A/V Room









Edinburgh Fringe 2005 Diary - cocktails, SEX AIDs and comedy

Feature by Hannah Powell

WE'RE here! We’re here!! No no, I don’t mean inside your computer -I’m referring to the one and only Edinburgh Fringe!

We got here last Wednesday and it's been a rollercoaster ride of attacking people to take our flyers for SEX AID Sweet on the Grassmarket 9.30 (shameless promotion here, but seriously worth seeing), trying to pack in seeing something at least once a day and getting round to writing the reviews- and sleeping. (Guess which one has gone to the wayside!?)

The actual festival started on Sunday evening with a massive party hosted by Cargo.

I would attempt to tell you something about it , but I can't remember an awful lot due to the lovely waitress making me an extremely alcohol cocktail –but I’ve been assured it was damm good and, more importantly, I’ve been assured that I didn’t fall over.

So, stuff to see...

BBC Comedy Night at the Pleasance gave us a little taste of what’s to come in the following weeks from five comedians.

Andrew Maxwell compered and was eloquently charming, building a confident rapport with the audience.

It’s so nice to see a comedian who looks genuinely pleased to be on stage.

Henning Wehn was next up and is a wild-eyed German whose style tends to grate on the audience.

His over-simplification of his set works well at first, but my attention started to wander to the extent that I wanted to ask the woman sitting next to me where she got her shoes from.

Entering with a leap and a bound next was the wonderful Lucy Porter.

Teasing us with snippets of her new show, Happiness, she cheekily informs us that just because she is a female comedienne, doesn’t mean she hates men, and is, in fact, a great fan of their 'work' - quickly following the laughter she injects with “Oh look - it's all the men and slappers laughing”.

The set is devilishly charming and so funny, a little bit of wee (almost) came out.

Andrew Lawrence delivers a fast paced and energetic set, which relies heavily on voice delivery but works.

His bewildering set could easily collapse due to it surreal narrative, but he exerts the right amount of control to keep the audience hooked.

Last on the bill was Simon Munnery, with a long-winded, laborious narrative. Though not unfunny, he didn’t really match up to the standards one expects from the final act.

Being Charlie Kaufman at Sweet on the Grassmarket (3PM daily) is a fine example of good fringe theatre.

Not being a Kaufman buff I did fail to grasp all of the jokes, but my date for the afternoon assured me that they were spot on.

Although the acting lacks control at points, the energy surrounding the play is fantastic. The surrealist nature of it was welcoming, despite the fact that I went to see it having had two hours sleep the night before, which only goes to prove that it must have been good to keep me awake.

Tangled Feet seem to swiftly be becoming the darlings of the Fringe, and with good reason. Lost Property @ 2.45PM Gilded balloon, examines where lost things go - a watch, a wallet, love and things we don’t have yet already miss.

It's been so long since I’ve seen a piece of theatre that made me well up with emotion and although at times the overlong pauses can be slightly self indulgent, I left trying to hold back the tears.

Although all of the company create characters who we can identify with (in fact, as I left, I overheard one man say he felt like the characters were the people he spent every night down the pub with, i.e. his best friends) it is Alex Ramsden and Leon Smith who really stand out.

Ramsden's clarity of voice and movement is bewitchingly honest and Smith's comic precision is a joy to behold.

That’s all for now.

If anyone is up at the fringe and reading this, stop by the SEX AID bed at some point on the royal mile and take a load off!

Related stories: Edinburgh Fringe Report 3 (Greek and The Lost and Lonely Rebels)

Edinburgh Fringe Report 2 (Hospitals and Other Things That Catch Fire and Beastly Beauties)

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