I’ve just come back from Edinburgh after spending ten days at the Fringe Festival. I was up there to support Stephen while he performed in the week long run of Slaves of the Kingdom. The Edinburgh Guide review was very favourable, giving the show four stars (and mentioning Stephen), while theBroadway Baby review gave it three stars. If I am honest, the Broadway Baby review is closest to what I felt upon watching the show (and I did see it three times!)
While I was there I watched 39 shows, a combination of musical theatre, comedy and drama. I even attended a performance lecture! Unfortunately, I don’t remember many of the shows. I guess, if they’re good enough to remember, I must have enjoyed them more. ‘Get Got’ was technically very good and very polished. There was just something missing, which bothered me upon leaving, and continued to bother me for days after it. Upon reading The Stage review I think perhaps it sums up what I was thinking. My Pregnant Brother was excellent, with Johanna Nutter telling her story with poignancy and a smile. Interestingly, despite the title, this is a play about Johanna’s identity and who she is. I found this presented a fresh perspective on how gender dysphoria causes not only the sufferer to question their identity, but also often forces those around them to question the big question, who and what is it that makes me who I am?
I saw a lot of improvised pieces, with an improvised musical being the one of the best. Baby Wants Candy is a show where the audience is asked to suggest a title for a musical before the cast perform it. It was very funny and well-constructed. One word of warning, if you have any beliefs or are easily offended, then this is NOT the show to go to as the audience could suggest anything. The title of our show (‘When Jesus Came Out’) being a perfect example of this. Seven Ages of Man was another clever piece of improvisation as it used song titles written down by audience members during the show. This was often hilariously funny as they were either totally inappropriate for the context they were being spoken in, or in the case of our particular show, absolutely perfect. In fact the perfectly appropriate titles garnered the loudest laugh!
I did also watch some bad shows, the worst being ‘Safe’ which if I’m honest shouldn’t have seen the light of day. The idea of three men being locked in a safe, could have been interesting, sadly it wasn’t. I found ‘Forest Boy: The Musical’ dull, though the cast performed it brilliantly. Some ideas, sadly do not make good musicals.
All things considered, my time at the Fringe was a wonderful adventure and enabled me to see shows that I wouldn’t normally have had the opportunity to see. It also allowed Stephen and I to evaluate our next steps for our shows…I’ll save that for another blog post though.
As always, comment below. If you were at the Fringe we want to hear from you, if you weren’t we want to hear your thoughts as well.