A Fringe Flyerers Battle Royale

Afternoon all! I’ve just stuffed myself with a very tasty late lunch of lambs liver, onions, garlic, plenty oregano, a generous splash of red wine, a splot out of a tin of tomatoes with an egg fried on top and a base of basmati rice, totally yummy. Ah, I know what I forgot – the paprika! It happens a lot, that or I have no red wine to splash in it. Just having a quick very strong coffee before heading out to a show at Greenside at Infirmary Street, I had a quick chat with the ladies in Guilty! on the Royal Mile earlier on, I was up having a browse at flyers after I failed to get in to see The Delightful Sausage: Nowt But Sea at lunchtime. Ah, but it’s so popular, the Sausage is being Delightful again at 9:15pm tonight, I have my ticket bought ready.

See, I reckoned I’d be able to pop along to Infirmary Street and get a ticket just before Guilty! started – they’ve only gone and got a full house on their first day! Good for them! Is this the Prima Facie effect or was a legal musical comedy always going to do well? Hmm. Like I said after seeing Prima Facie it’s a hard act to follow I wish them well. It’s a drizzly day so I’m happy to stay in and tap away; at least it’s a very light drizzle and its fairly warm out, the flyerers won’t have it too bad and the new bunch up this week are very eager so easily spotable.

Some flyerers like to position themselves at the pedestrian entry points on to the High Street part of the Royal Mile (for a number of years now the High Street has barriers in place across the road at either end for most of the day, pedestrians are corralled through four small archways at each end) where they can thrust a flyer at everyone passing through, Out Of The Blue are particularly notorious for this. There are a lot of Out Of The Blue flyerers about all day it seems, likewise The Improv Musical, loads of them, everywhere. Imagine a rumble going down outside St Giles between them?! It would be hilarious and so ineffectual (well, in my head, anyway).

Out Of The Blue v. The Improv Musical has a West Side Story vibe thing (being song based), let’s Anchorman that vibe up and have the Spontaneous Potter:The Unofficial Improvised Parody and Baby Wants Candy flyerers turn up. Let’s not forget the corporate whore flyerers who haven’t actually seen the shows they’re flyering but will tell you how great they are; will some of the solo show self-flyerers band together in small hit-and-run gangs? All the clowns, absurdists and surrealists will form an Ultra Fringe Resistance, oh wow, this is epic, a Fringe Battle Royale. Obviously John Hastings would be commentating from a high vantage point, and afterwards, everyone will need the barristers from Guilty! to get them off from public affray charges.

THE END.

In other real news, I read this morning that the nominees for The Amused Moose Awards have been announced – yes, another moose, there’s a number of us around. I’m delighted to see that Christian Brighty and Grubby Little Mitts are in there, yay. I bumped into Sullivan Brown (one of the Grubby Little Mitts) this morning and congratulated him , apparently there’s more than just one award to be won, so everything’s crossed for my favourites to win something.

It’s looking dry outside now, I’ll put a few bits n pieces on Instagram then pop out.

Toodle pip!

Twenty One Returns

That is to say, there are a number of shows that did make the effort to come to Edinburgh last year, that are back again, some did come as WIPs (Work In Progress) in ’21 so there will be changes to them. I’m excited to see Rob Kemp: Agenda in a couple of days, that was excellent last year, I wonder if I’ll spot the changes. All three Privates are back with last year’s shows, alas, again no actual Privates show even though they do have a new show Great Ideas by Geniuses, which was premiered at the Brighton Fringe earlier this year.

Due to extremely popular demand last year I didn’t get to see Tom Curzon in The Flop: A Band of Idiots but this year I’m determined (he was in another show last year which I did see but thats not being repeated). Luke Rollason and Christian Brighty were both at Monkey Barrel last year so I was able to get tickets in advance to ensure seeing them. Christian has moved over to the Pleasance Courtyard (Below), let’s start with him.

Christian Brighty: Playboy is a brilliantly silly show with plenty of bawdy Carry On style humour. One obvious change from last year – no bows and arrows left on any seats for the audience to fire at him, shame! At least in Pleasance Below there’s quite a gradient up to the tech desk, so the avian messengers had easier downward flights to the stage. Pingback back time, if it works, see last year it was A win by a gnat’s crochet for young Brighty (click on the highlighted bit to see last year’s review), could he do it again?

Well I’m pretty damn certain there was no talking armchair in Luke Rollason: Bowerbird last year! It even has a wee segment to itself when it invited someone to sit on it (the guy at the front wouldn’t, nothing would persuade him, Brighty boy was in the audience and obliged the armchair), then Luke reappeared, kind of like those little odd bits in The Young Ones, remember them?! I did think he spoke more this year, as I previously noted that it seemed almost weird when he did talk. I’ve checked and my review from last year still stands, he is A barrelful of funny. Another pingback there, do let me know if they’re not working.

But which one won the battle of the Privates this year? Oo, gonna have to say Luke Rollason: Bowerbird (and that’s not just because he had badges at the end!). Mind, if you go to either of these shows and enjoy it, then do check out the other.

