The Fringe as if you didn’t know is an annual Comedy, Theatre and Arts event that takes over Edinburgh and doubles the city’s population for the month of August. I was lucky enough to be up last week to catch some of the previews and enjoy the Fringe before it goes mental for the rest of August. Here are my picks of the good, the bad and the somewhat ugly...
Kevin Eldon: He of Brass Eye, Jam and Nighty Night fame to name but a few! Kevin is always delightfully disturbing and his latest show didn’t disappoint.
Kevin basically does what he’s best at and blasted through his set with ferocious speed introducing to us a series of improbable characters that left you either laughing, crying or incredibly confused. If you like any of his previous work you’ll be pleased. We caught his first show so it was a little rough around the edges in places but this is one that will only get better with practise.
Celebrity Autobiography: A group of famous faces reading from Autobiographies of other famous people? It sounded ok and I only went because of the cast but I was so pleased we booked this.
The readings include the contents of Stallone’s freezer, love tips from Tommy Lee and the amazing differences between Katie Price and Peter Andre's understanding of their own relationship. The cast is amazing but Michael Urie stands out, Phil Jupitus was billed in the line up but wasn’t there on the day we went. This is a must see!
Kate Fox News: Bradford born poet Kate Fox (not her real name) takes us on a spoken word journey through her sometimes bizarre, sometimes touching and often funny life. Kate’s show talks about Thatcher’s
Yorkshire, running away with a gun runner, parental swinging and lost family leading eventually to journalistic enterprise with Newcastle's Metro Radio and BBC Radio 4. I really enjoyed this very honest and personal performance and if you enjoy spoken word this is a definite treat.
Sara Pascoe versus Her Ego: Just be careful not to heckle Miss Pascoe or you’ll be cursed; though it was hardly a heckle I just answered a question with an almost rather than a yes... I’m still not dead. This high energy performance was very entertaining but was very loosely linked to the title.
Sara rambles esoterically from the Marquis de Sade to faking football knowledge, as women apparently need to trick men into thinking they’re our equal back De Sade via a bit of Freud and Proust. Oh and some 80’s jokes and with some Ukulele thrown in for good measure. She is widely tipped for massive success and well worth a watch.
Sanderson Jones – Taking Liberties: Terrorism, Paedophilia and i-phones via Venn diagrams, line charts and chat roulette. Nothing is off limits for this terrible example of a Scotsman. Sanderson convinced us to come see his show as we were drinking a pint in the Pleasance Courtyard and from the moment I saw his beaming bearded face I guess I had a bit of a man crush on him and couldn’t refuse.
This charming yet provocative show is a must for anyone who likes their views challenged. Do not see this show if you read the Daily Mail, you simply will not like it but if on the other hand you are a little open minded you’ll enjoy this deeply different presentation.
Shakespeare for Breakfast – I love Shakespeare but this interpretation of King Lear left me somewhat bemused. I didn’t like the outdated references to pop culture or the drama school presentation. Some people laughed but I didn’t.