It’s here, oh sweet holy Mary, the Edinburgh Festival has arrived, like an unfailingly reliable yet still nonetheless horrifying natural disaster, or maybe The Purge.
We are not in Edinburgh yet because we are only part time lovers of both the city and its festival. We arrive over the weekend and we finally get started on Wednesday. Yippee ki yay.
In the meantime we thought we could perhaps share with you once again a small sample of the things from the Fringe Festival proper that we are really excited about, so in no particular order:
Mmm Hmmm – Verity Standen
This recommendation is a bit of a cheat maybe as it’s a project I’ve worked on a little, and Verity is also presenting another piece (Hug) at Forest Fringe this year. BUT she is a fabulously talented composer and performer, and Mmm Hmmm is funny, surprising and heart-wrenching. You should see Hug and then don’t miss Mmm Hmmm for something that is really different but equally glorious.
Eggs Collective Get A Round – Eggs Collective
I’ve only ever seen five minutes of Eggs Collective but I feel like those five minutes are etched permanently into my brain. Raucous, hilarious, and mildly terrifying, I am excited to see this full length show of theirs.
Peter McMaster – Wuthering Heights
NOT an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, but an exploration of the experience of being men that I found evocative, strange and beautiful. Plus Kate Bush! I saw this at Mayfest in Bristol, and it kept coming back to me for weeks after, which is pretty rare I think when you see a lot of work.
All Back to Bowie’s
‘Scotland, stay with us.’ David Bowie at the 2014 Brit Awards. This is billed to be a lively lunchtime mix of politics, polemic, poetry and pop music, all relating to the independence referendum. Imagined and presented by a host of Scottish artists, writers, musicians. I am still pretty woefully ignorant about the upcoming referendum to be honest, so this feels like an important and brilliant thing to be able to attend, especially in the context of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Christeene – The Christeene Machine
Almost everyone I love who is far cooler than me had already confessed their undying love for Christeene by the time I got round to seeing her at Latitude but she was still the most beautiful, frightening, carnival avalanche of sex and horror and curious, grotty, radical hope that I have seen for a very long time.
Guinea Pigs on Trial – Sh!t Theatre
Sh!t Theatre are two of the best, funniest people you will ever meet and I could watch them do almost anything. For this show they tried to get paid for taking part in scientific trials. The only scientific trial I ever did I actually somehow failed to pass – I didn’t know you could fail a scientific trial I didn’t know it was that kind of trial but the lady sent me away after about 15minutes with only half the money I was promised so fail I certainly did.
Don’t spend your whole time at the festival watching theatre. Find some art. Listen to some music. Just stand outside in the cold and breath the sickly sweat beery breath of the city. Josephine Foster sings songs like she’s slowly teasing them from the ground as you watch.
Chris Goode – Men in the Cities
Chris Goode makes me want to be better at changing the world. This show’ll probably be alright if you like that sort of thing. Obviously you should definitely go and see this show but at the Traverse and it’s on pretty much every day so if you’re the kind of person that feeds off the thrill of precious being-there-ness of the singular and the rare and the only just about held together moment, then you should also come and see his ONE TIME ONLY celebration of Pete Seeger at Forest Fringe on Thursday 14.
(*Deborah didn’t actually send me any accompanying words for her picks so you’ll just have to imagine her looking all evasive and curiously European as she slips a folded scrap of paper deep into your palm containing only the name of a show and the artist performing it. Definitely imagine that because it sounds much more interesting than anything I have thus far written in this blog.)
Ryan Van Winkle and Dan Gormans – ViewMaster
2b Theatre – The God That Comes
Daniel Kitson – A Variety of Things in a Room
Chop Theatre – How to Disappear Completely