Tag Archives: edfringe

John Robertson: The Dark Room

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.

Tickets can be bought here:

http://bit.ly/2L7jZbB

Plus there’s a child friendly show at 17:30, The Gilded Balloon, Teviot (Venue 41) Until 26th Aug

Tickets for this can be bought here:

http://bit.ly/2OLd7D4

 

Charmian Hughes – Bra Trek

Charmian Hughes – Bra Trek
15:35 Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, Part of the Free Festival (Venue 170) Aug 2-12, 14-26th

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Right from the off, all of the audience members felt welcome and relaxed. The room was warm so ice water was to be dispensed if anyone said the safe word. I have to say, it’s the first comedy show I’ve ever been to with a safe word. I loved that touch. Charmian Hughes also went to the trouble of making fans from her flyers.
I mention all of this because that’s just the kind pf person she is. Friendly, considerate, thoughtful and quick thinking. These qualities come though in her material too so that her audiences see a well thought out, funny, delightful show that makes you feel good and makes you think. There is no option but to love it. Hughes is very charismatic and has a superb way of telling the beautifully written stories and material. Everyone in the room is completely invested and really enjoying themselves no matter what age or gender they are or identify as.
It is a performance that really encapsulates all of the frustrations, trials and triumphant feeling felt in seeking a sexy, supportive, non-bank account breaking bra.
There is, as always with Hughes’ shows, so much more than that to it.
You’ll just have to go and find out what I mean.

It’s a show for everyone. I can guarantee you’ll come away laughing and feeling spectacular.

 

 

Sian Clarke and Jimmy Slim – Bitter and Twisted: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐

As Sian Clarke is running late for the show, the audience is treated to an appearance by Strange Johnson, former Judas Preist roadie and current vape shop owner, launching his new book, memoirs of life on the road.

Johnson takes full advantage of his moment in the limelight, regaling the audience with extracts from his memoirs which touch the edges of self-indulgence. This is man who has spent a life working for those in the spotlight and almost does not know how to handle it when he is under its glare himself.

Jimmy Slim, as Johnson, brings an eclectic mix to the stage – physical and anecdotal comedy which pushes at the boundaries, challenging the concepts of what comedy can be. The material is well-crafted and delivered, a structure to the half which shows how carefully thought through every aspect is. The self-indulgence of Johnson is flipped on its head at the climax and everything slots together very well.

When Sian turns up for the show, there is a whole new energy on the stage, a dark, brooding energy which is unapologetically hard-line. This performance is about what it is still like to be a woman in today’s society, how toxic masculinity still needs to be stood up to.

The narrative is about how Sian was patronised by a man who came round to do some work on her house. The show is a response to this man, and to everyone that has ever harassed, cat-called, patronised a woman – a performance which takes the audience into some very sinister corners, causing a tension and an uncomfortableness which is a perfect reflection of the issues. The rhetoric which rumbles on very level of this show is a powerful one indeed.

This is a show that needs to be seen – there is a lot I did not want to reveal in this review as I did not want to take away from its impact. Just believe me on this – it needs to be seen.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Sian Clarke and Jimmy Slim – Bitter and Twisted

Heroes @ The Hive, 1640

Part of the Heroes Festival (£5 advance, PWYW on the door)

9th – 26th August

Sam Golin and Gabriel Ebulue – Cult Comics: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

Sam Golin and Gabriel Ebulue present a split-hour of comedy for the geeks of Edinburgh, both performers dropping in more than a few niche references for fans of comics and sci-fi.

Gabriel takes to the stage first, with a good amount of energy and charm to welcome the audience into his world. His comedy is sharp, flipping the conventions of racism and appearance. Perhaps the highlight of this half hour is how he explains he is ‘Jehova’s Witness proof’. There are stories about how he was bullied growing up but Gabriel always presents a light-heartedness to his anecdotes. When Sam takes to the stage, there is a different energy – his is more laid back and presents a different perspective to the themes from the first half, looking at another side of racism and judging people by their appearances.

These are two comics that compliment each other’s  very well and offer a good message to the audience – always find the funny side of life and just try to enjoy yourself, which is very easy to do in this show with Gabriel and Sam.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Sam Golin and Gabriel Ebulue – Cult Comics

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 1415

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 26th August (except 13th)

Abbie Murphy – Eat Sleep Shit Shag: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐

When Abbie Murphy  greets the audience in perhaps the most joyously flamboyant head-wear you could see at the Fringe, one might be forgiven for expecting a high-octane show. In perfect juxtapostion to the energy of her feathered adornment, Abbie’s performance has a great low-key rumbling to it, a conversational style that creates an intimate atmosphere between her and the audience.

Abbie brings an hour of comedy about getting older, the intrusiveness of technology in modern life and about her time working as a performer on a cruise ship. All the time, there is an undercurrent to these stories – a powerful tone of feminism upon which the narrative hangs. Abbie wonderfully flips the conventions that desperately need flipping with hard-line and jet black humour, not afraid to cut through the stereotypes with sharp teeth.

All the while, this is a show about always being who you are and chasing your dreams. Abbie has a tremendous talant for finding the sideways perspective, bringing a different view to some very important themes.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Abbie Murphy – Eat Sleep Shit Shag

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 1345

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 23th August

David Lee Morgan – The River Was a God: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

David Lee Morgan presents an hour of spoken word, a fantastic blend of poetry and soundscapes with a deeply atmospheric feel for the Americana – from the very beginning David’s performance has the ambience of an open-top car-ride against a burnt orange sunset.

