Hannah Moss’s character-comedy ‘Meadow by Meadow’ is her solo debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and its fantastically unsettling.
Moss is a highly physical performer, and though her level of audience participation is well out of the average person’s comfort zone, her ability to break the ice without breaking character is both fascinating and exciting.
To quote the show’s tagline,, “the rules are: there are no rules”, and within minutes this is evident. The show twists and turns, leaving you clueless, and sometimes a little apprehensive as to what’s coming next, but Moss delivers each and every time.
The show proves Moss to be a risk taker, and its pays off in her remarkable sense of authority as a performer, as she draws the audience into her wild shenanigans. Meadow is a brave and audacious character, and for much of the time you don’t know whether to think her sinister or silly. Moss’s delivery confirms the balance brilliantly.
For anyone who likes dark comedy combined with edge-of-seat uncertainty, Hannah Moss is absolutely one to watch.
George Dimarelos has taken his show, ‘George Michael is Greek’, to Peth and Melbourne. This is, therefore, a well-travelled show, with a host whose charisma and ability to charm an audience is unavoidable. He has a certain cheeky, laddish sense of humour which is lapped up across the room.
The George Michael stunt doesn’t hurt either, as Dimarelos appears on stage costumed with a white shirt and leather jacket. Appealing to the inevitable George Michael fans misguidedly expecting a tribute act, you could say there’s something for everyone in this show.
Dimarelos is perhaps not the most original comedian of the Fringe – his comedy is somewhat predictable and not overwhelmingly unique, while the charm of the cocky schoolboy vibe doesn’t last all too quickly.
That being said, Dimarelos is fairly entertaining, and his vaguely self-effacing cheeriness wins him many points with the audience. His well-timed comedy carries with it a particular appeal that will undoubtedly strike a chord with many.
As a first impression, Tom Taylor comes across with the mannerisms of an awkward teenage boy trying to impress a girl that he likes – self-conscious, slightly uncomfortable and likable, in a very funny way. A cross between Jon Richardson and Tim Minchin, Taylor’s demeanour is lively and characterful, whilst giving the impression of being endearingly ill-at-ease.
His comedy is delightfully silly whilst being remarkably clever. Taylor’s timing for an unexpected pun is flawless, and although his comedy sometimes seems a little random, it is never once to the show’s detriment.
The intermittent appearance of the keyboard is a nice aid to the laughter. Though a slightly eccentric trademark, it never appears too gimmicky, but offers perfect accompaniment for sharp one-liners.
Between this, his self-aware comedy and his peculiar charisma, Taylor has the show down to a perfect formula, which manages to stay original and unpredictable throughout. ‘Abriged’ is a rare, unusual and intelligent show.
Comedian and cartoonist Henry Paker exudes creativity on many levels in this fantastically imaginative show. His visual accompaniments showcase charming talent, and instantly captivate the audience, as he takes us through a visual exploration of his career.
With his observational humour, his takes on marriage (and its trials), holidays, arguments and middle class life take confessionalism to the next level, as his analysis of the mundane and everyday aspects of life is delivered with simultaneously astonishing realism and bright humour. Paker is matter-of-fact without veering into cynicism, with an approach that, no matter what, feels vivid and lively.
The show often ranges into the absurd but never fails to be brilliant. Aside from his sharp, witty stand-up comedy, the show also includes a handful of surprises sure to delight any audience.
‘Man Alive’ is daring, funny, fascinating and entirely original. Proving a brilliant mind and unique talent, this is comedy of remarkable quality.
David Tsonos, comedian and apparently professional cat lover, presents the follow up to his solo show ‘Walking the Cat’. Featuring many, many new cat tales (pun intended), his tame but likeable comedy coupled with his awkward charisma makes for a consistently entertaining show.
Tsonos’ humour is upbeat, and his storytelling shows a sympathetic, amiable character. There’s a certain self-consciousness to his manner which only adds to his comedic timing.
Although Tsonos can hardly be considered one of the big risk takers of this years Fringe, there’s little to find disagreeable in his inoffensive anecdotal comedy. He keeps the laughs coming fairly steadily, and although not particularly groundbreaking, the show is nevertheless enjoyable.
