The Big Bite-Size Plays Factory Goes Down The Toilet. 4****

_2014BIGBITF_PI There are few things in life that are guaranteed to secure a giggle from children.

One of them is the word poo! In this highly entertaining show, the word poo is used with plentiful abundance, (along with others), delighting the audience young and old. The show enlists the audience as it’s trainee secret agents, who have to pick up the clues from the short plays within the show to complete their training. The show contains drama, singing, comedy and fabulous and amusing costumes.The cast are a lively and enthusiastic bunch who give this show 100% and involve the audience at every step of the production, even giving out free ‘gifts’ upon exit.

All of which combined make this a show which must be considered by all who are in the Pleasance this summer for the Fringe. You will not regret taking the family along to see this, it’s great fun!

 

Pleasance Courtyard,

July 30th – August 25th, 13.15pm (45 mins)

Reviewed by Kath.

 

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Berlin Cabaret

4 stars
****

If you imagine the setting where Sally Bowles performs in ‘Cabaret’ then you get the premise of this decadent German club scenario.

Tales of debauchery, androgenous characters, scantily clad women and men abounded, interspersed with some basic songs (there was no live band as was advertised though). Although sometimes uncomfortable in subject matter, it never quite went over the line which kept the audience feeling ‘safe’, despite a lot of audience interaction!

It was all nicely done and while the singing was not great with few harmonies, it was perfectly adequate and worked well. It was just great fun and a good end to the evening.

Review by Alan

theSpace on the Mile
20-25 August
22:10-22:50

Dorothy Squires: Mrs Roger Moore

*****

A little known fact is that only two singers have made the British charts with the song My Way. Frank Sinatra was obviously one and the other one was Welsh songstress Dorothy Squires. The lyrics of this song perfectly sum up her incident packed life.

Al Pillay, as Dorothy Squires, portrays her charismatic and determined personality with complete conviction. Dressed in a pink sequined gown and feather boa, he looks the diva. When he performs Ms Squires’ hits, he has the power and expression to give the lyrics their full meaning. I particularly enjoyed the songs Till and Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life.

Four accomplished gents provide supporting roles by playing keyboards in turn, as backing vocalists and in vignette sketches written by Richard Stirling. These sketches reveal Ms Squires rise to fame and celebrity status from the 1940’s through to the 1960’s, her relationship with Roger Moore and subsequent misfortunes and bankruptcies. Her private life was splashed across the tabloids and she was perhaps one of the first celebrities to suffer the viciousness of certain newspaper publications.

Just when it appears the show has ended on a sad note with her death living in very humble circumstances, there is a magnificent song and dance medley finale showcasing her greatest hits. This is an excellently crafted show and mention must be made of the whole production team led by Director Stewart Nicholls

Reviewed by Ben

Gilded Balloon Teviot: 14

12 to 23 August 2012 (not 20)

12.45 – 13.45

Fringe Programme Page Number: 11

Lady Sings It Better

*****

This singing sextet from Australia style themselves as feminist cabaret. Backed by a driving three piece band, they blend innocence with sexuality as they power and posture their way through a bundle of songs made famous by male artists.

They take the songs, re-invent them and give them a whole new interpretation – parody is never far away in their feisty, flirtatious approach. I particularly enjoyed Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ which is given a country rock version, hill billy style.

In the second half, their choice of song takes on a deeper sensual style. For instance, they take the lyrics of The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’, slow the tempo down and give the words their full suggestive expression.

The girls all have great singing voices. They share the lines, so your eyes are flashing from one girl to another. Together, they have a full rich sound and their harmonising is wonderfully executed. A solid hour of first class entertainment.

Reviewed by Ben

Gilded Balloon Teviot; 14

1 to 27 August 2012 (not 14 & 21)

18.45 – 19.45

Fringe Programme Page Number: 15

Chaz Royal’s Sexy Circus Sideshow

3 Star

***

This show is exactly what it says on the tin. An example of circus sideshows acts liberally mixed with sexy burlesque dancers, the whole shooting match loosely held together by Joe Black on the night I attended anyway.

This production obviously has a huge following of all ages and orientations, and they roared and cheered and often cringed at the goings on.

The Monsters of Schlock played a major role in proceedings, whether it was hammering nails and even a fork into the nasal cavity or stapling playing cards onto body parts to equal measures of disgust, amazement or horror from the packed out house.

The three burlesque dancers, glamorously attired, at least initially, certainly supplied the sexy and the aforementioned Black acted as ringmaster on the whole affair.

Don’t go see this if you are squeamish or a prude. Do go however if anything goes with you and you are in the need of late night entertainment.

Reviewed by Geoff

Assembly George Square 3

Until 26 August

23-45 to 00-45

Scales of the Unexpected

4 Star

**** 

Scales of the Unexpected are a three man ensemble of accomplished cabaret performers namely Big Ian, Little Ian and Brian and in their bunker of a space are performing a late evening extravaganza of material and this certainly gives them a vehicle to showcase their talents.

The premise is that this intrepid trio are ore on a mission to save the world ‘one harmony at a time’.

Their show consisted of a large number of close harmony amalgams and parodies of numerous well known songs, I started to count but the sheer numbers defeated me, various costume changes along the way with the odd original number thrown in too.

The packed house on the night I went was well up for a fun night, and this they saw and then some. Each got a chance to feature and the whole performance was oh so slick.

Were there favourite bits? Well of course there was and for me the Literal Choreography songs were not only well executed but very witty to boot.

So for a good way to relax after a hard days Fringing this show would be hard to beat.

Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon at The Third Door

Until 26 August

22-45 to 23-45

Huggers – Free Festival Family Fun

3 Star
***

Huggers is a mad mix of a family cabaret / comedy show, with various acts popping along to perform to a bus load of children. Host Nik Coppin is genial, gently teasing front row siblings into giving each other a hug. The packed bus enjoy his banter, but as it’s a day with five acts, not the usual four, it’s quickly time to move on.

First act David Burke encouraged a singalong of “Old MacDonald had a safari”, which some joined in with gusto. Erich McElroy was next, trying magic with oranges. Next up was Eden Rivers of “Stay at Home Dad” show, who taught the children how to get chips whenever they wanted them. Magician Patrick McCullagh was great fun. His duck noises grabbed attention on the rowdy bus, his participation game was hilarious, and his balloon tricks impressed even my toddler. Finally, Mike ‘Dr Blue’ Mckeon led the audience in split harmony singing, although I could have done without getting the Postman Pat theme stuck in my head.

This is – quite deliberately – a mix of a show. Acts will vary from show to show, but most are experienced family entertainers, and with extra shows added at weekends, it’s clearly popular.

Reviewed by Gill Smith

Laughing Horse @ the Free Sisters

To 26th August

15:00 to 16:00

Additional shows added Friday to Sunday (to 26th) 11:15 to 12:15