Author Topic: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers  (Read 8924 times)

Re: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers
« Reply #125 on: August 22, 2014, 11:13:33 am »
Talking to some more one person acts yesterday.  We got to likening the state of the Fringe to the state of television.   Lots of 'safe' big budget mainstream, plenty of repeat stuff from the archives and very little new and original stuff.   What there is is being crushed in the stampede for dumbed down entertainment.   

Thankfully there are still some people out there willing to seek out something different.


Re: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers
« Reply #126 on: August 26, 2014, 02:54:35 pm »
Went up for the Fringe this year for the first time - only a quick trip using the train up from London, up on the Friday night and back home on the Sunday. Managed to fit in a few things though, and am definitely going to go up again in a future year.

Quick thoughts on things seen (other than a 'value' show on the Sunday morning featuring four stand-ups, that was good though)...

The Circus - Supposedly a group of comics thrown together to produce a wonderfully madcap circus night after night. Didn't really work as an overall 'thing' for us though, although I did end up on stage as Tim FitzHigham's 'lion' during his lion tamer act which was an interesting start to proceedings!

Tony Law - Canadian comic that's been far better when I've seen him on telly than he was at 12.10 on a Saturday afternoon. Disappointed.

John Kearns - a 'lucky dip' pick from the programme for me and I'm *so glad* we went. Thought he was superb, both of us left saying we'd have paid far more than we did for what was a free show. Found out a couple of days ago that he won the prize as comedian of the Fringe. If he comes near you in future, go!

Kraken - Mime act, a few bits dragged but overall a great show and one that I wouldn't have picked myself but am pleased someone else in the group did so that we went along.

Tim FitzHigham's 'Hellfire' - Very Dave Gorman, very good. Definitely going to follow up by finding his Radio 4 shows and would definitely go and see his next piece.

Sh*tfaced Shakespeare - One play from one cast with one member ensured drunk before the show. Hilarious.

Overall I enjoyed the experience and have to admit it's far more bonkers than I anticipated...I knew it was going to be busy and with lots of acts but did not expect it to be quite so crazy!
One Man and LEJOG : End-to-End on Two Wheels in Two Weeks (Buy the book; or Kindle it)

Re: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers
« Reply #127 on: August 27, 2014, 12:36:15 pm »
We fitted in one more day that you lastant - arriving Wednesday evening and returning Saturday.  The location of my boy’s new flat (South College Street) couldn’t have been better, and we managed to cram in 15 acts, I think, all comedy except for one 'comedy drama' and one straight drama (well it was meant to be straight but was written by Richard Herring, who couldn't resist throwing in a few jokes) . 

From memory.

Eleanor Tiernan. In a very hot, small, pub attic. Stuttering delivery at times, but rather charming, and funny.

Horne Section, feat Alex Horne with guests Mark Watson (a bit too drunk) and Sam Simmons (a bit too crazy).  If you’ve heard the radio show then this was really no different.

Liam Williams. In a pub cellar. I don't know what to make of this. Started as very sharp anti-global-capitalism discourse and the guilt in his/our ineffectiveness in trying to counteract it, but slowly morphed into what looked very like a breakdown, the laughs (there were some, honestly) gradually becoming more nervous as the show progressed.

‘Cupcakes’. Half an hour from Amir Koshsokhan and another half hour from George Colebrook. We hadn’t planned to see them but by the time we got to Edinburgh the only way you could get to see Liam Williams was to see the act before and stay put. AK was brilliant. Really cleverly written and performed, with a slow and quiet delivery and culminating in a final 5 minutes which was one big reveal combining several callbacks from the first 25 minutes (which, in themselves, were funny).  GC was the opposite, and a little too zany for my tastes. The threat of participation was all too close for too long.

Alex Horne solo.  He made a life-size model of the mousetrap game during the show, while doing his usual amiable stuff, with gentle audience participation which didn’t quite zing as well as it usually does (not least because I was one of the participants).  Slightly disappointing after really enjoying his show last year.

Lucy Beaumont.  Mostly funny, but will quickly be restricted by her Hull ingenou role. Highlight for my wife was her conversation* with John Richardson as we were filing out.  *M: “After you”.  JR: “Thanks”.

Tim Renkow.  In the Hive, which I gather is the cheap student club, and it looked/smelled like it. We only saw this because we somehow managed to be very early for the next act, and it was free, so we just wandered in. So when he started it was a bit of a shock, because he has cerebral palsy, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to understand it all.  My fears were unfounded and he was very good, very funny, his condition somehow allowing him free rein to be quite disgusting without your noticing it.

Darren Walsh. UK pun champion (he does warn people at the start, to allow them to leave if they want).  Only half an hour, which was enough.  My kind of thing, but my wife enjoyed it as well, so maybe I’ve softened her up to it, though I noticed she wasn’t rolling her eyes as much as she does at me.  Finished with a virtuoso, quick-fire ‘Give me a subject and I’ll give you a pun’ 5 minute section.

Rhys James. Debut at fringe but I think he’ll be around for a long time. I was going to say he was very competent/polished but there were 3 disruptive members of the audience (two drunkish girls who were doing a little bit of their own chatting at one point, and a bloke who went out half way through (and returned) to get another drink)  and RJ really laid into them.  He did it so sharply that although it was funny, it was also slightly uncomfortable – this was a small venue and an intimate setting.  I think he wanted them to walk out, but they didn’t. As a result, it threw the routine and I think he missed a couple bits.

