The Mid Fringe Blues

Halfway through Fringe is Point Knackered, folk feel all fringed out, tired from never enough sleep, the flyerers don’t even try to summon up any enthusiasm, the flyered don’t even notice the flyerers anymore. Some shows with a full run can lose a bit of their sparkle in this dip. Maybe with awareness of this maudlin moment, many shows take a day off this week; this can catch folk out (me included), as one didn’t spot the one pale date in the middle of the run, this year 13th, 14th or 15th, and head expectantly to the venue only to be told, no show today!

Even I, looking through my possibility pieces, find my enthusiasm flagging, this is when more pieces get screwed up and flung in the general vicinity of the bin. Nothing I want to see is coming up at the Half Price Hut, gonna have to be more stringent in my planning, the Fringe Fund wallet doesn’t bulge anymore. This morning the HPH part of the Fringe app wasn’t even working, aaargh!!!

And then, something in the air changes….. it’s the second wind!

The app is back up running properly and three of my possibilities are at the HPH today!! Yay! Woohoo! No rain forecast today; Brendon Burns is over his tonsilitis; everywhere everyone will be picking up again, miraculously recharged and ready to take on the world, well, Edinburgh. Flyerers will be over enthusiastic and annoying again, yay!

So I shall have me a strong cup of coffee and head out to see some shows.

Toodle pip!

The Tuck returns.

Hello peeps, today I am a rather poorly moose, though not half as ill as I felt yesterday, couldn’t hardly raise my head ūüė©. In my fevered condition my mind wandered (it does that a lot anyway, my little legs would be knackered if they had to actually go along too) to a name – Thom Tuck. Ah, where is he this Fringe? After being¬†An August Institution¬†last year I haven’t actually noticed him anywhere in this year’s programme. Hmmm. So having hauled myself from my sick bed and breakfasted on porridge with honey and raspberries I investigated……

Oh yayyy! Phew! The Tuck is back! He’s hosting the¬†Alternative Comedy Memorial Society (ACMS)¬†with John-Luke Roberts late night at the Monkey Barrel Comedy Club. I shall definitely popping along to that. Tuck and Roberts together? That’ll be bonkers enough, never mind the guests! So, if he’s doing that late night, what’s he doing the rest of the time? Oo, he’s in one of those all comedians plays¬†Courtroom Play: A Courtroom Play¬†at 12.25 in the afternoon, plenty recovery time from the late night. Ah, just looked again at¬†ACMS¬†it goes on til 2.30 in the morning, every morning of the Fringe (Wednesday nights are quiz night), Tuck’s going to be tuckered out by the end of August ūüėÜ

I’ve also discovered he’s putting in a couple of appearances at the¬†Comedy Club 4 Kids. A lot of comedians do it now, why not? The fans of the future and a different perspective to more adult-honed shows. In fact I’m rather miffed as Thom’s first date also has Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana there and I’m busy that day, grrrr. Brendon Burns for kids, I have to see that sometime!

Burns and Cabana are back with their¬†Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches¬†late night at the Monkey Barrel, hmmm, just a five minute overlap with¬†ACMS, interesting! I’ve never been but have it on good authority that it is worth seeing. Brendon himself has downsized again, not quite the free fringe but Pay What You Want (or ¬£6.50 ticket in advance) at Heroes@Boteco, apparently his twentieth solo hour! I shall be there.

Time for my lemsip, toodle pip!

First night at the Fringe

It’s quite late now, but hey, I only have work in the morning. Just thought I’d jot down a few words about the previews I saw today. Silly, enjoyable, outrageous, Jimicaw, hot, unpolished, entertaining.

Tom Neenan: Attenborough is in Buttercup, a large box in the Medical School Quad. Silly, Jimicaw, entertaining and most definitely needs polishing, but that’s what previews are for, and as Tom has a rather endearing way about him, forgiven. You may be wondering was a Jimicaw is, a bloody good gag that’s what, along with Sample Text, no I’m not going to explain either. A special mention should go to his supporting actor Shutterstock (pretty certain that was his name), a great performance there. Yes, a few slipups today but utterly charming, this moose was well amused.

Next up were Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine in Race Off. This is in the Night Club at the Gilded Balloon, a strange room that doesn’t always work well, but it kinda suited them. After a quick recap of how they met (part of last year’s show), but this time with Craig’s perspective on it too, they then moved the story on, with the narrative ball being smoothly bounced between them. As usual Brendon wasn’t without a few tricks to try to unsettle and discomfort the audience, though some snares didn’t work quite as well as he’d hoped – plenty of us were obviously big fans and so savvy to how Burnsy works. And one thing he likes is a twist in the tail, another great ending played for and got. Not sure Craig will ever manage to show his angry face though, he’s enjoying himself way too much.

And lastly, Dan Antopolski has returned, so lovely to see him again, though I’m not that keen on that room, Studio Five at Assembly George Square, a little lecture theatre. Largely I really enjoyed the show but a few parts seemed to miss a bit, preview problems? Maybe. He speaks mainly about his marriage break up and his daughters, always good rich veins for material. I’ve always laughed at his stuff and this year was no exception.

The fingers on the clock are wagging at me for being up so late. Night all!

 

The buzz begins

Edinburgh is starting to buzz. Bright young things are everywhere getting venues readied for next week. Already a lot of the recently erected hoardings are filled with Fringe posters. The Saturday papers are giving their tips of who to see at the Fringe and International Festival. The Times even had a two page spread about Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine, in the accompanying picture Burns looks like so mild mannered, that or he was quite bemused that The Times wanted to interview them.

The purple cow is once more in George Square Gardens (Bristo Square is actually just finished, so either they weren’t able to guarantee the completion date or cows are no longer welcome, and it’s now a circle rather than a square), a few days ago it was just a large purple blob but I assume the extremities will be inflated by now.

Vans clutter up the streets outside venues as all the Fringe paraphernalia is delivered and set up. Traffic will be lucky to get up to 20mph in some streets, complying with the new speed limit won’t be too difficult through August.

The small supermarkets around town will be full with newly arrived theatricals giddy with excitement at being here at last. God, the queues at the tills will be a nightmare, as will trying to get served in pubs. On the plus side, its fun recognising famous people in Tesco’s and seeing what’s in their basket!

 

Rules are made to be broken

Last post I mentioned that I wait for the full Fringe programme to come out before taking a peek through, but last year I had to check out Susan Calman’s show (yes, had to). Well I’m tempted again thanks to my Saturday paper, which has a “best 40 shows to book in Edinburgh” feature. After a few years of doing his thang in the wilds of the Free Fringe (very successfully with no advertising other than the Fringe programme and in an obscure, tricky to find venue), Brendon Burns is back in a pay-to-enter venue, and he’s bringing his chum Craig Quatermaine with him.

This, for me, will be a great show, I say for me as Brendon is definitely not for everyone. For those unfamiliar with him, think of Adam Hills, well Burnsy is the antithesis of him. He’s uncouth, fairly unkempt and not for those of delicate dispositions. Love him! Though it wasn’t quite love at first sight, that first time was a preview show around 17 years ago at what is now the Roxy. My, I thought I was prepared for anything, not quite anything. I’ve always smirked at the word tramlines ever since.

And Craig Quartermaine? Great bloke, an indigenous Aussie, journalist turned comedian I think. Last year he turned up to be part of Brendon’s show and found himself with a Free Fringe show slot of his own. His quickly put together flyer was a pic of his face when he first heard there was a slot he could take due to a cancellation, he was a very happy man, big cheesy grin.

So, do I book a preview ticket early or wait? Nah, it’s fine, the fringe gods won’t let me miss out on this beaut.