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(W) 3 out of 91
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None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme



We are Klang (Page 66).

Drams None needed
Venue Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33).
Address 60 The Pleasance.
Reviewer Ritchie Smith.

The tiny Pleasance Hut is so cramped it is claustrophobic. On this steamy night even the baseball caps come off, to be turned into makeshift fans, and you can smell the audience - unfortunately! But then the show begins...

We are Klang are a three-man sketch comedy outfit. There is already a buzz about them, and on the evidence of this night it is entirely justified. Greg Davies, Steve Hall and Marek Larwood look amusingly odd together, and work together even better. All are good writers - and that shows. There are excellent one-liners, and for once - and what a wonder this is, in terms of 'new Edinburgh comedy' - the material is thoroughly developed. And yet the show has a relaxed confident looseness, with room for banter with the audience and improvisation, and because of the total conviction of the talent they don't have to mug and sweat to make the audience love them.

I remember the silly SF voice-over which got everyone into a good mood. I remember the deadpan surreal beginning, 'I used to have this job stricking my finger into small animals...'. Otherwise, let me quote from my notebook, to give you the authentic Klang flavour: 'he gets his penis out', 'trouserless', 'wigs', 'fondling of genitalia', 'wordplay', 'singalong'.

One of Klang said, 'You can't please all the people all the time - otherwise there'd be spunk everywhere.' But, actually, you sometimes can please all the people. And these boys do. As members of the audience said: 'Really good fun!' 'Fantastic!' - And your reviewer 100% agrees.
©Ritchie Smith 9 August 2005- Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 29 at 21.45 for 1hr (not 16).
Company Avalon Promotions and Goldman King & CKP.

   

The West Wittering Affair. (Film and not In Fringe Programme).

Drams full glassfull glass.
Venue C electric.
Address Clerk Street, formerly the Odeon.
Reviewer Edmund Gould.

David Scheinmann's debut film has been glowingly compared to the sex comedies of Woody Allen and Neil LaBute. It's a no-frills tale of modern romance, full of farcical coincidences and deception, underscored with more serious themes of grown-up responsibility. However, The West Wittering Affair lacks the verbal flair of a film like 'Annie Hall' or 'Manhattan', and we certainly don't see the dark undercurrent of violence that permeates LaBute's work. That said, Scheinmann's film is still an engaging, at times hilarious account of a weekend of sexual antics that has far-reaching consequences for all involved.

Cathy, Sarah Sutcliffe, is a sexually frustrated thirty-something looking to ensnare the likeable Jamie, Danny Scheinmann. She invites him, along with best friend Natasha, Rebecca Cardinale, and therapist boyfriend Greg, David Annen, on a weekend trip to the country. Greg, however, doesn't show, dumped after an alleged affair, and the distraught Natasha quickly finds a shoulder to cry on in Jamie. No sooner has Jamie bedded one woman, however, than he finds himself drawn forcibly into the clutches of the other. The truth comes out soon enough, and needless to say the girls aren't too impressed by their shared romancer. Events then take a bizarre turn when we see Jamie, traumatised by the weekend and its after-effects, seeking help from a certain sex therapist named Greg…

The director's reliance on hand-held cameras and improvised dialogue produces an air of documentary-style authenticity, enhanced by a terrific cast. Danny Scheinmann is endearing as the unlikely lothario, confused and powerless against the advances of sexually rapacious women. It's David Annen, however, who steals the show as the utterly barmy Greg; snapshots of his counselling sessions for men afraid of sex provide the film's funniest moments. Still, in spite of the laughs, it all feels a bit melodramatic and vacuous, like 'Cold Feet' with some jokes thrown in, and comparisons with Allen and LaBute may be a little premature. Even so, The West Wittering Affair remains an amusing, finely acted comedy that fails to enlighten, but certainly manages to entertain.
©Edmund Gould 26 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 29 August date at 23:20 (87 mins).
Company – Bill and Ben Productions.

   

Wife Idol – The Rivals. (Page 66).

Drams  full glassfull glass
Venue  Hill Street Theatre. (Venue 41).
Address 19 Hill Street.
Reviewer Anna Kay.

The premise of this show is a good one - local comedian, JoJo Sutherland, gives us all the truth behind C4’s Wife Swap, after featuring in the programme last year.

In actual fact, it is difficult to tell exactly what this show is trying to do.  It seems that the 3 women involved – Sutherland, actress Jackie Callan and director Gowan Calder were all pulling the show in different directions.  Sutherland has immense comic talent but parts of her routine seems very scripted, and deeper moments, somewhat false.  Callan, who she plays opposite, is a very talented actress, but I’m not sure who her character is meant to be.  The inconsistency of Sutherland ‘playing’ herself and Callan playing a character jars at points.  Calder’s direction is also slightly bizarre - the beginning of the show is too highly stylized and comes across like something from a drama school.

This show’s strength, though, is in their audience interaction.  The audience loved them and I, for one, would have liked their questionnaire section to have gone on much longer.  The show then ends quite abruptly, leaving the audience waiting for a climax.

Sutherland and Callan were nervous and flustered the night I saw it, but it was their first night.  I think perhaps this show just needs a little more work – see it nearer the end of their run.
©Anna Kay 18 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to August 29 at 21:30.
Company One Handed Women.


(W) 3 out of 91
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