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Fringe review: Street Dreams

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe | 0 comments

Come and spend an hour in a strange world of boxes and newspaper where a little Old Man is at the end of his tether.

* * * * * (5 stars)

Seemingly simple puppets come to life at the hands of five skilled performers who interact only with their puppet while the puppets interact with each other. The Old Man who is the focus of the show is handled by two dedicated puppeteers who act more like the compassionate carers of an elderly gentleman. The show takes us on an emotional journey as we experience the Old Man’s full range of emotions – no mean feat with a solid, painted head! It’s testament to the skill of the puppet builders, puppeteers, musicians and director that we empathise so strongly with a character we are beginning to see as real, despite being manhandled (puppethandled?) throughout by two humans making no attempts to manipulate him from a hidden position. Towards the end, as the Old Man began to interact with the audience, I had to remind myself that those brooding eyes could not see me, could not return the gaze that I felt so strongly.

Adults will be enchanted by the technical brilliance of the performance; children will love the banana skins and when the Old Man goes to the toilet!

Eilidh (age 9) says: “It’s about an old man who lives on a rubbish dump and it is hilarious! I highly recommend it and I hope you love it too. A great puppet experience.

Mairi (age 7) says: “Its clever how they make him walk. It was funny when he jumped on a banana peel.”

* * * * * (5 stars)

Street Dreams
The Underbelly Big Belly

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Fringe Review: Axis of Awesome

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe, Reviews | 0 comments

They rock hard, possess the rugged look of rock stars and the keen eyes of top flight comedy writers.

* * * * * (5 stars)

The short review? Axis of Awesome are awesome.

On top of their rock band potential – they would not be out of place at any rock’n’roll gig as straight musicians, they also have a sharp observational eye and an awareness of everyday social situations.

Lead singer Jordan Zumzingunpronounceable (Raskopoulos! – Ed), guitarist Lee Naimo and keyboard player Benny Davis have returned to the Gilded Balloon with an almost all-new show that builds on their success last year by taking aim at more musical genres, social awkwardness and KFC.

The collection of new songs which were incredibly well received by the audience, is rounded up with the boys’ signature YouTube piece, The Four Chords Song, finishing up an hour of memorable music and mischief.

And they had lasers.

* * * * * (5 stars)

Axis of Awesome
Songs in the Key of Awesome

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Fringe review: Tim Fitzhigham, Gentleman Adventurer

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe, Reviews | 0 comments

Summoned by bugle and mad, shouting man, you enter The Ark, and set sail for comedy.

* * * * (4 stars)

The Ark is the most unusual of the venues at Pleasance Courtyard this year. The mad, shouting man turns out to be Tim Fitzhigham, Gentleman Adventurer.

He welcomes us aboard the ship as his crew, and on this occasion plays live the tracks we should have been listening to on CD had the CD player not blown up in the previous day’s torrential rain. Self-described as "a man who looks like a homeless version of Gonzo from the Muppets", he is an affable character and eccentric to the extreme.

Relating well to the audience, he amazes, baffles and entertains as he regales us with tales of heroic, if certifiable, adventures.

His manic delivery sometimes falls short of the mark, but there are more hits than misses and the hits are pure genius. This show is a round-up of the last few years of his life, including some incidents which have been covered in his previous shows.

However,  he says he tells them slightly differently this time and the two audience members who had seen him before seemed to enjoy the tales as much second time around.

The show is eccentric, just like Fitzhigham himself and is effortless fun for everyone.

* * * * (4 stars)

Tim Fitzhigham, Gentleman Adventure
Pleasance Ark

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Fringe Review: Ant Dewson, I Bought Richard Hammond’s Underpants on Ebay

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe, Reviews | 0 comments

If you like your musical comedy with a bit of bite, then this show is for you.

* * * * (4 stars)

Ant Dewson has a big organ and he just about knows what to do with it. A Fringe virgin, he is here to enjoy a month off work while sharing some songs and trying not to offend people.

He has the audience laughing right from the start, even those who didn’t get chocolate. He talks us through his running order, giving warnings about some songs and describing ones he may not have time to play – at 45 minutes this is quite a short show.

His Twitter song is something special, made from every tweet he’s ever posted. There’s one song to which the audience can sing along. Any musical instruments you would like to bring are also welcome for this song – kazoos, maracas, cellos etc.

There was a kazoo in the audience on this occasion, and it enhanced the experience greatly.

The songs are clever and well-sung; they are also shockingly rude at some points. Probably best to wear ear plugs if you’re easily offended. If you like the Doug Anthony All Stars and B3ta.com, you will enjoy this show.

* * * * (4 stars)

Ant Dewson
I Bought Richard Hammond’s Underpants on Ebay

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Fringe Review: Morgan and West, Time Travelling Magicians

Posted by in Edinburgh Fringe, Reviews | 0 comments

Live, all the way from 1888! Morgan and West are extremely talented magicians performing original tricks in a unique style.

* * * * (4 Stars)

The scratchy gramophone sound track, the three-piece suits complete with pocket-watches and the impressive facial hair set the scene for Victorian parlour magic.

Of particular note were a mind-blowing mind-reading trick and the most amazing coin trick I’ve ever seen (take note, Ian!). The forwards-backwards coin trick is a display of incredible skill and dexterity, both of the hand and of the mind.

Morgan and West are funny, have great stage presence and interaction between themselves and with the audience. With their talent and skill they will go far.

* * * * (4 stars)

Morgan and West, Time Travelling Magicians
Gilded Balloon
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