Monday, October 18

Scotland

Caitlin – ZooTV
Scotland

Caitlin – ZooTV

This disconcerting dance theatre piece from the Welsh ensemble of Light, Ladd and Emberton was first produced for the BBC’s #DancePassion series in 2019, and now receives a showing on the Zoo TV platform for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Caitlin was the wife of poet Dylan Thomas, known for his hard drinking and passionately lyrical poetry. After his death, she attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and this is where we find her, in a circle of empty chairs. Just one other chair is occupied by the husband who caused her so much pain and distress with his infidelities and desertions. As she and Dylan fight through the ups and downs of their tempestuous marriage, this dance sequence takes on an edgy, jagged tone with explosions of stylised violence and physical battling. It is a powerfu...
The Complete Works of Shakespeare*…*but just the Deaths (and the gory bits too) – The Space UK
Scotland

The Complete Works of Shakespeare*…*but just the Deaths (and the gory bits too) – The Space UK

Even though the title may be a tad too long, I could have carried on watching this play for much longer than its 45 minutes.  Taking their name from a quote in Macbeth, the Cream Faced Loons have done a remarkable job to stage this wonderfully refreshing take on Shakespeare’s plays in a digital environment.  Before the pandemic ‘the Loons’ liked to perform in site specific locations such as castles and parks but have adapted their style to You Tube and it showcases their versatility and unique take on the Shakespearean classics. The challenge is to perform all 10187 deaths that appear in Shakespeare’s 37 plays.  That seems rather a lot I hear you say, but all is made clear later on in the show.  Will you take up the challenge to tick off the deaths as the show goes ...
The Beat Goes On – The Space UK
Scotland

The Beat Goes On – The Space UK

With the Edinburgh Fringe Festival not going ahead this year, there has been a huge gap in the diary of both Fringe lovers and artists.  Wonderful venues such as The Space UK have not been able to host their usual Fringe events, so they have put on a digital festival instead.  This festival offers a real mix of comedy, theatre, dance and cabaret.  The Glummer Twins definitely come under the heading ‘comedy’. The Glummer Twins are a duo (as the name suggests), ‘The Beat Goes On’ is their reflection on how the last six months of lockdown have been for them.  The duo was formed by David Harmer and Ray Globe who were once a part of a comedy group called ‘Circus of Poets’ which also included Ian McMillan and John Turner. This 25 minute performance is packed full o...
Until the Ad Break – Maverick Charles Productions
Scotland

Until the Ad Break – Maverick Charles Productions

Maverick Charles Productions’ Until the Ad Break, written by Hugo Lewkowicz and directed by Emily Fitzpatrick, is a clever and surreal look at life in lockdown adapted from their previously sold out show, 21 minutes. Taking place during a lockdown recording of daytime magazine show, The Hello Show, the opening of the play is reminiscent of This Time with Alan Partridge, as we hear about the evils of quinoa and listen to the co-hosts, Dale Maxton (Bradley Pascall) and Francine Quick (Ellie Stewart-Dodd) bicker while off-air. But there is a twist. This episode of The Hello Show has begun 21 minutes before the apocalypse. Hysterical weatherman, Gabriel Spring (Emily Fitzpatrick) brings warning of fire and brimstone rather than the usual sunshine and showers and there’s a special guest ...
Defying GraviTT – Online@theSpace
Scotland

Defying GraviTT – Online@theSpace

One of the best things about fringe festivals is that you get to experience a range of shows that cannot quite be boxed into one category.  One day it might be jugglers or the circus, the next a political rant or an intense two-hander about the restaurant provision for vegans. As shows have gone online during the current pandemic, they have attained an additional status from performers isolated from others by necessity, not always from choice. Boundaries have increasingly become blurred as creators experiment. In Defying GraviTT, The Fabulous TT aka Tish Tindall brings her wry observational skills and musical prowess to a one-person show which considers lockdown from the perspective of “a menopausal madwoman”. Part video diary, part song cycle, part cabaret, Tindall’s piece has to...
The Plague Thing – Putney Theatre Company Online
Scotland

