|Edinburgh : A&E : Festivals : Fringe Reviews|
None = Unmissable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme
Gavin & Gavin (Page 34).
Venue Assembly Rooms (Venue 3).
Address George Street.
Reviewer Ritchie Smith.
Gavin & Gavin are two blonde-ish, lively-ish, funny-ish, charming-ish sisters, Sharon and Lauretta Gavin, with good stage presence and lots of forthright interplay with the audience. The show's title is 'Colonic irrigation for our souls', meaning that the Gavins go to a past life therapist, to find out about their previous lives...
That's a nice set-up, and the two sisters work the idea well, though the individual sketches could have more gags. They play Cockney streetwalkers, Irishwomen who attend hangings as fans go to sports games, Deep South lesbians, and - particularly effective - an all-singing, all-dancing two-headed court jester from the Middle Ages.
To sum up, an inventive show with two winsome performers. Some of the material may need development, but the improvising is energetic and the sisters' rapport with the audience is excellent.
©Ritchie Smith 8 August 2005- Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 28 at 17.45pm (not 16th).
Company Website - www.boundandgaggedcomedy.com
Greedy. (Page 35).
Venue Underbelly (Venue 61).
Address 56 Cowgate (entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street).
Reviewer Ruth Clowes.
Four talented comedians perform in this sketch show of impressive diversity, Louie Bayliss, Rachel Egan, Felicity Wren and James Wren demonstrate a vast breadth of talents between them, and show an obvious joy in entertaining.
From Tyrannosaurus Rexs playing musical chairs, to dribbling, Werther's Original obsessed OAPs, no subject is too unlikely or obscure to escape comic scrutiny. The shortest attention span can't help but be maintained by the mix of song, dance, box office training and the most beautiful, whimsical poem I've heard this Fringe. The quality is variable, and some sketches are considerably more successful than others, but in this quick-fire show there is always a new idea just round the corner, with the speedy pace and the sheer energy of the performers keeping things moving.
There is no attempt at a linking narrative structure, with frenetic and funny dance routines instead used to provide space between sketches, a lack of continuity that at times left the show feeling bitty and fragmented. Likewise, there is no recurring theme or deeper point being made, and it is easy to see this as just another Fringe sketch show - funny and distracting at the time, but hardly memorable. However, fans of this genre will enjoy this jolly, lively show for what it is - a bright, fun stick of comedy candyfloss.
© Ruth Clowes 16 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to 28 August (not 21) at 16:40
Company - Unrestricted View.
Guy Browning's Small Talk. (Page 36).
Venue Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33).
Address 60, The Pleasance.
Reviewer Leanna Rance.
Defiantly bald, tux wearing, Guardian columnist Guy Browning, bounces on stage like a debonair Kojak. Having spent ten years away from the Fringe, he returns in 2005 with a new show , Small Talk (one wonders what has prompted his return - do the Guardian pay that badly?) A mild-mannered, broadsheet-reading audience have turned out for the occasion.
Small Talk is an interactive show. By this we mean Browning singles out members of the audience (in good-natured, genteel manner it has to be said), and asks them to contribute random observations. He also conducts group participation exercises. The 'creation of mass sound effects' segment springs to mind. Unfortunately this all feels a bit forced, with more than a whiff of Panto.
Browning is a likeable, pleasant personality, more than capable of producing then disseminating his wealth of well-considered material. However he does not possess great comedic presence - a fact that becomes increasingly obvious as the hour progresses. His inherent style of delivery is naturally slow-paced and deadpan - this translates for some reason, into a low-energy performance rendering the proceedings somewhat single note.
Throughout the hour, we cover party etiquette, the art of conversation, dancing skills, lonely hearts ads, rules of attraction and other assorted social niceties. Despite a smattering of sharp one-liners, "do flirt - the eyes are the catflap of the libido", there are simply not enough sparkling, witty, subversive or fall-about-laughing moments, to raise the bar from competent to exemplary.
Small Talk is a writerly experience - but the live personna just isn't there.
© Leanna Rance 11 August - published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to 29 August at 18.10 every day, excepting August 16.
Company – Guy Browning.