That’s another week ending

And that’s the second week of the Fringe drawing to a close; but it’s not quite over yet, my plan is, start writing this post, take a break to see Accordion Ryan, then come home all cheery and write the rest of it. Good flan, huh? Quite a number of shows will be finishing up tonight, there’s always one you’ve intended to get round to seeing only to realise it’s finished, packed up and gone home. There’s also a number in my cut-outs pile that I’ve kept looking at only to realise they weren’t on yet – well now they will be! Oh, and I must go see young stand-up Fraser Brown this week, every time I’ve bumped into him flyering I’ve said I will. He was at the Fringe last year and had a very successful run but I never saw him, my Fringe-Dar is reckoning he’ll be good.

Oo, Lucifer is on 5USA channel on the tellybox, from the first series. Yes, I’ve seen it a number of times now but hey, it’s Lucifer.

That’s where I had to dash out to get up to The Counting House to see Accordion Ryan. He’s such a sweet guy and smart, quite the multilingual too, from spending the last few years in a number of different countries and always making an effort to learn the language. Tonight he had in audience members from Denmark and Spain so sang songs in both languages, like so impressive. The dude exudes joy and harmony, though some of the songs he sings can cause outrage when he busks on the street. Ryan does write songs himself but this show is mainly, as the title says, Pop Bangers which he encourages his audience to sing along with him. Accordion Ryan is a ray of sunshine to brighten up the day ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

Did I mention last time that I found out late on Friday night that Barry Ferns was to be back on Arthur’s Seat on Saturday? Did I go? Of course, I did, even though it was very windy with showers forecast (luckily they didn’t materialise but I was prepared in case); because it was so windy the show happened at the slightly lower level before the last climb up to the very top. Plenty of people turned up deliberately, a number of others stayed to watch as well and some would just walk across the “stage” bemused by us all.

that’s Barry Ferns squinting into the sun, trying to see his audience

As it was a one-off Barry had a few other comedians with him including John Hastings, who told a very funny story, involving Tim Fitzhigham, about the last night of a Fringe some years ago. I was very impressed that Nina Conti was up there, and over the moon when I got a photo with her on the way back down. Naturally I got a hug from Barry, it was so lovely to see him again! As he said it’s just about as fringey a Fringe show can be, sitting on a high hillside, magnificent view of the Forth and a man with a door frame, amp and mike with stand (the door frame is so that we can all enter the venue and pay into his bag when we leave, not exiting make cause existential problems later).

Its now much later than I thought it would be so I’ll end this here. I”ll pop a reel of Ryan and other Fringey pics on Instagram tomorrow.

Toodle pip!

Puppets, hippos and an accordionist

It’s really warm out there and really busy, so many people everywhere! So many people who have totally forgotten everything they were ever taught as kids about crossing the road. The human gene pool could do really without them. They’re quite often the same people who walk two or three abreast across the pavement and expect you, the oncomer, to step into the road to avoid them; I used to, every time, now I check myself and carry on my own path, let them moved aside instead – so many times they completely, like a refusal to give way, keep coming on, then are astonished/annoyed that I expected from them what they expected from me (it is in fact less, I just expect the courtesy of being able to walk on the pavement, they expect me to walk into the traffic). And breath, rant over, humans, huh?!

Space Hippo is a case in point of how dumb humans can be; why is a hippo sent into space? – because all life on earth will be wiped out in five years and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Yes, you’re right, there is absolutely no follow-on logic there, this is the bizarre premise of Space Hippo but considering some the world leaders around today, hmmm. This is like an epic sci-fi movie, but told using shadow puppets projected on to a large screen. A poor female hippo is captured and sent into space, this is her story, meeting aliens, being used, lied to, befriended, getting caught up in an intergalactic war and ultimately discovering the power within herself. I told you it was epic!

The two puppeteers are amazing using over two hundred shadow puppets whilst also performing all the characters’ voices. The story whips along with laugh out loud bits along with wry and poignant moments; it is quite out there but if you see it, I’m sure it will charm you too ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A very different puppet show is Famous Puppet Death Scenes, this is dark, very dark, unsettling, grotesquely funny. Oh, it’s very funny if you have a macabre sense of humour; lots of puppets die, one poor thing dies over and over. The puppet show stage set is impressive and there’s quite an Edward Gorey feel to the whole thing. Mind, the first death will make most think of Monty Python as the big foot comes down. Catching strange and wonderful shows like this and Space Hippo is what the Fringe is all about ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

Famous Puppet Death Scenes has an air similar a Tiger Lillies performance, their music would be the perfect accompaniment to it. Speaking of the Tiger Lillies, they’ve finally returned to the Fringe with a new show One Penny Opera, I have a ticket for next week, yay.

And now, something completely different Accordion Ryan’s Pop Bangers playing at the Counting House as part of the Free Fringe and popping up in various places during the day. He is the sweetest guy, a gentle, laidback soul, who (you may have worked it out) plays the accordion, rather well. The show is mainly his twist on popular pop songs but he sneaks in a few of his own compositions (I do like the Holister song). He arrived in Edinburgh a few weeks ago now, I first saw him performing at Whistlebinkies’ Open Mic Night and made a mental note. At 22:15 in an evening it’s a good time when folk will be up for taking a chance on a free show. He is highly entertaining with his mix of music and comedy, not for the prudish though! I’ll probably go see him again before the end of the Fringe ⭐⭐⭐⭐

That’s your lot for today, I’ll leave you with a pic of my latest Fringe mementos. The programme from Famous Puppet Death Scenes with a selection of cut-outs on the back to make my very own puppet death scene; and the Mochinosha Puppet Company’s comic book/flyer for Space Hippo (what a great idea!)