Who is Jean? Go the Distance: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less sketch show and more comedy theatre, Who Is Jean present a surrealist tale about a running race where all manner of unusual events occur along the way. With an absurdest approach to comedy, laughs are attempted through the bizarre and spontaneous nature of their material. Unfortunately, many of their jokes fall flat as they seem to rely on the randomness of their content rather than its quality. As scenes are viewed with a mixture of confusion and bafflement, it is only during sparse moments that genuine laughs are found, more often than not as a result of a mistake or corpsing on the part of the cast. It remains clear that a lot of work is still needed.

The Banshee Labyrinth, 6 – 27 Aug (not 17, 24), 4.45pm (5.45pm), free non-ticketed, fpp165.

tw rating 2/5

This article was written for Three Weeks, but unfortunately was never published.

The False Corpse: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WC’s strangely disturbing production is a bold attempt at considering the darker side of the life of a comedian contemplating self-destruction following a growing displeasure with his life and work. Dissecting the fundamentals of comedy, it aims to explore the root of what makes us laugh – which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to work. It is important to point out that this is not the fault of the cast, whose impressive aptitude for acting is admirable given their relatively young age, but instead the fault of the script itself. Written by Emmerdale’s Shaun Prendergast, it strives for a pathos that it is never able to achieve; nonetheless, it’s an idea which – if better orchestrated – would make for a very astute production.

Sweet Grassmarket, 6 – 10 Aug, 12.50pm (1.50pm), £5.00 – £7.00, fpp261.

tw rating 2/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.

The Attic: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capturing the essence of one of Britain’s greatest poetic minds, Andrew Floyd creates a performance that is as moving as it is witty, as poetic as it is informative, and as powerful as it is amusing. Based on the real life events of Alan Jackson who isolated himself from the world after questioning the meaning of the poetry he had written, The Attic outlines a rigorous period of self-enquiry. Brutal examination results in the confrontation of all manner of existential tribulations and self-discovery portrayed superbly by actor Andrew Floyd. Conveying the heart-wrenching struggle of inner turmoil through beautifully written language that covers a variety of narrative forms, the honesty of this production is the root of its brilliance.

Columcille Centre, 13 – 14 Aug, 2.30pm (3.45pm) and 6.00pm (7.15pm), £8.00 – £10.00, fpp239.

tw rating 4/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.

The House of Yes: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arkle Theatre’s The House of Yes is dark comedy at its most sinister. When a harmless thanksgiving dinner amongst family takes an unexpected turn for the worse, it is not long before the quaint becomes the chaotic. Riddled with outlandish family secrets, revealed slowly throughout the course of the evening, it is an entertaining exploration into a family affected by the troubles of a daughter’s mental illness. With a striking performance from Lorraine McCann, whose transformation from caring daughter to jealous lover is superbly portrayed as a chilling descent into delirium, the play remains gripping until its end. Hindered only by American accents which clearly need more work, this is a comedic tale that is morbid yet clever.

The Royal Scots Club, 15 – 20 Aug, 8.30pm (10.00pm), £8.00 – £10.00, fpp269.

tw rating 4/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011

Deemed Unsafe: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The début show from sketch company Heretical Productions illustrates a bold attempt at providing something new to the genre. Incredibly energetic, they combine original ideas with humour to create a show that is thoroughly entertaining for a fiver. Focusing largely on physical comedy, and with an innovative live score, it differs considerably from most other sketch shows in both form and delivery. Saying this, despite its fresh edge, it lacks the consistency needed to make it a really good show; various scenes come across as either overly long or simply not that funny. However, it’s clear that the troupe definitely have potential and, perhaps given a few more years, might go on to greater things.

theSpaces On North Bridge, 5 – 27 Aug (not 7, 14, 21), 3.35pm (4.25pm), £4.50 – £5.00, fpp65.

tw rating 3/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.

Clare Plested: Vegas, Jesus and Me: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Known as one half of Fringe regulars Plested and Brown, Vegas, Jesus and Me marks the solo début from the Catholic Watford binge-drinker. Recounting stories from childhood leading up to her recent marriage with long-haired carpenter Jesus, Plested seeks to find out whether she has been a generally naughty or nice person. With an amiability that is immediately apparent, she comes across as the sort of person you would happily share a drink with; unfortunately, however, not the sort of person you would go and see perform a comedy show. Her memories are quaint and affable but lack genuine comedic brilliance. Perhaps better suited to an older audience, this is not laugh-out-loud funny but enjoyable nevertheless.

Underbelly, 4 – 28 Aug (not 15), 5.20pm (6.05pm), £8.00 – £10.00, fpp58.

tw rating 2/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.

Macbeth: Fringe Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite being advertised as a dance and physical theatre performance, Last Notion’s production comes across more as a piece of classical theatre with added extras. Featuring minimal props and costumes, the show is dependent on the cast creating engaging interpretations of Shakespearian prose; a task it is unable to achieve. With performers split between those that are overly melodramatic and those that massively lack confidence, it’s clear that a longer time spent working on the nuances of the script is needed. The elements of physical theatre seen principally in the portrayal of the three witches and the ghost of Banquo have reasonable potential, and it’s obvious that things would improve with a bit more work.

Greenside, 5 – 12 Aug, 2.50pm (4.05pm), £5.00 – £6.50, fpp173.

tw rating 2/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.