Who needs a good bear, when you have Camels?

Ok, so I mentioned in So long, farewell, ta-ra, toodle pip! three shows I’ve seen but hadn’t mentioned before, well, they’ve gone now anyway! Bloody good shows they were too!

What of all the other shows you’ve seen, Brucie, I hear you ask (mooses have very good hearing), and you said you’d tell us more about the early shows?! Yes, I know, but it’s hard in the madness that is Fringe to keep all one’s plates spinning. So I’ll press on and rundown my shows til I had to depart Edinburgh on my mission of mercy.

Preview Friday I managed six shows, yup, six, but that was from ten in the morning ’til one the following morning! The Shakespeare For Breakfast crew were on top form again!! I was surprised how many seats were left, hopefully they’re now selling out with their excellent modern twist on The Taming of The Shrew. A great start to my day!

Next up, new to me Camels, which excitingly was in part of the all-new singing, dancing underneath of McEwan Hall; very modern and entered via the blob thing in Teviot Square. Oo these chaps are good, recalling my Seeing double post from last year, this comedy duo make up for a lack of Goodbear this year! Tom Neenan’s: It’s Always Infinity was another corker from him (maybe not quite to the heights of last year’s Attenborough) it took a wee while to pull me in, but by the end, with the by-then obvious punchline in sight, the audience were all sitting cosily in the palm of Tom’s hand. What a piece of genius writing, long may he grace the Fringe with his wit and style! I did spot, though it took me a while, that the chap in the video clips was non other that David Reed from the Penny Dreadfuls (as is Thom Tuck).

Next up was a show in a big blue box, from Switzerland, umm, the humour just didn’t translate for me, and I’m going to leave that one at that. I recovered myself with a curry at the Mosque Kitchen for tea, first visit this Fringe and it won’t be the last; good, quick, tasty grub. I finished my day at the Gilded Balloon with first the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: Superheroes, finishing with the wonderful Will Seaward now telling his ghostly tales in the Dining Room. The SFSPT:S was good but having seen plenty of trial bits previously on their Facebook page, I think some of the dumped bits were better. If you hadn’t seen them, then the show is perfectly fine with plenty of laughs and groans, and some rather obscurer fanboy jokes. Then the clock struck twelve and it was Will Time!! Nuff said really, another late hour of terrifying tales and howling horrors but in a bigger room this year!

And then it was home to bed! Well, it’s time for me to maybe venture oot into the rain. It’s been chucking down all day, hence my catching up here. Time to book a few more shows, methinks.

Toodle pip!

Well, that’s the previews sorted!

If you read my last post (and why not?!) you’ll be dying to know what happened, will I have to miss my films? Well, good news, I will be heading back to the mother ship this weekend so won’t miss any of EIFF 2018, yay! Bad news, the whole piss-up/brewery thing has been totally cancelled this year (bloody numpty!) I am so not impressed.

Since then I’ve completed my first scour of the full printed Fringe Programme and bought my first batch of tickets, mainly previews with a few others. As there is now a booking fee of 80p a ticket that stops at £4.80 it makes sense to buy enough tickets to reduce the effect of it – £4.80 booking fee for fifteen shows is quite reasonable, I’d say!

I’m going to kick off this year with Russell Howard, good to see him back and for only a fiver! Mind it is called Russell Howard – Work in Progress, hmmm, first night could be interesting (interesting=shambolic). The ever delightful Felicity Ward (pic below is me swooning over her poster) is back and hopefully on time. I have 30 minutes to get from Pleasance Above to George Square Theatre for Thrones! The Musical! this is perfectly doable, just as long as the Pleasance aren’t running too late. Considering how long they’ve had to get it right you would think it should run like a well-oiled machine but, well, it doesn’t always.

After a break last year everyone’s favourite sock puppets are back  with a new show Superheroes, check out the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre on Facebook or YouTube for skits and songs on the subject (love the Deadpool and Black Lightning videos). As ever they’re in the exceedingly warm Sportsman room at the Gilded Balloon, grab a flyer on your way in to use as a fan!

At the witching hour the wonderful Will Seaward is back with Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories V, but what’s this? He’s no longer in the Wee Room, he’s been upgraded to the Dining Room! Yay!!

Oo, and I got me a ticket to see the Ukulele Death Squad as they’re bound to sell out. They’re back at the Leith Depot near the bottom of Leith Walk, an exceedingly hot room above the pub but it does have its own bar. Well I actually bought two tickets as it’s on the Friends of the Fringe list of 2for1’s, so if you’re reading this and will be in town Sunday 5th, I have a spare half price ticket for one very lucky individual! Bang Bang!

Toodle pips!

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Who?

Yes, I am referring to the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker (just had to check that – one t or two, it’s one of those awkward names like Paterson), a Yorkshire lass and a fine actress. I do wonder if she can conjure up that otherworldly quirk of the Doctor, but so far since the Doc’s revival the choices have all been great, unlike some of the later reincarnations in the first run! And changing the Master into Missy was worked so well, Michelle Gomez was magnificent, so it’s not like the Doctor is the first timelord to change sex.

So, I got to wondering last night whether, in years gone by, did a young aspiring Jodie ever appear in a Fringe production? No, I don’t know, but I like the thought that maybe I saw the future Dr Who in a Fringe production. Maybe there’s a future Doctor performing this year, who knows?! Ok, so if you’re not a Who fan you may not be so tickled by this idea, but imagine if watching a Bond movie it dawned on you that you once saw Daniel Craig in a tiny fringe venue in a production of Bouncers? All famous actors began somewhere so why not at the Fringe?

The Fringe also has plenty of old luvvies at the other end of their careers. Well, when I say end I don’t mean, erm, oops, just not spring chickens anymore?! Rodney Bewes is back yet again, can’t keep him away! Twenty years ago he turned up with a little boat he’d built himself to do Three Men in a Boat (afterwards he was signing copies of the paperback, I still have mine!) and I don’t think he’s missed a year since. Some years later he left the boat at home and put on Diary of a Nobody, the last few years he’s been regaling his audiences with his own life story, forever a Likely Lad, a lovely gent.

And back into the Who-verse, Sylvester McCoy is popping up this year to do a new comedy play – you can’t keep an old dogter down (sorry), or their companions, 2014 saw Katie Manning at the Fringe. She and Susan Penhaligon played two aging actresses in a retirement home, a charming bittersweet play. Katie Manning played Jo Grant the first companion I really remember and I suspect I wasn’t the only one there because of old memories!

Oo, and if all the brouha over the latest Doctor has amused you, check out Jodie Whittaker is Doctor Who by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre on YouTube, it may just tickle you.