Altogether, the show is at the very least, a cat lovers paradise. Anyone looking for a few laughs, and some lovely cat pictures is in very good company with Tsonos.
Sooz Kempner’s ‘Super Sonic 90s Kid’ feels like a wonderful trip down memory lane for anyone who considers themselves a 90s kid. Aside from the nostalgic exploration of her love affair with Sonic the Hedgehog, the show feels equally like a beautifully put-together collage of Sooz herself, in such a way that you can’t help but find her totally lovable.
There’s a certain sentimentality to the show that, coupled with Kempner’s magical sense of humour, is bright, imaginative, and completely captivating. Her visual accompaniments are matched by a comedic timing as smooth as clockwork, never overly relied upon but perfectly punctuating wickedly funny storytelling.
A woman of many talents, she also demonstrates her remarkable theatrical skills with a handful of musical numbers. The show is a uniquely orchestrated array of gifts, brave and adventurous but always thoroughly charming and entertaining.
However, the show’s most striking aspect is just how immersive it is; its combination of personal history, 90s retrospect and giddy comedy has you utterly invested right through to the final moments.
Altogether, ‘Super Sonic 90s Kid’ demonstrates Kempner to be perhaps one of the most original voices in comedy. A show in a league of its own, it is perhaps one of the year’s Fringe essentials.
For those perhaps previously unfamiliar with Fringe favourite Kate Smurthwaite, she introduces herself to us via her reputation as “provocative”. No stranger to the label, this show celebrates her ability to shock and outrage. ‘Clit Stirrer’ is a diverse collection of brutal, challenging, but important stories, punctuated with Smurthwaite’s unique and ingenious humour. Presenting a show no more predictable than the woman herself, she wears the world’s horrors on her sleeve with such originality and wit, that there is simply no arguing with it – she is brilliant.
Even the most dark and uncomfortable realities she addresses are presented in such an honest and accessible way, that no matter how dark it gets, you can’t help but leave with a sense of optimism. Smurthwaite exudes a passion and self-assuredness onstage which is both infectious and empowering.
Between storytelling, sketches, one-liners and reflections over her career, Smurthwaite emerges, politically and comedically, as a force to be reckoned with. Her refreshingly outspoken comedy will undoubtedly leave you hanging on her every word.
‘Clit Stirrer’ is at The Banshee Labyrinth @ 7:30 until August 26th.
John Robertson: The Dark Room 20:00 Underbelly, White Belly (Venue 61) until Aug 26th
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have waited for three years to see this show. The Dark Room is without a doubt one of the best things I’ve ever seen. It’s everything it promises and more besides. As the game is played by audience members, it becomes increasingly funny and slightly frustrating, just like the real text based video games of consoles past.
The writing, the stage presence and presentation for me was completely perfect. The feeling of spontaneity and crowd work sets this show apart. The democracy round is another stroke of genius where people practically tear out their vocal chords to be heard and make a difference…
It is a highly odd experience to be made to feel like you’re working with and against those around you to try and beat the game.
The only down side is that every now and again, the memory of this marvellous show will pop into my head and for no apparent reason, I find myself whispering ‘You awake to find yourself in a dark room’. This I’m told is slightly unnerving for the rest of my colleagues but who cares?
There are so many reasons to see this dark humoured show from the exceptional writing to the character work of Mr John Robertson, this is really some top draw stuff that’s worth every penny and more.
Niteskreen 00:10 Just The Tonic @ The Caves, Just The Wee Room (Venue 88) Aug 19-26th
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is an odd little show and one of the true gems of the fringe although it’s not what you might expect.
A synthesiser is played in the background while images of fictional shows flash up on a screen accompanied by descriptions of what to expect from the shows. It is here that the magic of this show lies. There is no spoken word element to the performance but the descriptions are a work of pure genius. While reading one or two of these I found myself thinking that I’d probably watch this or that programme. I don’t know what that says about me but what I was seeing was strangely addictive.
Throughout the show the short show descriptions became more surreal and dark aided by the music which, at times was downright creepy.
For me, this show is on at the right time, in the right room in the right venue and has tp be seen. It’s a really treat and something more than a bit unique and unusual.