episode of Friends you’ll see this summer. Four best friends meet every Friday night to play their favourite games. This Friday, the gang has two new members. One of them is hiding a dark secret which is about to be revealed. The perfect anti-sitcom is finally brought on stage – hilarious, surprising and twisted, this play will show you how toxic friendships can become and how, in one night, your life can be changed forever.”
This intrigues me; I think there’s going to be a lot of interpersonal savagery going on which might be quite hard to take! Check back around midnight to see what we thought of it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Funny, savage little play which nicely highlights the problems when people from different friend circles try to overlap. Great physical comedy too. We really enjoyed it.
Time now for what should be one of the comic highlights of the Fringe. It’s Garry Starr Conquers Troy at Belly Button @ Underbelly Cowgate at 20:00 on Friday 23rd. Take a look at the blurb: “Having single-handedly saved the performing arts in 2018 with his multi award-winning debut solo show, comic wunderkind Garry Starr delivers another anarchic drama masterclass to remember. Acting was invented by the ancient Greeks. Before that, people were just pretending. With the release of his groundbreaking new book An Actor Pretends, Starr delves deep into his Greek ancestry to enlighten us all with the ancient art of Pretendism, thus saving the performing arts from the evil clutches of Method Acting. **** (Guardian). **** (Scotsman). **** (Evening Standard).”
Garry back in absolutely top form in an hour long riot of silliness and hilarity. As usual he exposes the parts other dramatic actors fail to reach; it’s an indescribable act but about as funny as you can get. If you’re up in Edinburgh you just have to see his show!
Here’s another play that sounds like it’s a cross between black comedy and searing drama; it’s Stage D’Or’s Hitman and Her, on at Q2, PQA Venues @ Riddles Court, at 17:50 on Friday 23rd. Here’s the blurb: “Following the success at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with the five-star show After Today, Stage D’Or returns with their latest work from acclaimed playwright Tim Connery. Donna Ryeman’s friend meets a hitman in a pub as she wants her husband dead. He is reluctant to accept, particularly as it seems that Donna Ryeman’s friend may not be ‘all there’ even though she has a certificate to prove her sanity. Will he take the job? What’s with the Post-it Notes? Why is the pub suddenly so empty? And who is having an affair with her husband?”
This is going to be another of those plays that could be absolutely brilliant or fall flat on its ar*e. Time till tell! Check back around 7.15 pm to see how much we enjoyed it, and by then the preview blog for our next show should be available to read too.
Brisk, content-packed, full of surprises, this is a very enjoyable play with two very good performances. It’s not going to change the world but it’s very entertaining!
Enough humour, it’s back to the serious drama with our next play, Dark Lady Company’s Drowning at 14:30 on Friday 23rd at Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Above. Let’s check that blurb: “What makes a killer? What makes the yearning for connection and friendship so great that you would do anything? How does a mind justify the most terrifying act? In 1991, four Austrian nurses were charged with murdering 49 patients in their beds, but were suspected of killing up to 200. The world premiere of this blistering new play by Jessica Ross, directed by Steven Roy and executive produced by Matrix star Carrie-Anne Moss, forces us to confront all we deem evil, horrible, and hideous. Look carefully enough, and we might just see a little bit of ourselves.”
I sense this could be a chilling, harrowing drama, possibly one to give you nightmares. Just as well it’s a daytime slot! Check back around 3.45 pm to see what we thought about it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Wow! Don’t leave me in the care of any of those nurses, I beg of you! Beautifully acted, smartly staged and with terrifying content. I loved the juxtaposition of the jolly 80s music with the savagery of murder; and with the individual imaginings of what each nurse’s motivation might be. Gripping and first class!
After what I think might have been quite a hard-hitting play, it’s time for a bit of comedy jollity. The next show is Andrew White: Retirement Tour at Just the Cask Room @ Just the Tonic at the Mash House at 13:05 on Thursday 23rd. Here’s the blurb: “What do you do when life comes to a crossroads? Write a show about it, of course! At 19 years old, Andrew White can’t help but question his next steps: should he keep slogging it out on the stand-up circuit? Or should he leave it all behind for further education? Is this truly the Retirement Tour? A brand-new comedy show from ‘one of the most talked about rising star comedians’ (EssexMagazine.co.uk). Weighing up his future, Andrew takes a hilarious look at the value of comedy vs the benefits of university. ‘Not to be missed’ (Daily Record).”
I love the idea that a 19-year-old should be planning his retirement tour. Good man! I’ve not seen Andrew White live before but a video I’ve seen shows a lot of promise – so here’s hoping he’s a great new find. Check back around 2.30 pm to see how funny he was. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Just the Cask Room can be quite a tough venue if you have a small audience; somehow it exposes any weaknesses in your material. Andrew White has a nice, gentle, confiding style but we didn’t feel there was enough to sustain an hour. Plenty of chuckles, and I enjoyed the will-he won’t-he aspect to the structure, but it just lacked a certain something.
We kick off the day with an interesting and potentially challenging play. It’s Laughing Mirror’s production of White Girls at The Turret, Gilded Balloon Teviot, at 11:00 on Thursday 23rd. This is how the blurb describes it: “Two girls go on a journey. They want to annoy their Tory parents. They want to make a difference. But as they find themselves in the middle of an international refugee crisis, they realise they are going to need to do more than just a fun run to help. White Girls explores voluntourism within the Calais Jungle from 2016 to the present day and questions the notion of white charity. **** (BroadwayBaby.com). **** (VoiceMag.uk). Shortlisted for New Writing South’s Best New Play at Brighton Fringe 2018.”
