tribe’s fiction editor, Rosy Long, reports on an eventful and hectic Edinburgh Fringe.
On the rainiest of rainy weekends, the jam in-between two slices of sunshine, tribe headed to Edinburgh Fringe. As the Festival is over halfway through already, I decided only to review the shows that were worth going to see. The standard was high, the hills were steep and there were no shows under 4 stars.
Plague of Idiots
Guided Balloon. 16:00 daily.
The Plague of Idiots; a melange of clever fools making a misguided attempt to guide a crowd through Shakespeare. I have now seen Hamlet performed with a helmet, along with a rendition of Romeo and Juliette where R is one of the Idiot’s right breast and J is the left. Is Singing in The Rain Shakespeare? I know it isn’t, but the Idiots proved that maybe it can be. Lulu (the star of the show) is pure silliness. I’ve always held the personal belief that silliness is next to godliness, especially when it both breaks and becomes the fourth wall. The show laughs at and perfects the art of the absurd; ideal if you’re after a little afternoon ridiculousness.
The Underbelly Colgate. 20:50 daily.
If you’re in Edinburgh and you haven’t seen Torch, then go right now. If you’re not in Edinburgh and you haven’t seen Torch, then go right now. If you have seen Torch and you are or aren’t in Edinburgh, then I won’t need to tell you to go again. But you should go again. Torch is a show that makes you stay in your seat even whilst the fear of wetting yourself is becoming increasingly real. You can dry your clothes, but you can’t get Torch back. The show is a monologue. It is a loud and glittery mess of womanhood that navigates the female reality. Torch touches on issues that are ever-present in society; relationships, drugs, rape, hairy legs, fairy legs, parties and periods. Jess Mabel Jones is fantastic, her character liberates singledom and reminds us that it’s ok to be lonely. The show is a party, a journey and it is fantastic. “…all I wanted was to please you, even when i didn’t like you. I think I stank of you.”
World Without Us
Summer Hall. 11:30 daily.
Ontroerend Goed delivers. A surprisingly peaceful way to start the day; a cup of tea, a pastry and a hour long contemplation of the end of the human race. People are gone, not to anywhere in particular. They just disappear. The room around us crumbles and everyone present (or not?) is reminded of their own insignificance. Imagine a world where time exists only in the changing of the land and buildings, where human constructs hold no real meaning to the creatures of the earth who inherit the land, and where pandas become extinct…. “but nobody cares”. For a show hosted predominantly in darkness, the result is incredibly enlightening.
Pleasance Courtyard. 14:15 Daily
In this show, Joe owns the labels that he has ever had thrust upon him. Not only does he own them, he wears them. The world exists in a constant culture of labelling, and Labels calls us out on it. More specifically, he calls out Katie Hopkins, Ed Miliband, Jeremy Clarkson, Donald Trump, David Cameron and Nigel Farage and everyone else we all hate. The show is personal, hilarious and very real. An authentic representation of multicultural Britain through the eyes and life of someone who has experienced it. It is important that you go.
Joe Stilgoe: Songs on Film
Assembly Checkpoint. 20:20 daily.
Stilgoe is like a grounded British Bublé. By which I mean he connects with the crowd in a way that is smooth, but not with creepy and suave dead eyes. Instead of spending his time trying to woo the middle aged women of the earth, he has been watching films. Lots and lots of films. Even if you are no film buff, you’ll soon find that you know a lot of movie songs. Popular culture is a magical thing that seeps into your every day lives without you even knowing about it, so you may as well enjoy it. If you don’t remember the film, you’ll recognise the song. Stilgoe takes the audience on a cross-genre traverse through film, where your footsteps are keys on a piano. Best enjoyed after a couple of gins, Songs on Film is a wonderful three-way relationship between a man, his piano and his fingers.
Fringe is mad, fun and hectic. Be sure to take a deep breath before you go as there is no room or time to breathe once you arrive. There are so many shows. Really, a lot of shows and we didn’t see them all, I don’t think you could possibly. But I did get a lot of flyers. There are hundreds of flyers for each show, so if you think there is a lot of shows to see, there are even more flyers to collect. The recycling facilities were good though, so there is always the chance the flyers from the bad shows I saw may end up being used as loo roll.