Crush – Free

Crush – Free

Lizzy Mace/PBH’s Free Fringe

An innovative idea, with its combination of spoken word and video clips: Lizzy Mace offers an interesting concept although one that ultimately feels more akin to a self-help class in relationships than a production. Being asked to recount memories such as those of the very first crush you ever had offers the basis for a pleasant nostalgia trip, as one is able to recognise and empathise with many of the experiences mentioned. The underlining message of the production appears to be the importance of being a WOTM (woman of the moment) to an attempt to lead a fruitful life; it’s a congenial performance but one which unfortunately didn’t present much in the way of comedy.

The Banshee Labyrinth, 7 – 28 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), 1.10pm (2.00pm), free, fpp 51

tw rating: 2/5

published: Oct-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks

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Drever, McCusker and Woomble

Drever, McCusker And Woomble

A collection of some of the best young Scottish musicians come together to bring an astonishing blend of traditional folk and pop music. Playing much from their album ‘Before the Ruin’ as well as pieces from their individual works, the contrast between the mellifluous songs often played with the support of a single guitar from Kris Drever and more upbeat numbers which got the crowd clapping and stomping their feet was stunning. Accompanying backing vocals from Heidi Talbot were terrific, contributing to a highly enjoyable gig from an ensemble similar in sound to Idlewild (probably due to Woomble’s influence) but with a folky edge that seems to be rather fashionable at the moment.

The Queen’s Hall, 29 – 30 Aug, 8.00pm (10.00pm), £13.00 – £15.00, fpp 183

tw rating: 4/5

published: Oct-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks

Manga: The Body Tights Man Show

Manga: The Body Tights Man Show

3 Gaga Heads

In true Japanese fashion, this is simple but effective comedy that is appropriate for all ages. Providing a fatuous insight into Japanese culture, focusing on such things as ‘yabusame’ or archery from a horse, illustrated here with a self-propelled straw and by samurai deft with giant chopsticks, this is a novel spectacle, especially for a UK audience. The obvious language barrier doesn’t detract from the overall performance, and if anything enhances it, as their overly animated expressions and actions are hilarious. This, combined with some highly innovative physical comedy, makes for an excellent show that is a refreshing change from the standard comedy found at the fringe.

Just The Tonic @ The Caves, 5 – 29 Aug (not 16, 23), 5.15pm (6.15pm), £5.00 – £8.00, fpp 93

tw rating: 4/5

published: Oct-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks

Kissing the Goldfish

Kissing The Goldfish

Cabaret seems to have bloomed at this year’s Fringe but Charlie Bicknell and Sebastian Michael are no strangers to the provocative genre, having performed at a number of previous Fringes. With a selection of various numbers – including a Sweeney Todd mixed with German medley and Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ with added lyrics – they provide a good diversity of songs; However, the singing, unfortunately, is sub par, and too few moments of the show are funny, most of the material merely raising an eyebrow. The show is perhaps redeemed by the excellent keyboard skills of musical director David Harrod but generally, this is a rather average performance.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 20 -30 Aug (not 23), 11.45pm (12.40pm), £8.00 – £10.00, fpp 85

tw rating: 2/5

published: Sep-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks

Manslag

Manslag

Chuck Manslag

Chuck Manslag’s bona fide technique for picking up women is highly amusing if slightly gratuitous. A self confessed failure in the dating department, he has honed a pick up technique in an attempt to increase his success rate, the results apparently being highly positive, because he’s allegedly slept with 2037 women. His remarks and observations are entertaining, if a bit on the ridiculous side, but don’t come across as overly offensive, and both the men and the women in the audience appear to be enjoying themselves. Dealing with what is often considered a taboo subject, Chuck provides an interesting show, although I wouldn’t recommend putting his technique to the test unless you’re after a good slap across the face.

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 6 – 29 Aug (not 17, 18, 26), 10.15pm (11.10pm), free, fpp 93

tw rating: 3/5

published: Sep-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks

Bob Slayer’s Punk Rock Chat Show – Free

Bob Slayer’s Punk Rock Chat Show – Free

Bob Slayer/Laughing Horse Free Festival

Bob Slayer provided me with an array of words I could use to describe his gig: ‘travesty,’ ‘nonsense’ or ‘you can’t really call this a show’ are equally apt. Appearing slightly worse for wear, he stumbled through what were essentially no better than drunken ramblings, abusing his assistant and constantly leaving the stage to get another beer in a crude, lacklustre performance that lacked any obvious structure. Admittedly it was their last show, but I expect there were similar results on previous nights, with the same cringe worthy awkwardness. I regret having to be so harsh, but it seems difficult to justify this dim-witted embarrassment of a debauchery when it contained no evidence of any thought or creativity whatsoever.

Laughing Horse @ The Hive, 5 – 22 Aug, 6.15pm (7.15pm), free, fpp 35

tw rating: 1/5

published: Sep-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks.

Invisible Dot Club – By The Sea

The Invisible Dot Club – By The Sea

The Invisible Dot Ltd

It’s an ingenious idea for ingenious comedy show: ‘The Invisible Dot Club’ takes you on a trip to the sea, to a misty town hall complete with Punch and Judy show, where an all star line-up of comedians lead an evening of revelry. A couple of the acts needed to be longer – it took the duration of their set for the audience to warm to their style – and avid fans may have been disappointed that much of the comedians’ material was regurgitated from their various fringe shows. For those new to the acts though, it was pure unadulterated goodness, and worth the ticket price just to see special guest compère Daniel Kitson.

Assembly @ George Street, 20 Aug, 8.00pm (12:00am), £14.50, fpp 72

tw rating: 4/5

published: Sep-2010

[Alistair  Quaile]

Taken from Three Weeks