Fringe Roundup Part 1

Sunday, August 08, 2010

It’s been a busy few days at the Fringe, assisted by the most unusual of events, namely a Scottish summer! The Royal Mile yesterday was littered with free performers and many were hugely entertaining. If I’ve learned one thing over the years it’s never judge a show by the ticket price. So, here’s what I’ve managed to check out so far.

Reel to Real: the movies musical
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Date: 7-30 August
Time: 1800

A musical, woven around a series of famous songs from MGM and Warner Bros films. Like Mamma Mia the storyline itself is almost forgettable, it’s the songs themselves that take centre stage. Very slick performances evident, even for a preview show it was impressively coordinated. I really enjoyed the use of projection and props that allowed the integration of films and characters not on stage. To get the full benefit try and grab a seat in the middle but even on the sides you can appreciate the work that goes into a production such as this.

Chef!
Venue: Assembly George St
Date: 7-30 August
Time: 1600

Several years ago I had a great time with Jump at the Fringe. Chef! Comes from the same team and involves the same youthful energetic blend of a music, dance, martial arts, humour and this time around beat box. My best show of the fringe so far, for an hour you’re left gasping at the sheer level of effort and imagination that is being shown on stage. Whether it’s the slow motion segment or the kitchen cooking, it’s a tremendous spectacle. Huge plaudits for all the performers and imagination!

Jennifer Coolidge – yours for the night
Venue: Assembly George St
Date: 7-29 August
Time: 2015

Jennifer gives us an insight into her career, which has seen the highs of American Pie and Best in Show. Far from a glitzy representation of Hollywood she lays bare the struggle of an actress and a single woman. Very cutting and nothing held back, those who don’t enjoy colourful language should avoid! An enjoyable hour in the confined Wildman room venue. Jennifer holds your attention throughout and demands obedience. A strong original show with a few laugh out loud moments.

Charlyne Yi – Dances on the Moon
Venue: Assembly George St
Date: 7-30 August
Time: 1900

Charlyne’s brand of comedy isn’t for everyone. I’m at a loss to actually communicate it in words. At times it isn’t what she says, but rather what she doesn’t say which is funny. You are left to fill in the blanks. Her story is centred around being single and recovering from a broken arrangement, assisted by a few unique songs. At times mesmerising and delightful, the show is a rollercoaster. I enjoyed it but a few attendees did not however even they cannot dismiss a unique talent and something new for UK audiences.

What next? Well I have Celebrity Autobiography and Five Guys Named Moe tomorrow night plus Danny Bhoy gets a thumbs up, but you knew that would be the case anyway.

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