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 Festival 2006
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(K) 2 out of 74
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Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme

Sarah Kendall. (Page 48).
Drams .
Venue Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33).
Address 60 The Pleasance.
Reviewer Ritchie Smith..

Sarah Kendall was last here in 2004, when she was nominated for a Perrier (a rare accolade for a woman). She is an Aussie, but not one of your crude Ocker types: with lots of reddish hair and gingham, she is easy, slow-spoken, unchallenging. I must admit I was not impressed at the start. There was a fine rapport with the audience, but little to make me laugh, and too many easy targets: Victoria Beckham, for example. Sarah imitates her husband David thus: "I like to win. Winnie - win - win." This got a laugh, but not from me.

But she is slowly and cleverly raising her game all the way through. The energy-level rises. She pulls faces, tells genuinely funny anecdotes, gets more imaginative in analyzing life. 'Brown Sugar' is deconstructed as an embarrassing racist anthem. There's a wildly amusing comparison between Paris Hilton and 9/11. Suddenly there's a larger personality on stage, and more vibrant humour. The sarcastic conversation with 'the sluts' is a winner, and the rejoinders (to the 'Rocky' theme) she wishes she made are all really laughter-provoking. So, sweet entertainment, safe for your mum - and in the end triumphantly funny.
©Ritchie Smith, 15 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com .
Company Sarah Kendall.
Runs to August 28 (not 21) at 20:00.


Know It All? (Page 49).
Drams .
Venue Gilded Balloon Teviot. (Venue 14).
Address 13 Bristo Square.
Reviewer Garry Platt.

This sounded like an interesting show; a couple of scientists from the Science Museum answering all those questions you want science to answer. At last, two people with a sense of humour, and an IQ larger than their shoe size. It’s a great idea for a performance, but the result is a lacklustre affair which falls somewhat short of the promise described in the Fringe programme.

It's true two amiable characters occupy the stage and seek to answer a range of weird science questions. But as soon as the show starts you begin to realise that the two ‘presenters’ don’t have the absolute polish of people totally confident in their material and/or comedic spontaneity. The pace of delivery is brisk, but this is in part I suspect a device to hide the paucity of the comedic content. The audience gets involved quickly via a series of votes, it works, once, but this quickly pales and in fact becomes tedious as we are asked to do it for a second and then a third time.

Some of the questions this odd science couple seek to answer appear funny and do have a humorous element - some are perhaps not quite so interesting. The major flaw however in this show is quite simply the material, it’s just not funny enough. Additionally the dialogue is not sufficiently droll and at best can only raise a few sympathetic chuckles from the audience. Some of the set pieces failed on the day I saw them - a sausage frozen by liquid nitrogen on the stage, meant to shatter like glass when struck by a hammer, well, didn’t. A computer, given a piece of text provided by the audience translated it from English into Portuguese and then back again, actually did quite a good job, failing to produce the cock up the two presenters were hoping for.

I’d hoped for more from this event, and if the two presenters work on the material and their delivery it could make a good show, but it will probably be next year's Fringe before that point is reached.
©Garry Platt 6 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 27 August at 15:15 every day except 14 and 21.
Company – Punk Science.
Company Blog - http://punkscience.blogspot.com.

(K) 2 out of 74
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