This evening I trotted up to Cabaret Voltaire to see Alex Farrow: Philosophy Machines last year it was Philosophy Pig – a man who doesn’t stray far from his favourite subject! Another interesting and entertaining show, oh, he did get in a mention about Andrew Nagel and his book again (well, I do recall his liking for bats). Last year Philosophy Pig did very well with plenty full audiences, mind that was a smaller room, but I’d say go for the Pay What You Can in advance option, this chap could get very popular again!

I’ll put this up I’ve seen some things, you know as it has my review of Alex Farrow: Philosophy Pig in it along with my reviews of The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Stand-Up Philosophy which are both back again. I’ve noticed that the company that put on Embassy Stomp are back again, hmmm. And John-Luke Roberts’ show was my favourite at that point of the Fringe. Ah well, it’s very late, to bed!

A win by a gnat’s crotchet

Remember how I thought Luke Rollason was my top show of this this year’s Fringe? Well, he’s not, only by the smidgiest of smidgens, mind, but Christian Brighty’s Playboy stole my heart. I reckoned it would be close, but that Luke’s show would tickle my funny bone more, it turns out Christian’s joie de vivre won through (call me odd, but I find Luke has a Moomin-like quality, there’s a strange underlying little sadness there). Seeing the three separately (Tom Curzon was in Extreme Nonsense) really did show their own directions and styles and how much they compliment each other.

Christian Brighty:Playboy was obviously going to be fun from the toy bows and arrows on many audience seats and softplay balls under others. Luke was there to lend a hand enticing folk to sit in the front rows and be an angry father just offstage. Our Playboy was a dandy and charming cad about town, even when calling us all munters. Enter Cupid with an arsenal of arrows, cue audience participation, half the front row were being offered undying love!

The show was a great romp! Good plot, clever and witty lines, a very fine performance by Christian and some brilliantly inventive ideas (scenes with the Duchess and Susan were so so funny) helped things along. This is an achingly funny show and while it’s very saucy, it has a sense of innocent, mischievous fun, all in the best possible taste! The particular performance that I saw did have the added pleasure of the front row audience members who really embraced on their guardians of the key roles. Hopefully this isn’t the last of this show, many more people need to see this!

In other news, there was a fire this morning at George IV Bridge, according to the BBC News website it is believed to have started in the Patisserie Valerie cafe. The Bridge, Candlemaker Row and part of Chambers Street were closed off and could remain so for quite a while. It had looked from a distance that it was Frankenstein’s as that’s next door, the other side has the now world-famous Elephant House cafe. Flats above the cafe were evacuated, apparently one person was taken to hospital, let’s hope they’re okay.

I’m off to Porty now, it’s a gloriously hot day out there, definitely time to just snooze on the beach awhile!

(BTW, I’ve put pictures of George IV Bridge on Facebook, check them out, Bruce T Moose)

A barrelful of funny

Today I saw my top show of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, oh yeah! I really doubt I’ll enjoy any show more, mind there is still time for some late arrival to come and sweep me off my feet. Luke Rollason: Bowerbird (WIP) in Monkey Barrel 1 on Blair Street, so so brilliant!! Okay, the guy has an immediate headstart on being surreal just from how he looks (that may sound bad but I bet he’d agree) and the bright orange attire seems to me a choice to keep jarring on our senses.

I only rolled up five minutes before the show show due to start, well, I had a ticket, but the room was nearly full and Luke was on stage with a large lampshade covering his head, like a standard lamp from the early 70’s (when I was young most homes had a standard lamp in the front room, usually with a tassled shade, I was so jealous when a sibling inherited our grandfather’s standard lamp – it had a little book case at the bottom), I wondered how long he’d been up there. He spent the first while of the show with it still on his head too. Then he took it off and we could see his eyes.

Luke Rollason’s eyes, well; I think he was a dog in a few former lives, his eyes are so expressive, from pure unadulterated glee to proper puppy sorrowfulness. The mind behind those eyes is inventive and sharp; the humour is absurd, surreal, just plain silly but never mean or cruel, there’s a joyous innocence to it. The show was maybe a reflection of how he spent his time in lockdown and I don’t mean writing the show, I mean having long conversations with kitchen utensils and dreaming up other uses for household items – didn’t we all? Most of us don’t have the ability or temerity to follow our amusements further.

There wasn’t a wasted moment in the show while it quietly built up to such an end that my chuckles were like waves on a beach, never actually stopping, with louder guffaws bursting out suddenly. I came out of the show feeling so chilled but warm with happy and giddy with joy.

Outside the venue was the third Private, Christian Brighty, handing out flyers for his show Playboy which will be on in Monkey Barrel 4 from 20th to 22nd (I have my ticket!). I’m looking forward to his solo offering; this is like the year Bud and I saw all three of the Penny Dreadfuls do solo shows, it really showed what each of them brought to the mix. No pressure, Christian, but Luke has set the bar very high!