Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Edfest Day 14: Love, Evil and War

And we're back on the show horse. It started with a beautiful, moving one-on-one exploration of love at Forest Fringe, through a haunting, engrossing tale of evil at pleasance and then finished with a disappointingly mediocre but not terrible production of war at C venues.

The first is a show I've been chaperoning for at Forest Fringe. After a no-show, I was given the opportunity to experience it for myself, which I'm so glad I took. It's a fully immersive experience, taking advantage of all 5 senses. It recaptured that feeling I got at punchdrunk's 'sleep no more' in New York, it has a very similar essence but very different ingredients. The show is called "I Worried My Heart Wasn't Big Enough" and it moved me enough that I had to take a moment to gather myself before going back to work. All the people who are booking but not showing up. .. big mistake.  Make sure you catch this,  it's only 20 minutes but it's 20 minutes you will remember. Lyn Gardner has also been along experience it, here is her review http://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2015/aug/18/theatrical-encounters-i-worried-my-heart-wasnt-big-enough-forest-fringe 

When my shift ended I headed for Pleasance courtyard to see a show that keeps catching my eye and has had great reviews all round. It's a show called "Molly" and explores the theme of the development of evil - what is the pivotal moment where 'evil' seeps in? It's not a new concept but it's told in a new way and had me gripped from start to finish.  For a moment, I forgot I wasn't the only one in the room watching - the audience disappearing is a sign of a great show. ... unless they are actually physically disappearing because they're walking out.  That's not so great.  Needless to say, no walkouts here. In fact, we all seemed to be leaning forward on the edge of our seats, holding in one long collective breath.

That took me to 6pm which I consider a bit of a dead zone. Between 6 and 8, I always seem to wander unable to find a show that really grabs me. 

I've been avoiding C Venues this year, to be honest. Like I've found with TheSpace, the quality tends to be in direct relation to the cheap prices. However, it was the dead zone and a company were putting on the musical "Dogfight" which was in London recently - the end of last year I think. It's a musical about Marines on a last big blow-out before their deployment to Vietnam the next morning. I'd heard good things about the London version but didn't catch myself. So, I put aside my C Venue qualms and went for it.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, but in comparison to the other shows I'd seen today it paled to the point of invisibility. The company had a lot of gusto, but the singing didn't blow me away, the score was unmemorable and the plot rather bland. There was laughter, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons - a couple of prop mishaps, which resulted in me flinching every time someone stood on a flimsy wooden box (which they did a lot).

Nevertheless, today has been a good show day - to see two top quality shows in one day is not to be sniffed at. I'm not working tomorrow, so hope to get into town early and catch a pre-midday shows... I have good intentions now, but I'm not a morning person. I have booked 2 shows already, both at Pleasance again - "Institute" and "Blam!", both of which have had excellent reviews and have been on my list since the start. 

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