Ones to watch: Ed Fringe Recap

This was my first year at Edinburgh Fringe – a very generous late birthday present from a good (now even better) friend who I suspect bought me the flights so that she wouldn’t have to go alone but never mind the reason, it was probably the best birthday present i’ve ever received (apart from a puppy on my 8th birthday, nothing beats that). It was the highlight of my summer so far and I’ve had a pretty great summer as far as summers go. Anyway as Fringe officially finished today, I thought I’d write down a few of my favourites as a self-reminder for next year but also in case they head to London in the near future…

THE DUCK POND: withWings theatre company apparently turned heads at last year’s festival with their clever re-imagining of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and this year’s re-telling of “Swan Lake” was just as much of a success, selling out the night before each performance. Without giving too much of the story away… the action takes place at a fairground seeing the Prince hook his true love on his 21st birthday under moonlight. What follows is a passionate and amusing love story as the Prince attempts to break the spell that suspends his love in feathery (or rather rubbery) form. The physical performances by the two leads were utterly absorbing as was the music all written and performed by the cast – an exceptionally talented bunch of individuals. Rumour has it that the production may be coming to Hoxton in December. Fingers crossed.

The Duck Pond

BIG BROTHER: BLITZKRIEG: Max Elton’s concept of Adolf Hitler in the Big Brother house sounds simple on paper but makes for a very clever and genuinely hilarious play.  The Furher’s housemates include the usual bunch of unfortunately very realistic stereotypes: dodgy dealer/self-acclaimed entrepreneur Clive, performing arts student/kate moss wannabe Camilla, bejewelled chav Michael (aka M-CAT) and the food obsessed middle-aged widow Maude. The compact venue at Fringe worked to the play’s advantage, maintaining an uncomfortable line between humour and fascism as Hitler spat globules of spit onto nervous audience members. Here’s a couple of  their teaser trailers…

BOTTLENECK: Luke Barnes’s play about the Hillsborough disaster is perhaps one of the most impressive pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen. The story (performed by one actor, the brilliant James Cooney) follows fourteen year old Greg from Liverpool on his mission to earn enough money to pay for tickets to the Liverpool FC game on his birthday. It would be a mistake to ruin the power of the performance, but it left us stunned, mesmerised and completely humbled. It’s something you need to see when you’re feeling ecstatically joyful or stable, otherwise it might be difficult to cope.


CALYPSO NIGHTS: Essentially this is just an hour or so of Juan Vesuvius, a Venezuelan Calypso DJ (aka Barnie Duncan) mixing calypso music and saying random things about cunnilingus whilst rudely gesturing with a pair of maracas. It was one of the most surreal experiences i’ve ever had, but also the funniest. It ended with us all dancing on stage to Soca which sounds a little like this…







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