Have we a plan of shows to see today? You bet we do!
Here’s the schedule for 11th August:
11.30 – Boy, Summerhall. From the Edinburgh Fringe website:
“After the highly successful Us/Them, Carly Wijs returns to Summerhall with Boy. A powerful stage show based on the true story of the Reimer family. In 1966, the Reimer twins are taken into hospital by their young parents to be circumcised. The procedure goes wrong and baby Bruce loses his penis. After consulting with Dr. Money at Johns Hopkins University, the parents agree to raise Bruce as a girl. From the age of two Bruce goes through life as Brenda. She doesn’t know the truth, but from a very young age, Brenda senses that something is just not right…”
Us/Them was the stand out play of the 2016 Fringe so I can’t wait to see how the company treats this intriguing story. It should be excellent!
UPDATE: This is such an inventive way of telling an extraordinary story. Two amazingly good actors do a really strong script justice. Very moving, very sad, but also loads of humour. Never have soft toys played such a relevant role in serious drama. Just what you’d expect from the team who produced Us/Them. First class indeed. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
14.40 – Classic! Pleasance Courtyard.
“Hold onto your hats as a cast of 6 romp through all those classic novels you never had time to read. In 60 minutes and multiple costume changes the company race you from Wuthering Heights to Moby Dick, told at lightning speed… Expect the unexpected! No previous literary experience required. A thrilling script by Coronation Street writers Lindsay Williams and Peter Kerry and direction by Joyce Branagh (seen in the film Belfast, directed by brother Kenneth) this brilliantly funny show is for everyone!”
I’m really looking forward to this because it sounds like a complete hoot!
UPDATE: 42 novels in one hour? This game team give it a go, even though they commandeer a poem as a novel, but we can overlook this. A great fun sketch show, we particularly enjoyed Tess of the D’Urbevilles. Some sketches too long (i didn’t really get the Chandleresque Oliver Twist) and others too short, but the show makes good use of audience participation and has a lovely feelgood factor. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
16.30 – CUMTS: SLEEPOVER, Just the Tonic at The Caves.
“Four immigrant teens. 12 hours. One suspicious box teeming with questions about sex. SLEEPOVER is a coming-of-age comedy musical about self-discovery (and self-pleasure!). Join Jenny, Anita, Nina and Ruth as they dive into the world of sex – discussing everything from monogamy to masturbation, dating preferences to penises. Top-class comedy delivered to you with a side of well-rapped bars in this spectacular piece of new writing. From the people who brought you Six, the Musical. Don’t forget your toothbrush!”
The main reason I’ve chosen to see this is because of its impressive heritage, coming from the Six stable. I hope it’s up to scratch! The Cumts of the title, btw, refers to the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society, and nothing more salacious.
UPDATE: Deceptively skilful and accomplished little show! Great singing voices from the three actors and a very nicely put together little musical. Great humour, well acted, and rather charming in a slightly naughty way! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
18.20 – Abigoliah Schamaun: Legally Cheeky, Just the Tonic at The Tron.
“This American girl in London had it all. Then one day the Wicked Witch of Westminster, Priti Patel told Abigoliah to click her sparkly heels and go ‘home’. In that instance, everything changed. Abigoliah was faced with the fight of her life and the stakes couldn’t be higher. If she wins, she stays in the UK. If she loses, she loses everything. Abigoliah has appeared on Comedy Central, Channel 5, BBC Radio 4 Extra and the Guilty Feminist Podcast. ‘Confident and brilliantly funny’ **** (BroadwayBaby.com) ‘The best kind of shamelessness’ **** (Skinny). ‘Comedy whirwind’ ***** (ThreeWeeks).”
Abigoliah is a huge favourite of ours and we would always go and see her whatever she’s in! Her new show sounds like it’s full of her trademark inventiveness, mining comedy out of a difficult situation. Can’t wait!
UPDATE: Abigoliah shares the ghastly story of her visa crisis with all her trademark upbeat optimism even though at times it’s a truly sad story. She has an amazing ability to see sunshine in the rain and she conveys her joyous observations with delightful ease. Fantastic! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
20.15 – Let’s Try Gay, The Space @ Symposium Hall.
“Two friends, Jack and Phil, meet in a hotel to shoot a gay adult movie between two straight guys: an “art project” to send to an independent movie festival, but they now feel uncomfortable. Their attempts to even just kiss or hug are clumsy and awkward. As time goes on, they prolong their problems. Jack is struggling with his life as an artist while Phil reveals his doubts about his sexual identity. Freely inspired by the independent movie Humpday, this unlikely comedy turns from a goofy, relaxed, funny situation into a deeper analysis of human nature.”
Not seen Humpday, but hopefully this will be both funny and enlightening. Here’s hoping!
UPDATE: Nicely written and performed, the two guys captured the cringy embarrassment of their situation very well, but it is a rather slight play and I feel it could have been either funnier or more hard-hitting – possibly both. But it’s entertaining nonetheless. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
22.00 – Tarot: Cautionary Tales, Pleasance Courtyard.
“Come learn life lessons from five people still doing sketch in their thirties. A new show from Tarot, creators of 2019’s fifth best reviewed show, Chortle’s No 1 show of 2019 and stars of their own Radio 4 sketch show, Soundbleed. Tarot is the lovechild of Goose and Gein’s Family Giftshop. By which we mean it’s a drain on our bank accounts and we don’t talk to our parents about it. ‘Bark-out-loud funny… the whole show is startlingly live’ **** (Guardian). ‘One of the balls-out funniest show of the Fringe’ ****½ (Chortle.co.uk).”
I’ve never heard of Tarot, but this sounds like a funny way to end the evening!
UPDATE: What a find! Sketch comedy is alive and well and living Beside the Pleasance Courtyard! Tarot are three immensely likeable idiots who have put together just the funniest hour of nonsense. Every night they pick a member of the audience to count the number of laughs (and make other suitable notes) and, you guessed it, it was me. I counted 217 laughs but I definitely missed a few – well, you have to keep these people on their toes after all. Favourite sketches included the Elvis Impersonator and the Never Have I Ever game. Ecstatically funny! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️