This is an hour of poetry about bringing power to the powerless. These are poems about evolution and revolution, beautifully constructed for a balance of depth of imagery and pace of narrative, each one matched with music that adds new layers and sweeps the audience away with David as he explores these themes.

David is a very engaging performer, taking the time to put his messages across both with the poetry itself and in the spaces between. He has a great charm that makes this hard-hitting and risk-taking poetry a safe space in which reflection can take place.

David also performed excerpts from his other show, The Other Side of The Flood, the last performance of which is on 22nd August, at Banshee Labyrinth at 1620. For a great blend of of spoken word, soundscaping and musical theatre, both shows cannot be missed.

Written by Christopher Moriarty

David Lee Morgan – The River Was a God

Banshee Labyrinth, 1620

Part of PBH Free Fringe

4th – 26th August (except Wednesdays)

Ash Pryce: Mind Reader Live

Ash Pryce: Mind Reader Live
17:30 @ Bar Bados Aug 4-6, 8-13,  15-20, 22-25
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you want to see something truly amazing, this is the place to see it and this is the man to show you. Ash Pryce has exceptional stage presence with comfortable and gentle audience participation which, although very involved, is completely enthralling.

Pryce builds the suspense in the room magnificently and then proceeds to live up to and surpass every expectation. The skills incorporated into the show is breath-taking and it is good fun to see the baffled look on the faces of the volunteers after each reveal is finished.

This is a highly impressive performance which is surreal and astounding, presented with a superb degree of charm and charisma. It leaves you feeling really good and wanting much more.

Go and see it because it’s different and funny and totally unlike anything else you’re likely to see on the fringe. There’s a reason we gave it 5 stars, so seek it out and experience it for yourselves.

Zahra Barri – Zahra Warrior (Not Princess): A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

Zahra moves on to the stage with the confidence of a warrior – she has never wanted to be a princess, despite what society has told her. This is a show about facing up to the stereotypes that women face in society, standing up to them and saying ‘no’. From the very start, Zahra has a strong confidence in her material and a great command of the room.

Her show takes in a whole host of topics – from growing up as a female in Saudi Arabia, to dating, the #MeToo movement and Repeal the 8th – there are plenty of hard-hitting moments in this show, and many dark jokes to go alongside them, but Barri has an instant charm that always makes the audience feel at ease, that this is a safe space in which to explore powerful concepts and ideas. Zahra also has plenty to say about the pitfalls of social media. There is a great structure to the narrative of this show, coupled with her self-assured delivery, brings a fantastic energy into the room.

Zahra is not a princess; this show proves she is a warrior of comedy.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Zahra Barri – Zahra Warrior (Not Princess)

Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, 1515

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 26th August

Horror – Gothic Tales and Dark Poetry

Horror – Gothic Tales and Dark Poetry
14:00 @ Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156) Aug 4-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-26th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This show is a beautifully performed collection of prose and poetry from some of the best horror writers ever to have put pen to paper. It contains a selection of classics but also highlights some pieces that the audience may not have come across before. Not only that but it is wonderful to hear a duel language show with some pieces performed in German and some in English. This adds texture and such depth to an already superb show making it so easy to lose yourself in it.

Isabel Schmier has a powerful stage presence which is at once subtle and commanding. Schmier is a born storyteller with expert poise and obvious passion enriching the experience. The phrase ‘breathing new life’ springs to mind when watching this performance.

If horror and spoken word if your thing, this is 100% the show for you. Go see it and escape in to the endlessly tempting world of horror and darkness. Seeing this show in the Banshee Labyrinth is an added treat which makes it totally unmissable and an absolute pleasure to watch.

Isobel Rogers, Jen Wakefield & Kirsty Mann – WIP It: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

WIP It sees a rolling roster of Rogers, Wakefield and Mann presenting a half-and-half show of innovative, daring and touching comedy.  On the night in particular that I had the pleasure of this hour of comedy, it was Isobel and Jen taking to the stage, bringing a fantastic blend of character and musical comedy to the stage.

All three are members of the Soho Theatre Young Company and it is easy to see this in their sharp and professional delivery. Rogers presented excerpts from her show ‘Elsa’ (at the Pleasance Dome from 16th – 19th August). Not to give too much away about it, this was an absolutely engrossing and engaging narrative, story-telling of a very high order accompanied by extremely accomplished guitar-playing and singing. The detail and the characterisation in the story of Elsa were top-drawer and, were Bunbury still in Edinburgh, I would not be hesitating to see the full show to see how the whole tale unfolds.

For the second half, Jen Wakefield took to the stage for a music-laced half hour of a completely different variety. Jen talks with passion about a whole range of subjects, speaking from the heart about stereotypes and identities, flipping the conventions with a sharp wit and exceptional jokes. She also brings her years as a primary school teacher to the stage, as well as the cultural relevance of Drake and a fantastic grime tutorial.

For an excellent hour of comedy, this really cannot be missed. It should also be noted that my cousin was there too, and he loved it as well.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Isobel Rogers, Jen Wakefield and Kirsty Mann – WIP It

Southsider, 1900

Part of the PBH Free Fringe

4th – 25th August (Rogers 4th – 11th, Wakefield 4th – 25th, Mann 12th – 25th)