Chris McCausland: Big Time

4 Star ****

This is the third time I had the chance to see Chris McCausland in the Fringe and I’m pleased to say the third time I’d enjoyed his show.

For those who don’t know Chris is a blind comic and although this has no bearing on his comedic abilities obviously it impacts on his life and it’s really the last year, since Fringe 2010 that is the theme of this years show.

Now Chris has had quite a few happenings in the past twelve months, body parts not functioning as well as they should, travel toBrazilwith his girlfriend moving flat and being attacked by middle class food in his fridge.

McCausland has a happy knack of turning these events in to material, and paints the pictures eloquently, eliciting laughter from all corners of his sold out venue.

Okay the finger maybe pointed that this show was a safer option than his previous one, but for me and most others who wanted to be entertained for an hour it certainly fitted the bill.

The underlying message was that time goes quicker as one gets older, well I look forward to seeing his 2012 show in the next couple of months then.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Baby Grand V 33

3 to 29 August (not 17)

19:00 to 20:00

Fringe Brochure P 57

Advertisements

Clare Plested :- Vegas, Jesus and Me

4Star  ****

Now I was well aware of Clare Plested as a superb comedy actress, one half of the troupe Plested and Brown, but I had never been aware that she did stand-up, or mostly in her case sit down comedy.

Clare has been together with her boyfriend for 14 years now and she called him, for show purposes anyway Jesus. Why? because he was a carpenter and had long hair and a beard, also being raised a good catholic girl it seemed somewhat appropriate.

So when they decided to get married in Vegas it was a good reason for her to write a Fringe show about the build up to and the wedding itself.

Armed with a blackboard and a box of wine for the best part of an hour she related some of her earlier life and whether she should wear a white wedding dress for the event, by keeping score of good and bad things in her life.

Her humour is generally gentle, certainly non confrontational and okay very little is ground breaking, but what the heck it was an entertaining show throughout.

Prior to the finale I was sooooo pleased to see that although Mr Brown was missing, it was obvious their genius props designer had in put, something none of their productions would be the same without.

Reviewed by Geoff

Underbelly Belly Laugh V61

4 to 27 August (not 15)

17:28 to 18:05

Fringe Brochure P58

Billy Kirkwood : Show me your Tattoo

3 Star ***

Much tattooed Scottish comedian and actor Billy Kirkwood is the host of this hours worth of mayhem in The Laughing Horse Free Festival.

The concept is fairly straightforward.Kirkwoodwarms up the jam-packed room and talks about some of his tattoos, what they were and the reasons behind them being done.

This achieved he asks members of the audience to do the same and anyone who does so helps to design a tattoo that Billy will have done at the end of the Festival.

This joviality is interspersed with some slides of real extreme tattoos which cause a mixture of laughter and revulsion, often at the same time.

Kirkwoodalways has a special guest of course tattooed who explains their reasons for having them.

It seems hardly any time at all until the show is drawing to a close and in spite of me not having a tattoo, or really understanding why people want one, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this show and it reinforced my opinion of how good a comicKirkwoodreally is.

Free Fringe shows are free entry, but donations in a bucket are encouraged at the end, well the guys have to eat.  

Reviewed by Geoff

The White Horse

5 to 27 August

16:00 to 16:50

Fringe Brochure P49

Tiffany Stevenson : Cavewoman

4 Stars ****

Blonde and bubbly Tiffany Stevenson who is currently part of the TV series Show Me the Funny on ITV is back in Edinburghwith her latest offering Cavewoman.

Tiffany is in my opinion anyway always a funny comedian who has the ability to write and present an hours worth of material at the drop of a hat it seems.

Her afternoon show starts with some observational stuff on teenagers and how her life could have been so different if it had taken a different route.

Yummy mummies, Tina Turner, Geishas, Jordan, Chavs and Royals and bingo etiquette are just a selection of the topics that crop up in the course of the hour.

Tiffany is inclusive of her audience but in no way confrontational, and the well structured set, packed full of funny material was extremely well received by the crowd and at the conclusion I’m sure all left thinking they had just seen a great value show.

The Cavewoman has obviously evolved over a long long time and given a break it will certainly not take long for this talented lady to evolve to comedy superstar.

Reviewed by Geoff

 Stand IV Venue 12

5 to 28 August (not 15 or 25)

14:25 to 15:25

Fringe Brochure P158

Pippin

4 stars

****

An excellent production of Pippin by an enthusiastic and well-drilled cast. Not sure if the updating ideas made much difference but the cast deliver a strong performance and, although un-miced, have good projection and diction which only becomes a problem when the whole ensemble are singing over a solo part.

Good imaginative choreography and a sympathetic band add to a production which is well worth trying to catch.

 

Review by Alan

 

Church Hill Theatre

10th August, 16:15-17:45

11th August, 18:15-19:45

12th August, 14:15-15:45

One Million Tiny Plays About Britain

4 Stars ****

One Million Tiny Plays About Britain marks the debut of RT Productions in association with the Citizens Theatre Glasgow. It is a remarkably unique site specific piece starting in Hill Street and taking us to the White Stuff Shop on George Street.

Adapted by Ros Philips from Craig Taylor’s miniature plays from The Guardian it paints a broad picture of British life from tiny dialogues that cross the length and breadth of the country.

From quarrelling cleaners on Saturday morning in Glasgow Green to an over inquisitive man at an animal rights petition stand in Manchester, the broad spectrum of life is both humorous and tragic in a relatable way.

It touches on current social attitudes without imposing them on the audience but instead simply reveals the truth of our nature towards each other in everyday life.

From the actors, directing and every technical department, especially design, we are given great detail into segments that sometimes last only 30 seconds.

It flows at an excellent rate with the brilliant soundscape that interweaves the scenes taken from interviews across the country, this superbly compliments the scenes.

This piece should influence our attitude towards more site specific theatre in Britain, being socially important and highly relevant.

Reviewed by Andrew Gourlay

The Infant

3 Stars

***

The Infant is a dark and sinister, if puzzling, comedy drama written by Oliver Lansley.

The play opens with Cooper (James Seagar) tied and gagged in a prison cell. His interrogators, Samedi (Anthony Spargo) and Castogan (Martyn Dempsey) appear. The action could well be anywhere at any time in the past in the last century or so. Cooper is confronted with a picture which in the eyes of the authorities is an act of state subversion. Cooper is questioned as to its origins. He recognises it as the drawing of his 4 year old child – or is it? His wife Lilly (Faye Billing) is brought in for questioning. She is confused by the picture’s origin.

The questioning is pursued relentlessly; opinions change as the interrogators are determined to find the culprit or culprits. They twist words, change mood and the threat of violence is never very far away. Hard evidence appears to be unnecessary. Denials count for nothing. Clues as to the content of the picture are never provided but do we need to know?

The play has a claustrophobic feel and the interrogators obsessional approach may not be to everybody’s taste. The dialogue is delivered at a rapid pace with short sharp bursts and the cast succeed in maintaining the precision timing required.   

Reviewed by Ben

Pleasance Courtyard – Forth: 33             

3 to 29 August 2011 (not 15, 16)

14.35 – 15.35

Fringe Programme Page Number: 271