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 Festival 2006
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Musicals & Opera

(G) 3 out of 74
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Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme

Gary Le Strange: Beef Scarecrow. (Page 36).
Drams .
Venue Underbelly. (Venue 82).
Address 56 Cowgate (Entrance on Cowgate and Victoria Street.
Reviewer Garry Platt.

‘How are the mighty fallen?’ I remember three years ago wandering upstairs into a boiling hot theatre in the Underbelly and watching the Perrier Newcomer award winning performance of Gary’s first show. It was the birth of a brilliant comedic character full of idiosyncrasies, self doubt and uncertainty. Indeed the personality of this creature had all the magnetism of those major characters which often almost become entities in them selves, like Count Arthur Strong, Alan Partridge and Mr Bean.

I am afraid that is no longer the case. Gary over the last 3 years has transformed, his lack of confidence has been replaced with arrogance, his bumbling inefficiencies with a smoother delivery and his shambolic appearance by a neat and tidy figure. The character no longer does what it says on the tin. The show roots around for funny episodes and devices some of which appear to be there just to fill the gaping absence of anything funny. Eating a tin of cat food for instance can be funny, if there’s a suitable context and/or reason for it, there is neither here, but Gary still goes ahead and does it, purely to get a cheap laugh. The songs which Gary writes are still funny, but the surrounding framework which Gary provides lacks any charm and comedic sophistication.

If you have fond memories of Gary Le Strange, don’t go to this show, you will be bitterly disappointed, the character is dead, and watching him die on stage is no fun at all.
©Garry Platt 7 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to 27 August at 18:45 every day except 15.
Company – Underbelly Productions.
Company Website - www.garylestrange.co.uk.

The Gaydar Diaries. (Page 37).

Drams None needed.
Venue Pleasance Courtyard. (Venue 33).
Address 60 The Pleasance.
Reviewer Anna Kay .

It is with some trepidation that I walk into the Pleasance, for this sketch-style show is about online hook-up service, Gaydar. The show is a near sell out, trading its name and premise, and I have seen too many shows fail to follow through on their gimmick. But with City Lights' production, I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Don't get me wrong, The Gaydar Diaries is not for everyone. If you are straight, middle aged, and lacking so much as a Gay Best Friend, you might find it off your wavelength. But if you embrace the intended spirit as you enter the auditorium, you'll love it. Tacky? Crude? Camp as a scouting holiday? Yes, yes and yes, but gloriously and unashamedly so. The six strong cast are extremely talented and, might I add, beautiful young men. The piece is as slick as it is well written and with stunning choreography, City Lights shines as a company.

Head down with a light heart and a strong Daquiri, but maybe leave your Grandma at home.
©Anna Kay 16 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 28 at 23:00 every day.
Company - City Lights Theatre Company.
Company Website - www.thegaydardiaries.com


Greedy.(Page 39).
Drams .
Venue Underbelly (Venue 61).
Address 56 Cowgate.
Reviewer Nathan Witts.

On entering the Iron Belly I was in the filthiest of moods. I just discovered that I’d misplaced my recently upgraded phone and was contemplating a life reunited with a decrepit piece of junk I thought I’d seen the last of. Greedy succeeded magnificently in elevating me from the doldrums. Four talented individuals performing sketches that make one laugh out loud.

Unrestricted View successfully create an extraordinary assortment of wonderfully absurd characters. Each member of the company brings their own brand of humour to proceedings and they work exceptionally well as a team. Greedy also boasts a fantastic selection of music to accompany both the change from sketch to sketch and also some sketches themselves. It moves in comic tandem with what is unfolding on stage. Ones ears and eyes are thoroughly entertained.

Although the majority of material is so off the wall it has to be original, a little has been seen in one form or another before. Bearing in mind each sketch lasts no longer than a few minutes I wouldn’t let this put you off going to see a very amusing show. My mood was particularly lifted by Greedy’s take on t-rex’s. A game of hide and seek will never be bettered, even the one I played with my mobile after leaving the Underbelly!
©Nathan Witts 12 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 27 August at 17:30 every day apart from 15 August.
Company – Unrestricted View.

(G) 3 out of 74
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