Sunday, 6 August 2017

#EdFringe 2017 Round Up | Week 1

For those of you that don't follow me on social media, you may not know that I am spending 6 weeks working in Edinburgh at the Fringe. I've been here for two weeks and, although shows didn't start performances until the 2nd August (or thereabouts), I've managed to squeeze a lot of shows into the past few days. Rather than write a full review of every show I've seen (sorry but I just don't have time for that this Fringe!) I thought I'd do a weekly-ish round-up of everything I've seen and let you know what's worth it and what isn't!

Dr Carnesky's Incredible Bleeding Women at Pleasance Courtyard: I certainly chose an interesting one for my first show! It was described as a cabaret show but I would say it was more like a lecture with a few very short performances thrown in. While it raised some interesting points about menstruation, the real problem was that it just lacked slickness. Admittedly it was their first performance but it just needed a lot of polishing and it felt a little alienating at time.
2 Stars

Murder, She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery at Pleasance Courtyard: I was expecting big things from this as it was in quite a big venue and I have to admit that I wasn't blown away. I think that the prompts that the audience gave were awkward (an American lady chose the setting as a barn raising. I mean really?!) but the actors did their best and in the end it was quite clever and very amusing at times.
3 Stars

Shit-Faced Shakespeare at Underbelly George Square: As expected, this was very funny. I saw it last year and it lived up to my expectations as I was laughing throughout. It's not at all high-brow or serious but if you want a guaranteed laugh I'd recommend it.
3 Stars

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at Pleasance Courtyard: This show was been playing the Fringe for 10 years and loads of people recommended it to me so I decided to see what all the fuss was about while taking advantage of the cheaper tickets during previews. It is a very clever format, so impressive and I think this is another show where you're guaranteed to laugh and enjoy yourself.
4 Stars

Colin Cloud: DARE at Pleasance Courtyard: This was a spontaneous ticket purchase and possibly my favourite show so far. Colin Cloud is a mind-reader and illusionist - think Derren Brown style - and he did some incredible tricks. I don't want to give anything away, but I am still baffled by the things he knew about people without having any clues. The venue was pretty full but I think that this is one which will only become more popular as the Fringe goes on so definitely try and get a ticket if you want to be impressed.
5 Stars

The Toxic Avenger at Pleasance Courtyard: This is a musical I'd heard a lot of buzz around so I decided to check it out before it hits the West End this Autumn. Purely by chance I managed to get a free ticket which obviously I was thrilled about but I would happily have paid full price to see it as I was blown away. The performance was 30 minutes late starting but they completely made up for it as the music and acting were of such a high standard. The script is absolutely hilarious and although there were a few technical hitches, they only added to the comedy. This is another that I'd highly recommend seeing and if you're not in Edinburgh you should definitely catch it at the Arts Theatre in London from September.
5 Stars

Lady Macbeth and Her Pal, Megan at C Venues: This was an unexpected winner for me. I'm usually sceptical of one-person shows but Megan Gogerty owned the stage. What began feeling like stand-up comedy developed, over sixty minutes, into a poignant and relatable commentary on feminism and comedy. It had some real serious moments but she also had the audience laughing throughout and was very likeable. It's a pretty affordable show too so if you fancy a thought-provoking laugh do check it out.
4 Stars 


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