Best Fringe Thursday Ever!!

Well, blimey charlie, what a day Thursday turned out to be! From the sublimely hilarious to the ridiculously surreal. So first off, after throwing a quick strong coffee down my neck, I sprinted up to Pleasance Dome to get a ticket for Courtroom Play: A Courtroom Play with only a few minutes to spare (I should start timing my sprints up to Pleasance Dome and the Gilded Balloon, see what my record times are).

Chosen purely because Thom Tuck is in it – along with a bunch of real talents, I can now say. Not that I’m recommending it, but it is seriously and utterly brilliant. Tuck, first as nasty price of corporate work then the judge, was in his element (and always on the right side of silliness), presiding over the case and advising us, the audience, how to react by way of paddles with instructions like “gasp”, “oooh”, “hubbub”; once admonishing us for an underwhelming response. It says in the Fringe programme blurb “it’s Legally Blonde meets Hot Fuzz”, I’d say it’s an Ealing Comedy updated to the 21st century meets Hot Fuzz. It is so well written, it’s sharp, witty, daft and playful. Ooo, what a way to start a day!

Next up Other People’s Teeth at an old favourite venue of mine, the Roman Eagle Lodge up behind the castle. Wow, intense and dark, the blackest of humour, unnervingly unpredictable characters. All three actors were great but Tom Claxton as Sol, jeez louise, I actually once knew someone very similar to Sol, Claxton had me rather unsettled at times. Another great production at a great little venue.

From there I had to do a fast trot over to C at Chamber Street for my next show, which unfortunately was then way up the stairs at +3, sheesh, was I warmed up! And in +3 there’s no chance of cooling down again! This is why it’s always important to grab a flyer to use as a fan. With Stand and Deliver it was back to lighter comedy and how! Great use of lighting effects, class choices of music (Tarantino-inspired, I’ll warrant), ambitious fighting scenes, well-timed comedic acting of an impeccable script; all made a fine production even finer.

Phew! After all that I did need some sunshine and cool breezes. On sauntering past the Gilded Balloon I noticed a pooch with enough room on his bed for another one, so I rested up a while, we chatted, he mentioned the chap in the seat was actually part of a Fringe show called Matt and Ollie Are … Dads! so we parted with me clutching a flyer. Enough of the fresh air – I went and bought a ticket to head once again down into the bowels of McEwan Hall (aka Underbelly, Bristo Square).

What a great day I was having, yet another cracker! A father and son are off on a trip and as they sit together the father tells father/son stories set throughout the ages, actually quite odd, dark, surreal tales, which turn out to be stories of their own family history. All delivered with natural wit and dark but daft deadpan humour. Four for four so far, I had one show left to see, would it measure up to the others…..

The last show wasn’t on until 22.45 at the Gilded Balloon; as I meandered up I bumped into Will Seaward doing his flyering bit for his midnight show, just time to hug and howyadoin. Then into the heat that is the Dining Room, umm, it’s warm in there and it was late, reasons why I may have closed my eyes a couple of times.

The Moa Show began with the writer/performer Jamie McCaskill just chatting with the audience before he sets the scene as the interior of a pub, The Junction, where we focus in on three drinkers, these three are magically transported (yeah, just go with it) to another place where they try to find a moa. Yes, moas are extinct, but hey, go with it (um, is the plural of moa moas or moa?) they, or at least Carl Michael believed in it. Carl Michael was my favourite of the characters all acted by McCaskill. Yes, it’s a one man surreal-as-hell play, but go with it! Think a gentler David Lynch in New Zealand, go with it and you will see a Kiwi fly, oh yes! Be warned, this show has a relaxed almost stoned vibe that carries you home, puts you to bed, and then the Moa takes over your dreams!!

Night, night, everybody, night, night!

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Stannah Stair Lift to heaven?!

 

 

Antipodeans at Large

Just looked up antipodes in my dictionary, it said “places diametrically opposite (to each other), esp. Australasia as region on opposite side of earth to Europe.” Hmmm, so technically we’re antipodean to someone living in Auckland or Melbourne. It’s just that we stuck in on Australasia first, or they bagsied the word. Personally I think it’s a great word, an-tipo-des, it trips off the tongue.

But why did you need to look it up, Bruce, didn’t you know what it means? Yes, but I wanted to be sure, words can be such tricksy things. Like on that last paragraph I was going to continue the sentence on “and it evokes” but the words of what it evokes escaped me! There is evoking going on it’s just indescribable for a moose.

I have a slightly better chance of describing how good the Modern Maori Quartet: Two Worlds were this afternoon, awesome! And not just great singing, the storyline was a slow reveal as we learnt more about the characters, their current situation and their truths. Yes, the truth will set you free (very important to the show) but, as shown it can be hard to admit and own. Some thought-provoking stuff going on, all delivered with that wry, no-nonsense antipodean humour. So if you have a mid afternoon free, you could do a helluva lot worse!

And while I’m on antipodeans, I’m sooo looking forward to seeing the Ukulele Death Squad this evening. Also from Oz, The Aspirations of Daise Morrow is on at the Assembly George Square Gardens in the wonderful Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete, but be warned, it’s after lunch, in a warm tent, beautiful soothing live music and lazy aussie drawls. Yeah, do go see it but have a coffee first! And have I mentioned how delightful Felicity Ward was?

Oo yeah, badges, to misquote Blazing Saddles “we DO need stinkin’ badges”, extra points to shows with free badges at the end. For a few years plenty of shows were giving out badges,  not so many now. Yay, to Tom Neenan and the Modern Maori Quartet for having badges, my only two so far.

Well it’s nearly time for me to trot down Leith Walk to see the Squad. This fringing and blogging thing is tricky, I want to tell you about all the brilliant stuff going on here – but I’m too busy out enjoying it!!

Toodle pip!