Day Five at the Fringe. 3rd August 2014
Dave had got up and gone off to see Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging Giant at the Free Sisters on the Cowgate (Dave will update later) to join me afterwards with a slightly later start at The Very Scarisome Tooth Fairy (same venue).
This is the story of Toots the NICE tooth fairy who gets given a very hard time indeed at the hands of the nasty would be version. Nasty Nell also tries to corrupt the local dentist but all is well in the end. The kids in the audience were having a lovely time and of course the most important message was to look after your teeth. This story was narrated in verse form by the lovely Martha in dental nurse outfit and we all left with magic, lucky fairy dust sprinkled over us – I need to buy a lottery ticket now!
Still at the Free Sisters Dave went back in to see What Shall We See Today? A show by Mat Wills (Again, Dave will update later!!) Mat came down to say hello to me as I was sat in the Free Sisters’ bar, chugging hot chocolate and trying to update this blog so I did get to meet him. A thoroughly nice chap he seemed too – I think my right hand is still in recovery from his handshake!
Up the road to Whistlebinkies then, and a lovely hour with Jen Brister’s Wishful Thinking. Jen deals with her political frustrations by yelling at her telly. Her Spanish mother has a way with statistics which is inventive to say the least and there’s a section on lesbian love making which is definitely educational. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m sure Jen would make a fab MP if only she could be arsed.
Next, a run up to The Gilded Balloon for Juliette Burton’s Look At Me, a show about body dysmorphia, mental illness and eating disorders. Not as bleak as it sounds, and ending in a positive message so do go and see it. Juliette presents the show with multi media through the construct of a fashion magazine – with various pages linking to video. Cleverly done – and although Juliette is still wrestling with her demons it feels like her worst times may be behind her.
We returned next to the Pleasance Dome (Ace Dome) for The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2014. Five lads and lots of sketches, alternative comedy at its best, meaning it can be hit or miss – in this case mostly hit. I loved the “dog” sketch, and they’re not shy of shoving in a bit of homo-erotocism either.
Trying to grab food today had been hard work (and we’d been existing on sandwiches the day before) so our first hot food in 48 hours was most welcome even if it was just a baked potato (for me)and some chilli nachos for Dave.
Hardeep Singh Kohil’s Hardeep is Your Love was our next show. This tells the tale of love and loss and how to refind love once out of a long term relationship. Hardeep cuts a multi-cultural figure on stage, with turban and beard up top and kilt down below – team this with his Weegie (Glasgwegian) accent and I”m sure some of the punters just don’t know how what to expect. The show ran over as I felt that Hardeep didn’t seem to be able to draw it to a close to his satisfaction but in the end he let us go.
Onto one of our favourite events – The Fast Fringe. I love the concept as if you don’t like one act, there will be another one along within about three minutes that you will. Tonight’s line-up, in no particular order, was: Ray Peacock (MC), Jen Brister (for the second time today!!), Katie Mulgrew, Jolly Boat (three pirates singing silly songs), Axis for Awesome, a magician called Ben Hart, Clever Peter, Mark Watson, Lloyd Griffiths, Reece Mathewson and Evelyn Mok. Angela Barnes was supposed to be on but was ill.
And breathe – and in again for Des Bishop: Made in China. Des is American/Irish (he moved to Ireland when he was fourteen). His show is about learning Mandarin Chinese – but of course done in a funny way – we are not talking an intense crash course in one of the harder to learn foreign languages here, despite Des’s big screen and laser pointer! A good show this – go see it and find yourself chanting rude words in Mandarin!
Jess Robinson and her Mighty Voice was next on the list and what a voice she has. Along with her fabulous musical support on keyboards and with no bad voice herself, a lady called Kirsty Newton, Jess gave us more female impressions than we could count. This act is worth the ticket price so get up to the Ace Dome and see for yourself.
Next up – Foul Play: The F*cking Nasty Show. I went outside to try and get the line-up written down only to find several posters with similar names – and I am easily confused! However there was: Andre Vincent (MC), Ria Lina, Carey Marx, Brendon Burns, Susan Murrey and Tom Stade. Standing-out for me were Ria Lina (that girl has a naughty mouth, a hot ukelele and a very passable singing voice), Brendan (who ran way over despite the warning flashing red light!) and Carey.
And so to the car crash that sometimes becomes a show at Bob’s Bookshop. At a new venue this year, down below the Pleasance Courtyard on Holyrood Road, Bob had a fair crowd in for the billed Indie Round with Bob Slayer and Tim Fitzhigham. There was no sign of Tim but that wasn’t stopping the proceedings with Bob dragging out various audience members to tell stories (including Dave on how we first met Bob , a tale not repeatable here, and also myself on how we got banned from a venue in the SW, a tale also not repeatable here). Other events included a near fight with an ex-services Irishman, dancing, visiting the interesting loo facilities and trying to stay sober. Bob’s improv shows are nothing if not usually entertaining.
A rare treat. Just as we stepped out of the venue, a hansom cab was arriving to drop someone off. Without breaking stride, Dave grabbed the doorhandle, pushed me inside and asked the driver to take us home (to Minto St of course, not Cornwall!). I think my head was finally on my pillow at about 3.30am.