Saturday, 22 August 2015

Edfest Day 18: Come Fly With Me

Strange and unprecedented phenomenon - flyerer's avoid me. Not many people can say that. In fact many people complain about being flyered to the point of potential restraining order.  Not me though. Yesterday, a flyerer turned round ready to launch into his spiel,  looked at me and actually changed his mind! I saw him take a breath and open his mouth, as if to say something, then didn't.  I'm aware that I scowl when I'm walking through crowds sometimes but I didn't realise I was so unapproachable that even the flyerers won't come near.

It's crazy busy on the fringe today. I forgot it's Saturday.  The days all merge here. The problem with having a free day on a Saturday is that my intentions of packing in show after show are squandered by the fact everything is sold out and I never book in advance. Lesson learned for next Saturday!
I did managed to see a show from my list earlier though.  It's the public review that never was because the press office never got back to me. It's another show by my favourites - the royal conservatoire of Scotland - called "Willy's Bitches" and is another original musical. It focuses on some of Shakespeare's strongest female characters. It would help having a better Shakespeare knowledge base than I do, but it was still enjoyable without knowing exactly who everyone was. It started off a little weak, but picked up from Lady Macbeth's entrance onwards (that one I did recognise). The highlight was the group piece, centred around Lavinia - that one I knew only because she was wearing a Titus Andronicus t-shirt. I also just had to double check that I hadn't got that mixed up with Titus Andromedon, of Peeno Noir fame. 

After this finished, I wandered around a couple of venues, only to be told everything I was interested in was sold out, so went instead to virgin's half price hut. The pickings were slim, but I went with one at the Pleasance Dome since I've been pretty happy with their offerings so far. It's called "The Year of the Hare" which hasn't had great reviews, but like I said pickings are slim.  Beggars can't be choosers and that.....

Okay, so it's now after "Year of the Hare" and it was, erm...  what I was expecting. And long. It was longer than I was expecting. I did go in hopeful, knowing that reviews are always subjective,  but when all the reviews are in agreement, you can't really argue. 
So why were other people around me saying "that was so good"? I don't get it. I know I just said it's subjective but the only conclusion I can come to is they are friends, family, colleagues or general sucker-uppers. 

The source material for this show is a Finnish novel from the 70s which I'm sure is a great read, but the interpretation feels clumsy and the comedic moments just didn't work. The acting from the main male character was unskilled, amateur and actually quite uncomfortable to watch. The moments of song felt contrived. There was a projected scene near the end which was well done and that was pretty much the only moment I felt vaguely engaged. Most the show I spent trying to prop my head up to stay focussed (and awake). Some audience members at the back tried clapping 20 minutes before the end, probably in desperate hope that it was actually the end. I empathised with them. 

Towards the end of that show I started fighting the urge to sneeze. On leaving, It developed into a full blown sneezing fit and I came home quite early... Lucky, because it's now pouring with rain which would not have helped. Maybe it's just an allergic reaction to bad shows.

My volunteer shift isn't until the evening tomorrow but it may be that I give the fringe a break in the day, which will mean no shows, so not much to report. We'll see how it goes.  

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