None = Unmissable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme
Can I bring the moon to dinner? (page 115)
Venue Southside (Venue 82)
Address 117 Nicolson Street
Reviewer Shona Brodie
Bullwinkle has lost all faith. In everyone and everything apart from Superman. His hero. Turning to the only one he can depend on he realises that to escape he has to become him and conquer his fears.
Using striking visual and physical theatre devices the piece moves quickly, forcing you to run along with the vibrant youthfulness of the troubled youth. Clever direction holds it all together while managing to maintain the underlying dark and disturbing message. There were a few sections of the piece that seemed a bit unnecessary and detracted attention away from the real intrigue of the family relationship breakdown. Taking away the focus and intensity to portray vulgar Glaswegians, although lifting the mood, was a bit over cooked. Yes, I know swearing is essential, it's part of the dialect after all, but it seemed a bit too much and slightly uncomfortable in connection with the softer, more subtle key messages the play was trying to get across.
This Dynamo Production's cast is of mixed ability and a particularly strong performance comes from the young Bullwinkle who makes his character compelling and likable. Unable to communicate with his family, turning inward to his own sub consciousness for answers that he cannot find, this would make an idea educational piece. It manages to tackle the issues with great warmth and humour making it very accessible to the audience.
© Shona Brodie 19th August 2002 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Until August 25 at 22.45
Music for Children of Srebrenica for Peace (page 115)
Venue Demarco-Rocket at Apex Hotels (Venue 16)
Address 31-35 Grassmarket
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat
How can one review a little miracle? After the initial fear that Children of Srebrenica for Peace might have to be cancelled because the little performers had not been granted visitors visa to the United Kingdom, Boris Tesic, a young Bosnian musician from Tuzla, took up the challenge to keep the show going. In the austere surroundings of small Flooden studio in the Grassmarket's Hotel International, the nineteen-year old performed a smashing guitar concerto in the honour of the children of Srebrenica who, sadly, could not perform today. In his welcome note, the young artist explained that this performance was his personal interpretation of the war events in Srebrenica. Cleverly weaving the music of timeless classics like Chopin and Bach with that of contemporary composers, Tesic sent a strong message to the world, the message of peace and happiness, and of the hope in the future that is shared by his people. In his concluding words, he stressed that hate was not the answer, because the more we hate the more we become like the hated. You can catch the performance of this gifted young artist this week only, at 11.40am. Come and see why Demarco-Rocket venues are, and always will be, the cutting edge of the Fringe.
© Ksenija Horvat 5 August 2002
Comic Trust - White Side Story (page 117)
Drams None, but give the performers a celebratory magnum of champers
Venue Gilded Balloon Teviot (14)
Address 5/2 Teviot Square
Reviewer Jackie Fletcher
I've seen good shows on the fringe and praised some of them to the sky, but White Side Story is undoubtedly the most engaging and compelling one-and-a-half hours I've spent in a theatre this year. It is an absolute and utter delight from beginning to end. Three clowns from St Petersburgh enact the tale of a wicked queen and her lust for power with such verve, such joy and a staggering amount of invention reminding me what clowning is really all about.
Maybe, I'm just a big kid! But you don't need to be a kid to like the Marx Brothers. It seems that since our Music Hall tradition died out we have relegated our clowns to comic turns with pratt-falls and buckets of water in between the acrobats and the animals in the circus. Happily, in Russia the true clown tradition is as vibrant as it ever was, as anyone who saw Slava's Snowshow a few years ago will remember. These people embody the mediaeval cabotin that Meyerhold drew on, and the guillame that inspired Dario Fo. It is a carnivalesque tradition of popular comic satire dating back to the Middle Ages. But we have lost it in favour of stand-up comedians.
Comic Trust pull out all the stops and go for every grain of theatricality that they can milk from their simple tale. It is an aesthetic spectacle: it is movement, mime, fabulously grotesque costumes, lighting, sound, music, glitter and bubbles all blended together with so much fun that I was laughing out loud throughout. Even wearing half masks, the range of their facial expressions, varying from the utterly absurd to the truly tragic, gave this show a fine human dimension. Their skill is just incredible.
Right from the beginning they play with the audience and at the end we are given a choice: we can vote for a comic or a tragic ending. But even then there are still surprises in store. Even their curtain call was a roller coaster of energetic joy. These people love their work and their audiences. I've run out of superlatives to describe it. It just twists and turns and presents you with the unexpected as they do quick costume changes and engross us with yet another comic character. Go and enjoy! And Comic Trust, will you please come back next year.I want MORE!
Until 25 Aug (not 20)
© Jackie Fletcher 14 August 2002
The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett as Found in an Envelope (Partially Burned) in a Dustbin in Paris Labeled 'Never to be Performed. Never. Ever! Or I'll Sue! I'll Sue from the Grave (page 117)
Venue Assembly Rooms (3)
Address 54 George St
Reviewer Jackie Fletcher
There was a full house of Beckett fans present in the Assembly Rooms this afternoon to see Mr Thompson present the first performances of these lost works, one of which was written on a Weetabix packet. This is a spoof on 'the greatest writer of the twentieth century', one notorious for having every comma and full stop in his work performed precisely as he specified and for litigation against adulterators. Faxes from Beckett's executors interrupted the proceedings, but the audience was obviously enjoying themselves. This is good silly fun. So, if you want to find out how Beckett plagiarised Barbara Cartland, and see Michael Flatley's monologue in a galvanised dustbin.... get down to the Assembly Rooms.
Until 25 Aug (not 13, 20, 21)
© Jackie Fletcher 4th August
Converting Lyle (page 117)
Venue The Smirnoff Underbelly (Venue 61)
Address entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat
A television talk show 'The Save a Soul Telethon' suddenly goes sour when hosts Randy Brandy (ex-porn star turned angel) and Angel Gabriel find their authorities undermined by an uninvited guest who turns to be none the other than Lucifer himself.
From the moment Lucifer comes on stage, accompanied by two Gothic rock musicians, you know this is going to be a hilarious fun. Gabriel and Randy Brandy have a bit of a romp in the back room, angels talk about sex and vibrators, Gandhi and Mother Theresa are amongst the star guests, and the audience becomes an active part of the proceedings. This is a show that refuses to take itself seriously, and makes fun of everything and everyone in the best slapstick comedy fashion (theatre critics are kindly asked to jot down Lucifer's words carefully, and are constantly being warned to pay attention).
The verdict? Good acting and music cues, great script, first-rate fun. This show works best when it bounces off the audience, so come and see it and bring all your friends
© Ksenija Horvat 19 August 2002 - published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs until 25 August at 19:15 (20:45)