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Fringe Review: Tea Room

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe | 1 comment

* * * * * (5 stars)

A cup of tea in a china cup, a pristine white tablecloth and an enticing cake stand. And listen carefully, the show is going on around you. You only have to listen in.

Characters come and go from the tearoom, each bringing their own story. There are ups and downs, fights, resolutions, fears, tears and joy. We are swept along with the characters, wondering about who they are and hoping they find happiness after this brief glimpse into their lives.

If you enjoy people-watching you will love this show, and watching the reactions of the other members of the audience as much as the diverse cast. There is much to ponder on and take away from this unique experience. Bring a hankie.

* * * * * (5 stars)

Tea Room
Lauriston Hall

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

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Fringe review: Ian Kendall’s Obsession

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* * * * * (5 stars)

Two years ago, after eighteen years on the Fringe, Ian Kendall said he would never do this again. After his sell-out show (called “I said I would never do this again”) last year he’s back this year for two nights only with a new show entitled “Obsession”, as well as daily performing slots on the Royal Mile.

If you’ve seen Ian performing street magic on the Mile you may have felt a little scared but you would definitely have felt mystified, impressed and very entertained. His stage show is a step up from his outdoor performance, with much more chat and close-up magic that often fails to result in its deserved response as audience brains struggle to comprehend what they’ve just seen and forget what their arms are for. A quick repeat and a witty comment and the trick receives stunned and awed applause.

Ian’s shows are a combination of humour, encyclopaedic knowledge on a variety of geeky subjects and the most mind-blowingly amazing magic. He is also very tall.

If you want to see Ian this year you’ll need to try and catch him on the Royal Mile – his two-show run finished last night. But he will be back next year for his 21st anniversary on the Fringe.

* * * * * (5 stars)

Ian Kendall
Obsession

Zoo Roxy

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Fringe review – The Noise Next Door

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe | 0 comments

***** (5 stars)

The Noise Next Door are five young lads doing improvised musical comedy the way it should be done. There was no sense of the audience needing to warm up to the show, the laughs were coming thick and fast before bums were even on seats thanks to two puppets in the tech box making witty comments while two of the boys made beautiful music on the stage. The fifth member of the crew was out with a box of acetates and pens encouraging audience members in the queue to draw random scenes for use later in the show.

The speed at which the suggestions from the audience were incorporated into sketches and songs was impressive. Even when a joke took several attempts to formulate properly, there was a real sense of camaraderie as the audience respected the effort clearly being put into this fast-thinking, and willed the punchline to materialise on the tip of the performer’s tongue. These young men are remarkably talented and work incredibly well together. Ending a five-part improvised song by rhyming “taramasalata” is just one small example of their combined genius.

***** (5 stars)

The Noise Next Door
Their Finest Hour

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

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Fringe Review: Comedy Club 4 Kids

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe | 0 comments

* * * * (4 stars)

The Comedy Club 4 Kids is a stand-up gig for children with comedians from the adult comedy circuit performing family-friendly material.

The compere Tiernan Douibeis excellent, very good with children and very quick with his observational humour. He is also very silly, which has the children (and me) in fits of laughter. I was particularly impressed with his memory – he chatted with many children in the audience, asking them a few questions about where they were from, and was always able to come back to a child he’d spoken to before and remember their name and what they’d said. That was a really nice touch, and more than my memory’s capable of!

Of particular delight was his struggle with Scottish names and places, which the children roared with laughter at.

There were two acts on the bill, the first a character comedian by the name of John Roast who told a series of jokes all with a punchline rhyming with “roast”. It did gather speed and had people laughing in the end. The second act was Nick Doodie who was very funny but who accidently swore twice during his act. My children didn’t notice however.

There will be different comedians throughout the Fringe taking part in the Comedy Club 4 Kids, check www.comedyclub4kids.co.uk for a list of who’s on when.

Eilidh (age 9) says: “It’s just that: comedy! Funny, hilarious, silly, they’re all words to describe the Comedy Club 4 Kids!

Mairi (age 7) says: “It was fun making the noises of dying animals. It was funny when this guy told us how mad his granny is.”

* * * * (4 stars)

Comedy Club 4 Kids
The Bongo Club

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

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Fringe Review: Peter Pan on Dinosaur Island

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe | 0 comments

* * * (3 stars)

A swashbuckling tale of pirates, dinosaurs, time vortices, biology and belief in fairy stories.

This unique approach to children’s theatre begins with the provision of pencils to complete the puzzles in the programme, which also contains relevant amazing facts, to entertain and amuse children (and their grown-ups!) while the audience settle and wait for the show to begin.

Written to allow maximum audience participation (although at times this can make the plot feel a little stretched and tedious – it is a long show) with children being invited to help out frequently. However, not all children managed to get a turn of going on stage while others were chosen repeatedly. For the most part though the interaction was very good with the children keen to do battle with pirates and dinosaurs.

The costumes were excellent, and the small cast worked very hard to portray a large number of characters. I asked my nine year-old daughter during the interval how many actors she thought there were. She counted six (only identifying two characters played by one actor, and not counting the various dinosaurs at all) and was very surprised to hear that there were only three actors sharing so many roles.

Overall this is a fantastic adventure for the kids, but adults may find it a little long-winded at times.

Eilidh (aged 9) said: “A funny story that mixes old and new tales. It’s a perfect family show, and kids are on stage throughout!”

Mairi (aged 7) says: “It was funny when we threw dino poo. The baby dinosaurs are cute.

* * * (3 stars)

Peter Pan on Dinosaur Island
Spotlites at The Merchants’ Hall

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

One final though, merchandise (flashing pirate swords and other sparkly things) are on sale while you are queuing and as you go into the venue. Also, there is an interval with ice cream and other refreshments on sale. If you intend to give in to your child’s pleading, make sure you’ve brought cash!

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