Andy Zaltzman – Political Animal. Not only the only show where the Referendum was mentioned, but it was all about it.  4 guests of varying quality and AZ doing his usual silliness, which I greatly enjoy.

Alun Cochrane, with Jaded (we were with Jaded, not Alun Cochrane) – Obviously very much in control and on top of his material and the audience (I’m back on Alun Cochrane now). Likeable and professional.  At one point he corrected something he’d said, then said he’d promised not to point out his own shortcomings – he’d tried being a self-deprecating comedian but stopped when he realized that others were a lot better at it than he was.

Stuart Goldsmith.  This was the most traditional of the lot.  A high-energy 55-minute set on a theme, with a feeling that the script had been honed over the year to this point.  The subject matter was hardly original (mainly the looming possibility of fatherhood and how he would react to it, but with bits on supermarket self-serve checkouts and long-distance relationships on the way), but there were so many laugh-out-loud bits, and he is such a likeable bloke (one of the self-deprecating comedians that Alun Cochrane was referring to) that it didn’t matter. Our show was made by the slightly late arrival of 3 semi-drunks who explained that one of their number had become a father 6 hours earlier. Given the subject matter, this was perfect for the odd comments directed at the new father from SG, falling out perfectly from the script.
 
Went up for the Fringe this year for the first time - only a quick trip using the train up from London, up on the Friday night and back home on the Sunday. Managed to fit in a few things though, and am definitely going to go up again in a future year.

Quick thoughts on things seen (other than a 'value' show on the Sunday morning featuring four stand-ups, that was good though)...

The Circus - Supposedly a group of comics thrown together to produce a wonderfully madcap circus night after night. Didn't really work as an overall 'thing' for us though, although I did end up on stage as Tim FitzHigham's 'lion' during his lion tamer act which was an interesting start to proceedings!

Tony Law - Canadian comic that's been far better when I've seen him on telly than he was at 12.10 on a Saturday afternoon. Disappointed.

John Kearns - a 'lucky dip' pick from the programme for me and I'm *so glad* we went. Thought he was superb, both of us left saying we'd have paid far more than we did for what was a free show. Found out a couple of days ago that he won the prize as comedian of the Fringe. If he comes near you in future, go!

Kraken - Mime act, a few bits dragged but overall a great show and one that I wouldn't have picked myself but am pleased someone else in the group did so that we went along.

Tim FitzHigham's 'Hellfire' - Very Dave Gorman, very good. Definitely going to follow up by finding his Radio 4 shows and would definitely go and see his next piece.

Sh*tfaced Shakespeare - One play from one cast with one member ensured drunk before the show. Hilarious.

Overall I enjoyed the experience and have to admit it's far more bonkers than I anticipated...I knew it was going to be busy and with lots of acts but did not expect it to be quite so crazy!

Where were you staying lastant?

I wanted to see Tony Law - I thought he was brilliant last year - but missed out because of the Liam Williams thing.  I suspect there is an optimum amount of alcohol required both on the part of the performer and the audience for a Tony Law show to be just right.

Also missed out on John Kearns - I must admit to being put off by the 'character' (buck-tooth, tonsured wig? if I've got the right person) but apparently it's irrelevant to the show.  Maybe next year.



Re: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers
« Reply #128 on: August 27, 2014, 09:17:00 pm »
Where were you staying lastant?

One of our group found a staggering deal via AirBnB and we ended up on Cowgate in empty-for-the-summer student digs. Ideal location and ridiculously cheap price; granted it was no frills but that's exactly what we were after as we were in at 19.30ish on the Friday and leaving on the 16.30 on the Sunday!

Yes, John Kearns is that one. The character that you mention actually isn't a character as such but a means to an end he explains in a recent interview. He even references it during his show with a terrific line or two that I won't spoil by repeating. If he tours this year (and he might do) I honestly would go and see him again, even if it was the same show, Schtick.

Saw Adam Bloom back in Peterborough and Alun Cochrane down here in London a few years back. They're both ones that I've always said I'd see again but have never got round to it!

One thing I will do as and when I make it back for a second bite at the Fringe is do some research and book in some of the shows that I really want to see - we went in with a very relaxed attitude and I'm not sure a short break such as ours suited that approach. Still feel that we saw 'enough' though.
One Man and LEJOG : End-to-End on Two Wheels in Two Weeks (Buy the book; or Kindle it)

Re: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers
« Reply #129 on: August 28, 2014, 08:13:42 am »
That was lucky.  I thought accommodation in Edinburgh during the fringe was a) very scarce unless booked well in advance, b) rip-off prices and/or c) a long way out from the centre.

After just 2 years experience, I think the best approach for us would be a mix - have a skeleton timetable, maybe booking some tickets in advance - and fill in the gaps with ad-hoc, chancy, spur-of-the-moment things, like PB's friend's show and more free fringe shows.  And not be quite so manic - this year we didn't do much wandering along the Royal Mile and Mound, taking in the street theatre, which we enjoyed last year. Oh, and maybe visit a gallery or two.




Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Fringe show review thread - reviews may contain spoilers
« Reply #130 on: August 28, 2014, 08:19:37 am »
The Bank of Scotland Museum of Money was interesting (to me). Some interesting old notes (that were new when I used notes like them... and I wish I could find my British Linen Bank £1 note)

I hadn't popped into my bank to find out if they are ready with English Pound accounts when independence happens. (Although I understand they are)
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.