The Plague Thing – Putney Theatre Company Online

Putney Theatre Company are an amateur company who encourage a feeling of community.  The theatre company was originally two separate companies Group 64 which is their youth theatre section and Putney Players (previously Putney Amateur Dramatics Society) but they merged in 1999 to enable them to pool resources and work together.  In this short vignette lasting 6 minutes, we hear from Enid (Carol Hudson) who lives in a care home and new lockdown rules have been introduced due to the pandemic.  She is no longer able to go the community lounge, but must stay in her room, even for meals.  As she states, “This is it – my room, my life!” Enid has dementia and her eyesight is not what it was, so she struggles to even watch TV.  Just from this short statement we ...
At the Ghostlight: Online@theSpaceUK
Scotland

At the Ghostlight: Online@theSpaceUK

Blue Fire Theatre have had two shows in planning for some time, focusing on household names of theatre past. In Kemp’s Jig, the spotlight falls on Will Kemp (c1560-1603), jester and low comedian for William Shakespeare’s company. In Marie Lloyd Saved My Life, we meet the Victorian music hall male impersonator Nelly Power (1854-1887). These shows would have opened at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but instead the characters meet, backstage, in a short piece entitled At the Ghostlight. A chatty piece in which these two ghosts of the footlights meet in a deserted backstage area in a theatre, At the Ghostlight may be short at just under twelve minutes, but in J.J. Leppink’s thoughtful and funny script, it brings together two performers hundreds of years apart into a contemporary space to ...
The Murder(ed) Musketeers – The Space UK Online Festival
Scotland

The Murder(ed) Musketeers – The Space UK Online Festival

As the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was not able to go ahead this year, venue ‘The Space UK’ have devised a replacement online festival to allow the artists who were due to perform at this year’s festival a chance to show off their production and to earn money via donations. Theatre company Highly Suspect, are more than just a theatre company, they also specialize in staging murder mystery events and given the fun injected into this production, I am sure their murder mystery evenings are equally packed with jolly japes. Before you begin to watch, it is a good idea to wander over to their website, as during the play, you will be asked to view the evidence to help in your quest to solve the crime which is saved on their website, it is a good idea to have access to this before you start.&...
After the Turn: The Mystery of Bly Manor, Online @theSpaceUK
Scotland

After the Turn: The Mystery of Bly Manor, Online @theSpaceUK

Nine Knocks Theatre’s After the Turn: The Mystery of Bly Manor is a modern retelling of Henry James’ classic novella, The Turn of the Screw. Written and directed by George Cooper and Ellie Hardwick, it is a delightfully creepy interpretation of a classic and well-loved ghost story. The piece opens with a black screen and overlapping voices giving an ominous feeling from the start. Presented as a series of filmed interviews edited in a documentary style, the show ingeniously incorporates the framing device used in James’ original work, incorporating the first person narration of Theodora (Eilidh Gibson) as a series of video diaries presented to the programme by her friend, Marcus Bryson (Brian Weldich). We learn that Theodora was hired as a Nanny by Jonathan Bly (Stan Wildish) to...
The Silly and Unnecessary Variety Show – Virtual Edinburgh Fringe
Scotland

The Silly and Unnecessary Variety Show – Virtual Edinburgh Fringe

Online comedy is difficult. You know that awkward pause in a live show where no one laughs at a joke and there's just silence? That's what you get all the way through. Even the best comedians struggle to deal with this lack of atmosphere and streaming live over the internet means that things can and do go wrong. Lori Hamilton cleverly addresses this at the beginning of her performance, inviting us to take a drink or snack to fill those awkward gaps. Her show is broadcast live from her home in New York, and "produced" by her two cats. She flits between different characters and video content, with a touch of added whimsy. Was it silly? Absolutely. Was it unnecessary? Perhaps. Her style isn't one that particularly works for me, but it did have that touch of Fringe nostalgia - stu...