I've now been in Edinburgh for four days, it really seems longer than that somehow! My days have been full of conference events, but I have managed to squeeze in seeing as many shows as I could in the evenings.
I don't want to 'review' the shows I've seen, but I thought you might like to know a least a bit about what I am choosing to see. As it is Fringe, some shows have been incredible, some 'meh', and some that…well…may have even been too fringy for me. Either that or there was something to get that I just didn't get.
How did I pick my shows? Out of 2,700 shows, it can be quite difficult to pick what you would like to see. With my Arts Industry pass AND requests from artists for me to see their shows, I am able to get some complimentary tickets to some shows. If I didn't have this option, I probably would instead walk around and talk to artists and simply discover shows to see around the city.
I started with shows that I've seen before and may be returning or producing new works, recommendations from friends, and friends that have shows in the festival. From there I added some other things that I heard of that looked interesting. From this I developed an initial schedule and then after being in the city for a few days, added shows as I talked to artists.
Bane 1, 2, & 3
Know Theatre's Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer Andrew Hungerford saw Bane 1 at the festival a few years ago and recommended that I see his shows. The performer started with Bane 1 two years ago, did Bane 2 last year, and this year is doing all three shows. He is an incredible performer who creates a action packed adventure movie right before your eyes! He does dozens of different accents and characters expertly and told a hilarious and exciting story. I saw Bane 1 & 2, but my mother made all three parts. He is planning a tour to the US and is going to put Cincinnati on his list. Cincinnati audiences would LOVE this show.
Pain of Desire
A friend of mine and former Cincinnati Fringe artist Seiriol Davies is performing in this show at Summerhall. The show is all music and is original by the artists. It focuses on a chanteuse who seems to have been scorned in love and is quite depressed over the whole thing. She sang some sad songs, lots of sad songs. The music was great and Seiriol was so much fun to watch. Summerhall (also where my conference was taking place) is an old veterinary college so it is filled with wonderful spaces. This show took place in what looked like an old operation classroom with beautiful old wooden stands in a semi-circle. Neat!
One Man Lord of the Rings
Need I say more? This talented actor literally races through the three parts of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy at break neck speed. It helps to be a Tolkien nerd when you see this show. There were several moments where the was literally spinning on the floor and making Orc sounds. That was a battle! He consistently threw in modern references and jokes which was a nice touch. On off nights, he is also performing in a one man Star Wards Trilogy.
Anthony Rapp: Without You
I loved this show a great deal. It was both fringy and not fringy at the same time. Anthony Rapp (If you live under a rock or dislike broadway, he originated the role of Mark in RENT on stage and in the movie) tells the story of the beginnings of rent and the untimely death of Jonathan Larson, the writer. Jonathan and Anthony had become great friends through the process. He also speaks of the passing of his mother soon after. It was heart breaking and heart warming at the same time.
Mess is another show that featured friend Seiriol Davies at the Traverse Theatre. The show tells the story of a girl with anorexia but it wasn't at all what you would expect that to be. It was silly, fun, brilliant, sad, and hilarious all around. Seiriol was amazing as the music soundtrack and interjector. The cast was beyond incredible. My little paragraph just won't do it justice.
This was by far the Fringiest show I've seen. This New Jersey native now lives in London and her show is about her obsession with The Smiths singer Tony Morrisey. She invited the audience to her birthday party, gave us all party hats, and involved many in audience in a multitude of comfortable and uncomfortable ways. Kinda weird. Like you. I had a good time, but honestly, I think this show would be a bit too much for Cincinnati audiences.
Nina Conti: Dolly Mixtures
I was very excited to find there were still tickets available for ventriloquist Nina Conti.
RIGHT NOW. Go to YouTube. Search her name. Watch. Enjoy. She is brilliant.
The show was fun. She brought in some of her new puppets and she used her famous talking masks things on two audience members. They were good sports. She had one of them inside a puppet costume thing doing push ups on her! I am very glad I got to see her live.
That's it for now. More shows to come soon!