This is a great subject for a play, and a fascinating new subject to consider. The play won some great reviews last year so I’m very keen to see it for myself. Check back around 12.15 pm to see if we enjoyed it. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Beautifully crafted and structured, with a great balance between the middle-class awks element of roughing it and the genuine horror of refugee life. The two engaging performers work superbly well together. Food for thought but great fun too. Highly recommended!
Let’s wind the evening up with a little more sauciness, wrapped up in the familiar experience of the family panto. It’s Pumpkin Pantos’ Pussy in Boots: The Adult Panto, at Grand Theatre @ theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, at 23:25, Thursday 22nd. Let’s read the blurb: “Join us for a naughty night out in which the world of pantomime will be spun on its head in this hilarious, innuendo-filled show packed with sauce, smut and shocks. The Kingdom of Clitopia is in peril from a giant ogre, but with a little help from the magical Puss in Boots will our hero Dick save the land? Will he slay the ogre? And more importantly will he finally have it off with the fair princess? It’s cheeky! It’s sexy! It’s raunchy! It’s everything a panto shouldn’t be!”
Done well this should be brilliant; if it misses its mark it might be ghastly. Fingers crossed! Check back around 1 am to see what we thought. By then the first preview blog for tomorrow should be available to read too.
Someone’s been to see the Sheffield Panto! A show like this, the bigger the audience, the funnier it is; and although we weren’t a massive audience we did rather put our backs into it. I ended up being the Queen’s boyfriend, a demanding job, but someone’s gotta do it. Funny, delightfully traditional in structure, and with plenty of adult humour. I enjoyed it a lot! Oh, and they really pushed the boat out with the “If I were not upon the stage” routine. Top commitment!
Next is one of those adult circus/burlesque shows that Edinburgh seems to do so well, it’s Highwire Entertainment’s Rouge, at Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows – The Beauty, at 21:50 on Thursday 22nd. Here is the blurb: “Circus for grown ups: a decadent blend of sensational acrobatics, operatic cabaret and twisted burlesque. Weeklies winner Best Circus Adelaide Fringe 2018 and Fringeworld 2019. ‘Welcome to a circus for the new age… Brilliant performances covered with rhythm and attitude with a certain aura permeates the venue that embodies the phrase “Filthy and Gorgeous”‘ (WeekendNotes.com). ‘The performance is so high energy, so passionate and executed with such abandon that it can’t help but leave you feeling elated and empowered… if you aren’t turned on by this you might want to consult a physician, because you’re probably clinically dead’ (SmutButtons.com).”
I’m expecting glamour, sauciness and skill; and possibly lots more too. Check back around 11.15 pm to see of my expectations were met. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Very slick show, and the acrobatics were extraordinary. A nice feelgood feel to the whole entertainment and yes, it was quite saucy from time to time, but nothing to put you off your dinner. Great stuff!
Next up is someone we saw for the first time last year and can’t wait to see her again, and that’s Lolly Jones: I Believe in Merkels at Assembly Roxy – Downstairs at 20:00 on Thursday 22nd. Here’s what the blurb has to say: “EU leaders swap negotiations for disco, tassels and glitter in this ‘razor sharp blend of burlesque and comedy’ (EdFestMag.com). In a bawdy display of razzmatazz, Merkel, May and friends rip it up and lip-sync for the leadership. Also featuring Lolly (BBC Three, ITV, and Comedy Central) as Marine Le Pen, Nicola Sturgeon and probably her mum (if she agrees to it). ‘This provocative political satire is astounding’ **** (List). ‘Niche burlesque at its best’ **** (WeeReview.com). ‘Bizarrely euphoric… guaranteed to leave you wanting more’ **** (EdFestMag.com). ‘Had the audience in hysterics’ **** (FunnyWomen.com).”
Whilst Jan Ravens may give the perfect vocal impression of Theresa May, Lolly Jones gives us a truly hilarious physical caricature – as she presumably will for Angela Merkel and many others. This is going to be hugely enjoyable. Check back around 9.15 pm to see how much fun it really was. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Huge fun as always… if you’ve seen Ms Jones before you know exactly what to expect; if she’s new to you, you’ll probably enjoy it just a bit more, because there wasn’t anything *that* new in this show. Very enjoyable nonetheless!
Here’s a play that sounds absolutely riveting, where the action hangs, literally, on a knife-edge, and that’s New Light Theater Project’s Hitler’s Tasters, on at Olive Studio @ Greenside @ Infirmary Street, at 18:35 on Thursday 22nd. Here’s the blurb: “A dark comedy about the young women who had the “honour” of being Adolph Hitler’s food tasters. Based on true events, Hitler’s Tasters explores the way girls navigate sexuality, friendship, patriotism, and poison during the Third Reich. Using an anachronistic retelling of an historical footnote, Hitler’s Tasters considers what girls discuss as they wait to see if they will survive another meal. ‘One of the best evenings I’ve spent in the theater in a long time. It was interesting, entertaining, upsetting, and it made you think’ (Susan Stroman, legendary director and choreographer).”
This has had great reviews and I’m really looking forward to seeing it. Check back around 8pm to see what it was all about. By then the next preview blog should be available to read too.
Smart, witty play, full of recognisable modern characters transplanted to the historical setting. Suspenseful, unsettling and surprisingly funny, with terrific performances. No wonder the run has sold out. Very impressive!