Is awesomeness a word? It is now. So, we’re all up in Edinburgh’s grill right now doing various shows which I’ve probably already told you about but am going to tell you again as I’m a sucker for repetitive self-promotion. But to take the edge off the self-indulgence a little bit (only a little) and to give you a reward for wading through my relentless solipsism, I’m also going to give a list of recommendations of things you should also see at this year’s fringe, once you’ve been to see us of course. I’m only going to recommend people/shows I’ve actually seen already, so I may do another list half way through the festival once I’ve seen some more things that I’d like to recommend. If I’m not lying face down in a gutter by then stinking of haggis, self-loathing and Caledonian 80 mumbling ‘t…t…two shows… a…at the s..same time… why? why?!’ etc. So, to begin with, stuff you may already know about:
Mellor & Steele present ‘Anthropoetry’ and ‘Shaggy Doggerel’
Anthropoetry, our humorous, musical, spoken word journey around the human body opened at C Nova on the 31st July and has already picked up a four-star review in Three Weeks. We’re on every day at 8pm, tickets are various prices depending on the date, but we have 2 for 1 offers from 3rd – 6th and will announce more 2 for 1 days as the run goes on. Follow us on twitter or facebook for announcements.
We are also presenting our new show Shaggy Doggerel, a selection of longer, narrative driven spoken word and music pieces. This is still very much in development and includes some brand new material from that show, introduced by some more tried and tested material from our past repertoire. It’s a lot of fun (we hope, although some of it’s pretty dark) and is at the excellent Fingers Piano Bar, where we debuted Anthropoetry last year, as part of PBH’s Free Fringe, so a great option if you’re on a tight budget (like us).
Léonie Kate Higgins presents ‘Bright Lights’
Léonie’s excellent debut show also opened on the 31st July at C Nova. It’s witty and warm and poignant and I’m not in any way biased. Here’s the blurb:
It’s Léonie’s last day. Tomorrow she escapes office drudgery to fulfill her ambition of becoming a wildly-successful, internationally-renowned vocal artist. As philosopher R. Kelly once said: “if you can dream it, then you can do it”. Well, she’s dreamt it, and now she’s ready to do it.
With looped vocals Léonie creates music live on stage as she tells a comic, irreverent and touching story of disappointment, triumph, and things never quite working out the way you planned.
Bright Lights is an antidote to the ever-looming spectre of Simon Cowell. Told with warmth and wit, this is a story of stepping away from familiar comforts into the glorious, horrifying potential of the unknown.
11 other brilliant things you should see!
As promised, here’s a short list of excellence that I’ve seen at previous fringes or people whose work I know, love and want you to too:
- Tomas Ford: Electric Midnight Cabaret – Tomas amazed, amused, scared and sweated on us frequently at the Perth Fringe and we loved every second of it. A consummate showman and demented audio wizard, best cabaret award-winner Fringeworld 2013, TO&ST Edinburgh Cabaret Award winner 2012. See.
- Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths – Jon was another of our Australian Fringe favourites, we saw this show and his previous internationally acclaimed ‘Pretending Things Are A Cock’ and loved them both. It’s stand-up but with a level of warmth, poignancy and expert story-telling not often found on the comedy circuit.
- 3 is a Crowd: Fright or Flight – A gorgeous mix of physical theatre and circus skills, this all-female ensemble perform some of the most unique and innovative juggling, acrobatic and aerial routines I’ve ever seen, with a strong sense of absurdist physical and visual humour. Winner of Adelaide Fringe Best Circus and Physical Theatre Award 2013.
- Marcel Lucont: A La Carte – Laconic French character comedian expertly playing with and satirising national stereotypes and a flash of literary flair manifest in his sharings of teenage diary extracts and sex poetry. Best Comedy Award-winner at FringeWorld (Perth) 2013, Amused Moose Best Comedy Award 2012. This year he is performing bespoke shows to the highest bidder in a location of their choice, but you can also catch his late night cabaret, Cabaret Fantastique, on PBH’s Free Fringe (Mellor & Steele will be guests on the 6th) and his English alter-ego Alexis Dubus is also performing his solo show Cars and Girls.
- Norris & Parker: All Our Friends Are Dead – I haven’t seen this show yet but we saw Norris & Parker last year at Counter Culture Club in Manchester and thought they were hilarious. Original, fresh sketch comedy, destined for great things…
- Dayne Rathbone: It’s Me Dayne – This was probably the funniest show I saw in Perth, as well as the most awkward and cringeworthy. Dayne is a uniquely weird and uncomfortable comedy persona, but also weirdly lovable. If you like comedy that makes your toes curl, this is for you.
- Tongue Fu - Arguably the best spoken word event in the country, Tongue Fu brings together internationally acclaimed poets, storytellers and comedians with one of the best bands I’ve ever had the fortune to play with providing improvised musical backing. There’s nothing quite like it. Hosted by the ever-genial and brilliant Chris Redmond, their Edinburgh run also features World Female Beatbox Champion, Bellatrix, on beats and bass. I performed there last night, and have got another spot tonight, with hopefully more during the run, but expect to find some of the top spoken word artists from across the fringe guesting there every night…
- Bridget Christie: A Bic for Her – We saw Bridget’s show last year and it was one of our top highlights, so expect to be in stitches at this one too. She manages to be funny, silly, political and avant garde all at the same time, and does a fine line in ridiculous costumes too. One of the best comics on the fringe as far as we’re concerned.
- Luisa Omeilan: What Would Beyonce Do? – Saw this show at Latitude, sandwiched by Eggs Collective, and it was one of the most entertaining hours of performance I’ve ever had the pleasure to sit through. ROFL-funny, but also with moments of emotional depth that brought me to tears, and plenty of shack-out Beyonce dance routines. Beautiful.
- Jen McArthur: Echolalia and Cheeky Park: Company Man – OK, so I haven’t seen either of these shows, nor did I know about either company before this week, but both showcased their pieces at the C Venues press launch the other day, which Dan and I hosted, and look like they will be brilliant. Jen is a hilarious clown/physical theatre performer doing a piece about a character with Asperger’s trying to find a job (she won best solo show at the NZ fringe last year too so must be doing something right). Cheeky Park are a Japanese physical theatre company performing a theatrical comedy about white-collar workers in Tokyo. We’re really excited about catching both of them and think you should be too.
Right, that’s it. As I say, I’ll probably do another list of things I’ve seen and recommend later in the festival. Hope this has been useful/interesting to you, though it probably hasn’t if you’re not up in Edinburgh this summer. In which case, why are you reading this far? Weirdo. But thanks anyway.