Thursday, 20 August 2015

Edfest Day 15: What's Hot Wednesday Week 2

I haven't got such a large pool to choose from this week. I've only seen 14 shows, due to starting volunteering work and needing a days release from Edinburgh last Friday.  That said, over the last 2 days I've packed quite a few in and seem some good uns, which is a relief; for a second I thought I may have to rename this blog "What Wasn't Terrible Wednesday".

Without further ado, here are my top 5 picks of this week in ascending order:

5. Stdad Up (Voodoo Rooms - FREE FRINGE)
4. I Am Not Myself These Days (Pleasance Courtyard)
3. I Worried My Heart Wasn't Big Enough (Forest Fringe)
2. Jonny and the Baptists: The End is Nigh (Roundabout@Summerhall)

And in first place ......................................

1. Molly (Pleasance Courtyard)

I considered whether to put "Blam!" on the list somewhere, as it was so good and clever once it got going... it just took waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long to get going. For that reason, it doesn't make it.  
"Solid Life of Sugar Water" I ummed and ahhed over but ultimately decided that while I enjoyed it, there were others on that list that I just liked that little bit more.
They are, nevertheless, both good choices too. 

I chose John-Luke Roberts "Stdad Up" for the list instead, because it's a free fringe show that is totally worth checking out. It's kinda crazy and edgy but that's what you want from the freestival, right? His recently deceased father is the inspiration for this show, where he appears as a character (done smoothly with the use of fake teeth, a beard and a shitload of balloons). That's right, it's a comedy about his dead dad, featuring his dead dad... Uncomfortable? Definitely. Inappropriate? Dear God, yes. Hilarious? Absolutely. Who doesn't enjoy uncomfortable, innappropriate hilarity

"I Am Not Myself These Days" is a show I saw today about a drag queen and her difficult relationship with a crack addict. It's a heavy hour and fifteen minutes but I like those intense solo shows which explore a theme which we can all actually relate too - no, I'm not an alcoholic man dressed as a woman and, no, I don't live in a crack den, but there are themes of longing and broken dreams here which are relateable across the board and which spoke to me. 

"Jonny and the Baptists: The End is Nigh" features a performer who made it onto last weeks top 5 list. His name is Jonny Donohoe and I previously reviewed his production of "Every Brilliant Thing" rated it 5 stars and put it on the list. This show is in the same venue, but this time he has a buddy and they are playing guitars and singing protest songs about climate change. It's another show that had me laughing all the way through, this guy is so watchable and his "band" the baptist has the most luxurious long hair. 

I also want to discuss a show I saw much earlier on today. It's by a company called Gecko and is called "Institute". This is a meticulously executed show, which is just outside my field of expertise and I just couldn't appreciate it properly. It's heavily physical theatre with a plot you have to really unravel yourself. To me, it seemed to be telling the story of 4 men institutionalised in different ways - one by work, one by love, one by disease and one by guilt. I may be wrong.... like I said, I'm no physical theatre expert and for that reason, this didn't go in my top 5 either. It did, however, get a fantastic standing ovation and I'm sure would be at the top of the lists for those people. 

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