So I won't be writing on here, but visit my new blog http://www.upstagewrite.blogspot.com/
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
stephenclapp is one half of the dance duo Dance Now DC whose performances are driven by a strong sense of social responsibility.
He'd like me to write about the Booking Dance Festival on the huge stage at Venue 150, 12-16 Aug 15.30.
It's only on for one week starting today, and features 7 diverse US dance companies.
The pictures look beautiful and really varied! Check out more here.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Herring's show is brilliant, though perhaps less inventive than I thought, having discovered this Vanity Fair article from 2007. Uncanny similarities, great idea though!
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Perhaps we can imagine tonight’s acts as food inside her majestic stomachs... what would be her dish of choice?
Pythonesque - An English muffin that might be going a tad stale. Though they state a desire to to avoid purely imitating Cleese's cult sketch troop, it's unclear how they'll manage to break away from the inevitable comparisons. Reworking rather than repeating Python may be a challenge to maintain for a full length show, even with the readymade following.
Tom Tom Crew - A huge juicy steak (and chips); a meaty treat to be savoured. The chips are the impressive acrobatics, but the main attraction (the steak - work with my food metaphors here) is Peeping Tom's astounding beat boxing.
Carl Donnelly - A chunky soup; you're uncertain at first if you should use a spoon or a fork. But it turns out to be pretty hearty (one of those Covent Garden fresh ones perhaps) with a satifying aftertaste - Donnelly apologised for ending on "talking" rather than a joke, thereby creating a joke to end on and... you get the picture.
Comedy Bitch - Avocado and fish fingers (I witnessed someone eat this curious combination yesterday.) Two pretty different sketches, the strongest being the 'Mime School.' Like the avo-fingers combo, with the addition of a few more things in their full length show they should serve up a quirky treat.
Pete Firman - A lovely cupcake that you reach for... but wait, it's gone! Oh no, there it is, inexplicably balancing on the tip of someone's nose as part of one of Firman's seriously palatable magic tricks. The cherry on top is that he's funny, too.
Frisky and Mannish - A fabulous cherry pie, tangy and delicious as they waft their saucy but often refreshingly subtle take on pop songs under our noses.
The Dark Party - Slightly inexplicable as the final act, like cauliflower cheese for dessert. And like cauliflower cheese on its own, these three sombre clowns have an act that is solid, but their endurance and physical theatre needed more substance to be served up singularly, let alone last.
Udderbelly's big dinner decision
So what should we recommend to our big purple dinner from the menu?
For mains there’s really no other choice but steak (Tom Tom Crew), followed by cherry pie (Frisky and Mannish) or perhaps a cupcake (Pete Firman)... if it isn’t magiced away under her nose.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
My foraging as to why this is hasn't yet produced any results, so as far as I know we can still see him singing this year in Flanders and Swann: A Brand GNew AfterGNoon and more than likely with Andrew Maxwell's troop the Full Mooners (I'm not sure how it would function without Tim, being, as he is, the Concierge of the Moon.)
The mechanics of a FitzHigham show are threefold:
1) Tim embarks on some sort of low-energy activity. The selection criteria tends to involve the activity being impossible, painful or just plain inconprehensible (more of a quest, then, really.) Past adventures have included trying to get a Knighthood in Spain, investigating the Karma Sutra and breaking the record distance for rowing in a paper boat.
2) Tim (often only just) recovers from said task.
3) Tim surfaces in Edinburgh and tells the story of said task, to comic effect.
The show that is not to be was called Last Queen of Scotland, and promised "an incredible discovery about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the last true Queen of Scotland." Having seen Tim's show The Bard's Fool last year, it's highly likely he has discovered some historical titbit that will make us see The Young Pretender with new eyes, and reveal that he was in fact not a prince at all, but a young cabin boy called Terence (it always seems to come back to the sea after Tim's trip across the channel in a bathtub.)
The programme advert for Last Queen of Scotland beckons us to "Come, hear this amazing secret truth ...", but it seems we'll have to wait a while.
There's something special about Tim, he commits to his comedy in a way best described as dogged. The first time I met him in a pub in Soho, he'd lost most of the skin on one foot, as well as a toenail, in the name of laughter. Understandable really, as he'd just morris danced from London to Norwich in nine days straight, beating the record set by Shakespeare's clown Will Kemp, who made a similar journey back when Queen Elizabeth I, not II, was on the English throne.
In all probability, Tim is only the second person to attempt this dance epic, but as Kemp took nine days spread over several weeks rather than consecutively, it's fair to say Tim can be proud of his title in morris-enabled-travel.
My interview with Tim for Three Weeks last year was a pleasure, and as a few less of you may see him now that Last Queen of Scotland is cancelled, here is a Full Mooner's video from last year for your delectation:
Saturday, 1 August 2009
I’ve just booked to see Camille O’Sullivan, exchanging that pesky online booking fee for a much more enjoyable stroll down the Royal Mile - which is already heaving - to the Fringe office.
The couple didn’t seem to mind - if you get married on the Royal Mile in (almost) festival time you must expect a little extra attention. Some people taking photos and gathering around may have, forgivably, thought it was some uncannily realistic performance. It’s one of the upside-down realities of the festival that most interactions are dramatic, most characters you meet are just that, and anything that seems mundane is more than likely the next big thing in realist theatre.
I wanted to see Camille last year, having first heard her sultry vocals in the film Mrs Henderson Presents in 2005. Sadly though, her run of The Dark Angel at the now deceased (in Edinburgh) Spiegeltent was sold out.
The French-Irish songstress’s return to London’s La Clique last December cemented her already striking presence on the UK and Ireland's stages. The tendency of the press to associate her with burlesque, which is undeniably hot at the moment, may have gained her extra attention, but Camille herself rejects this categorisation. From clips I've seen she is outside of any real style. Camille is one of few female singers who are recognised on a first-name basis at the Fringe.
The reviews have frothed and the features gushed; she is more than a few steps down the path to iconography, and when she arrives there any unsavoury reviews will trickle off her impermeable image.
I look forward to being seduced.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Nothing too surprising from affable Scot Kevin Bridges. In an enjoyable set he took on terrorism, paedophiles, and, of course, the troubles of Glasgow. He pulled out some smart gags with wry delivery, especially a line about council swimming pools which was set up brilliantly.
His low-energy style was relaxing, but he was in danger of losing our attention when the sometimes predictable material didn’t hit the mark, dissolving into cynical rambling. Rapport with the audience was good (he anxiously noted the high presence of those working in TV) but he sometimes began to lose the focus of the banter he initiated - I think we’ll see more of the flashes of angry and assured wit which demonstrated his capability when Bridges finds his feet in Edinburgh.
Second act Wilson Dixon is a construction of genius: I knew what to expect and wasn’t disappointed when he sauntered on in his already amusing Stetson and wig. Dixon’s Country & Western persona is the foundation for his beautifully crafted songs, in the vein of Flight of the Concords. His soft country drawl introduced us to the theme of his Edinburgh run this year; the American Dream.
Some numbers weren’t as strong as his stock material, but even they caused us to forget the sweltering heat in Belushi’s basement. A highlight that still makes me chuckle was a song about animals which took sayings about our furry companions literally (“Can you imagine being caught in a shower of dogs? Or standing in a puddle of cats?”) As his masterful wordplay built to a climax, the suppressed laughter was palpable even before he finished each devastatingly astute couplet. His simple formula delivers consistantly, and his full-bodied character allows for forlorn and wistful moments in an affectionate nod to the musical tradition which produced this comic creation.