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. I have witnessed Romeo and Juliette where R is played indelicately by right breast and J by 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 (you should really go again). Torch is a show can compel you 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. All people are gone. 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”. The show is hosted predominantly in complete darkness and the result is incredibly enlightening. Complicite kills it again.
Pleasance Courtyard. 14:15 Daily
In Labels, Joe owns the all the prejudges he has ever had thrust upon him. Not only does he own them, he literally 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, Nigel Farage and everyone else we all love to 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 more grounded British Bublé. He connects with the crowd in a way that is smooth, but not with the creepy and suave dead eyes of Bublé. 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 by proxy. 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. 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, a 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. In a world where everything has a 5 star rating, nothing has a 5 star rating. Really though, there are a lot of shows. I couldn’t see them all, but I did get a plethora 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 toilet roll.