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Edinburgh Fringe 2005 Diary #3 - More lovely Berkoff and pointless political theatre



Feature by Hannah Powell

SO, IT'S the middle weekend. So many people, so many shows, so little time. Again sleep has gone to the wayside and the bags under my eyes are starting to resemble something like... well they're huge (I have also lost any small ability to be funny)!

First up was The Lost and Lonely Rebels - RBM 16.45 PM in the Belly Button.

My date today (Tom, boy do I get around - I feel like a right floozy!) sums it all up - he was glad 'it was free'.

This is not to say that it was totally un-amusing - redeeming features included sketches about children, a blind persons' guide and an inspired sketch about a radio play.

But the actors seemed nervous and not too confident with their material. They also seemed to lack energy, as if they would have rather been anywhere but performing in front of an audience.

Also the dancing. I think it was meant to be so bad it was funny, but it just ended up being annoying.

After a few coffees, some beautiful muffins from Chocolate Soup, and a show of our own (Sex Aid, Sweet on the Grassmarket, 9.30pm - have I mentioned it?), it was off too see Greek by Vomit up Guinness Theatre company, 10.30pm Sweet on the Grassmarket.

Now, I love Berkoff and so am completely biased, but this really was a strong version of the adapted tale of Oedipus Rex.

The precision and control of movement offered by Vomit up Guinness is of a fantastic standard, although the actors do need to work on their speed of delivery. I found myself whisked along a little too fast.

With a bare stage and minimal lighting the company have created a production which you can really get your teeth into, and it is Ian Garside, in particular, who people should watch out for.

At 18, this boy has a wonderful range and presence - for anyone who wishes to see the company, they are performing at the Priestley Centre, in Bradford, from August 19 - 21 at 7.30pm.

Fringe Sunday was the most relaxing day so far. We took our bed along and lay down for most of the day - fantastic!

What felt like millions of people flocked to the meadows to enjoy snippets from shows such as No Fit State Circus, Abnormally Funny People and Topping and Butch.

With such a heady mix of talent it's becoming increasingly hard to prioritise what to see.

One to keep an eye out for is Sally Swallows and the Rise of Londinian (Gilded balloon, Cheviot balcony, 7pm.)

It promises to be funny and filthy and judging by the costumes alone I would expect nothing less.

Having woken up today a little worse for wear (apologies to the Apex staff for our exhibitionist behaviour last night and thank you to the birthday boy who gave me a slice of the best chocolate cake in the world), the day so far has only got worse.

Attending a showcase, I was only stopped from leaving halfway though due to the shock paralysis that suddenly affected my body.

I have never come out of a preview so mortified that such work can exist in theatre.

Klown Kampf claims to be political theatre but contains nothing but a random diatribe at the audience which makes no sense and worse, creates no feeling for the audience.

It was as if the Company had mashed together the longest words they could find in the hope of seeming Avant garde and intelligent.

In fact, they just came across as pointless.

Their physicality is clumsy and heavy, and at one point the two males looked like seven-year-olds fighting in the playground, but with less skill.

I'm so depressed by it that I'm going to go and eat my bodyweight in Twix's - now there's a cheering thought!

Related stories: Edinburgh Fringe Report 1 (BBC Comedy and Being Charlie Kaufman)

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


 

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