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

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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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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.

 

Red Raw – The Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh – 1 April 2013

ben-verthRed Raw is an institution that has been established by the Stand both in Edinburgh and Glasgow which gives a chance for new acts to do a short set, to hone their skills, some even doing their first ever gig, open-spot comics to build up a cv and even the chance for established circuit performers to try out new material in front of a inevitably packed out club, party due to the paltry entrance money they charge. £2-00 for goodness sake!! Hardly bank breaking is it?

The format of compere 5 acts, an interval 5 more acts, interval and headliner is a tried and tested one, the variances coming in the performers on the night.

So on this Easter Monday night, with the club jumping our MC, local lad Ben Verth, took to the stage explaining the format, and warming up the room and the chuckle muscles creating a conducive atmosphere for the ensuing acts. As always Verth did his job and then some prior to introducing Peter Hamilton a Falkirk lad who did a god job of selling his locally based material. Hot on his heals was Jay Miles, a slightly more mature guy with an oh so laid back delivery. This took nothing away from his set however; I thoroughly enjoyed his material and marked him down to see again.

A graduate of the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society Comedy Academy Nehar Neya was next to try her brand of humour on the audience. She has bags of personality and confidence but I felt her material was a little surreal for the crowd on the night. I’m convinced however she has potential.

Jock D was the next comic, who had come the 150 miles from Inverness for the gig. His set went down really well with the audience, His stage craft was excellent, delivery confident and I got the feeling that there is scope here for the lad to go far. And on leaving we discovered from MC Verth that this was his first ever gig!! That and only 19 years old. It drew an extra unsolicited round of applause for his performance.

Next up was Matthew Wake who seemed intent to alienate his audience from the off. The choice of his material for most there was not ideal, but I guess it was a learning experience and one that he can move on from.

Closing out part one was the more experienced Glasgow based Obi. This is the second time I have seen him recently doing a short set and I thought he used his time to great effect. There were plenty of laughs generated throughout his set and a deal of different material too.

Another Glaswegian kicked off part two, Ian Stewart. He also had presence and a good rapport with the audience, also good material Glasgow life, mugging and roller blades were some of his topics. One to watch for sure.

Chris Quinn was the next one to entertain, something he achieved easily.

Nothing ground breaking in material, but well written and delivered I’m sure he enhanced his reputation.

Natasha Yarr followed on and her set was certainly different in content. The mission of Charlie Sheen, racial stereotypes, being single and SClub 7 being part of the mix. Again I think there is potential here but maybe a bit more stage craft would help.

If confidence and delivery were key, then Robin Grainger would be a superstar. This guy exudes both and backs it up with a whole raft of material as well. The laughs flowed freely throughout his set and I would have liked to see him do a longer one. Definitely one to watch out for in the future.

Stu Murphy, one half of Stu and Garry the Improv stars closed out the second part doing a funny set of material, based on Easter and a public transport trip through to Glasgow. Murphy is of course extremely experiences and this told, he is also very funny away from his ‘normal’ comedy job. A well rounded and delivered set enjoyed by everybody.

john gordilloFollowing the second interval and prize draw the guest headliner was acclaimed comic, writer and director John Gordillo. Now I have been a fan of his for a number of years now and it was good to see him back trialling new material for possible inclusion in his new show. He has a demeanour that attracts attention and although his set was basically new even to him drew numerous laughs and won him a number of new fans for sure. I look forward to seeing his full hour in Edinburgh during The Fringe.

So that was that. Over two hours of comedy, double figures of comedians and all for 2 quid. Is there better value? If there is it’ll be hard to find.

For details of all future shows to be held at the Stand, whether it is in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Newcastle then check out the website www.thestand.co.uk for all the details.

Reviewed by Geoff

A Final Day Fringe Selection

Camille Claudel (Theatre) ****

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing (Theatre) ****

Bad Musical (Comedy) ****

Celia Pacquola – Delayed (Comedy) ****

On this the final day of the Fringe and having completed my reviewing schedule a few days ago, on something of a whim, I shed my reviewer’s lanyard and bought a bundle of tickets, some from the Half Price Hut.

I began at the Pleasance Courtyard with Gael Le Cornec’s portrayal of artist and model Camille Claudel – a beautiful and moving performance capturing the mood of the Parisian art world during the final years of the 19th century.

Then, it was off to the Gilded Balloon for the remainder of the day. Rob Crouch as Oliver Reed is spot on as the hard drinking, charismatic actor. The next two shows have been fully reviewed elsewhere on this site. Bad Musical is a delightfully silly and very funny send up of Musicals. Finally, Celia Pacquola is a comedienne whom I have seen before and I thoroughly enjoy her style of warm ‘feel good’, conversational humour.

Four contrasting shows to round off a most enjoyable Fringe.

Reviewed by Ben

The Trench – Les Enfants Terrible

5 Star

*****

One can always be assured with every production staged by Les Enfants Terrible and that is that the performance will be spot on, well written, brilliantly staged and their inventive use of multi-mediums will be exploited to the full. And of course this years offering is of the same high standard.

Set in the trenches of World War I initially Bert, a miner determined to serve his country no matter what, and is played by writer and co-director Oliver Lansley. He loses far more than he could ever imagined and grief leads him to make a pact with the supernatural. This excursion allows plenty of scope for the creative juices inherent in this company to come to the fore and their spectacular use of this latitude is just amazing,

As always the blending of puppetry, shadow puppets, delightful music which is totally atmospheric and such a mesmerising, versatile set that’s wonderfully lit, together with tight direction really make this a production to be savoured.

Even though the Fringe is rapidly winding down for 2012 this show is still selling out and as there is only one more chance to see it you better be quick.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Two

Until 27 August

13-10 to 14-10

Big Sean, Mikey and Me

****

Ruiraidh Murray’s solo play contains a brilliant re-enactment of growing up in the working class suburbs of Edinburgh well away from the posh areas and the central commercial and tourist areas.

There are effectively three characters in the play. There is the 36 year-old Ruiraidh as himself now living in London; there is the voice of Sean Connery who inhabits his mind and there is Mikey Anderson, Ruiraidh’s best mate and charismatic hard man.

Ruiraidh tells his story flashing backwards and forwards in time as he remembers his schooldays and his scrapes with Mikey. There is much humour in these incidents as they vividly and realistically catch the language and culture of Scottish working class youth.

Also worked into his story are his relationships with the opposite sex and here his alter ego Sean Connery becomes his sex adviser. Contrasting with the humour are dramatic moments of mental turmoil and sadness. There are many admirable qualities in Ruiraidh Murray’s performance. The two I would select above all are energy and sincerity.

Reviewed by Ben

Gilded Balloon Teviot: 14

1 to 27 August 2012

13.30 – 14.30

Fringe Programme Page Number: 260

A Modern Town

***

Business efficiency versus community values is the main theme of A Modern Town. It is set in the sleepy little town of Newton Basset. It represents many seaside resorts which have seen better days.

The action centres on Joe Webber who is the third generation owner of a general store which is just about surviving, not enough customers and too many disgruntled staff. There appear a bunch of shady investors offering loans to revive the town’s businesses.

The play is well acted and there are a number of good individual scenes but in many ways the plot development did become obvious. There was a definite emphasis towards the tragic and the lighter moments of intended comedy didn’t sparkle.

Reviewed by Ben

Pleasance Courtyard: 33

1 to 27 August 2012 (not 14)

16.00 – 17.10

Fringe Programme Page Number: 300