I went up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the beginning of August for a week and since I’ve been back in London I’ve barely had a moment to think! But now I’ve found a quiet few moments, I wanted to tell you about some of the best shows I saw at the festival, so if you are there for the last week, you can check them out. I haven’t had a chance to write full reviews for most of the shows I saw and so I am going to give mini reviews here!
Divorced, beheaded, Live. What a great name for a girl band’s tour. Well, it’s a great name for the six wives of Henry VII who have come together, bonded over their love for the same man. But who should be the lead singer of the band? To find out, the girls perform a sing-off battle, detailing why their relationship with Henry was worse than any of the others, entitling them to be crowned lead singer. Brilliantly clever and whitty lyrics, mixed with banging choons, well choreographed routines and all the fun you could ask for from a musical. Of all the show’s I saw in Edinburgh, Six is the one I am most anticipating a London transfer for. A few of the actors may need to be switched out for a London run as vocally some lacked real power but what the writers of this show have created is nothing short of genius.
Six plays at Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18) at 17:55 until 27 August 2017.
Quarter Life Crisis ★★★★★
Alicia is a hot mess. She doesn’t know what she’s doing with her life. Swiping left, swiping right to find the perfect match. Even though she’s a Londoner, born and bred, the scent of Lagos peppers her existence in the ends. What does it mean to be an adult, and when do you become one? Yolanda Mercy deals with being on the outside looking in, growing up as a first generation Briton. Being the common denominator between two Nigerian tribe parents and understanding the different cultures and trying to establish where she fits in to the picture. The semi autobiographical, spoken word piece is brilliantly written and delivered with a tone and pace that keeps the audience engaged for the hour. With a nice little set and use of video projection, a lot of work has gone in to this show and it has really paid off. Yolanda Mercy is one to watch out for and I really hope we see her Quarter Life Crisis show in London soon as it really deserves a future life.
Quarter Life Crisis plays at Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61) at 14:40 until 27 August 2017
Sister Mary’s Playtime ★★★★★
Sister Mary McArthur, the love child of Elaine Page has been soothing the hang overs of many at this year’s festival. The early afternoon, free and un-ticketed show is the perfect tonic to set you up for the day ahead at the fringe. With special guests changing every day, this show also allows you to get a snippit of different shows that are going on during the month of August. Mixed in with Sister Mary’s musical numbers and comedy sketches, from The Sound Of Music to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this is an hour of fun that has been getting standing ovations at every performance so far.
Sister Mary’s Playtime plays at Frankenstein Pub (Venue 304) at 1.15pm until 28 August 2017.
Flo and Joan: The Kindness of Stranglers ★★★★★
Flo and Joan are the alter-ego’s of sister’s Nicola and Rosie Dempsey. Their ‘The 2016 Song’ went viral on YouTube at the beginning of 2017, gaining over half a million views of their fast-paced and quick-witted comedy song about everything that happened in 2016.
With songs varying in subject matter, from Save the Bee’s (don’t shave the Bee’s) to a Folk inspired song The Lady In The Woods, the girls have a knack for writing comedy songs in a Victoria Wood esq style and it left me wondering why they are playing in such a small venue. Together Flo and Joan shine and it is their comedic rapport and deadpan vs ditzy persona’s that make for the hilarity of the piece. The songs are incredibly well constructed and anyone who can memorise that many lyrics deserves a medal just for that. Utterly incredible.
Flo and Joan: The Kindness of Stranglers plays at Just the Tonic at The Tron (Venue 51) at 2.20pm until 26 August 2017.
Sooz On Film ★★★★
Sooz Kempner’s latest show Sooz On Film, uses her quirky comedic style to bring audiences on a journey through her love of films. From growing up watching Watership down and Goodfellas, Sooz gives us a closer look at exactly what these films tell us and asks if perhaps her warped mind might be to blame for what she was allowed to watch as a child. Sooz also starred alongside Eddie Redmayne in the blockbuster hit The Danish Girl and she gives all the gossip on what it was like on set with him. Sooz Kempner is brilliantly funny and it’s about time she got her big break in the world of comedy. Go check out her show before she is selling out arena tours in the future.
Sooz On Film plays at the Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302) at 6.50pm until 27 August 2017.
The Twins Macabre: Playtime ★★★★
Two ten year old twins with a taste for murder work together to put on a cabaret show. The Twins Macabre delight audiences with magic, cabaret and horrific tales of their sadistic lives. Dark comedy mixed with childish horror and games, this is exactly what you would expect from two ten year olds with a thirst for blood. A lot of fun and well worth seeing.
The Twins Macabre: Double Feature plays at 52 Canoes (Grassmarket) (Venue 366) at 6.45pm until 26 August 2017.
With over 3,000 shows being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival throughout the month of August, it is impossible to even make a dent in seeing what is on. I saw about twenty shows or so over the course of a week but as always there isn’t enough time to see everything. There are a lot of great free shows happening and so it doesn’t have to be an expensive thing to go and check out the fringe. If attending a free show though, please remember that it does still cost these people a lot of money to put on their show and so if you enjoy the performance please make sure you have some cash to give at the end of the show (I think £5 per person is very fair if you enjoy the show).