Friday, 31 August 2012

Edinburgh Festival - Day Two (Part Two)

Edinburgh Festival - Saturday 11th August

With a couple of hours to kill it was time to wander the streets, admiring some of the street acts along the way including a man stood upside down with his head in a bucket as well as the golden postbox for Chris Hoy. These distractions (and some poor map-reading) meant we missed the next free comedy show we intended to see, it had something about Jesus in the title, and had to settle for a pint stood outside laughing at intoxicated people in general rather than one man on a stage.
'Bucket-Man'- not the greatest superhero power
After learning from our previous mistake we made it to the next show early, so early we had to actually queue before going in, and had time to get another pint. This was for what was billed as 'Andrew O'Neill and Marc Burrows do Music and Comedy and Hideous Murders'. Thankfully there was an even spread of the first two and none of the latter as this was essentially a performance by half of the comedy/steampunk outfit The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing.
Old School Executions
The show was split into four sections, starting with some acoustic renditions from their aforementioned band. Luckily for those unaware of what steampunk is they breifly gave an explanation, it's for people who like to dress up like it's the Victorian ages and has little to do with the likes of The Clash or Sex Pistols. Having said that, these two proceeded to inject some punk attitude into their music after complaining about the majority of so called steampunk bands been crap. Songs such as 'Bedlam' about the old mental asylum and 'Steph(v)enson', mainly about George were a mixture of musical, educational and most importantly comical, combining their love of all things Victorian with music that made you want to put on a bowler hat and join in.
The second part consisted of Andrew O'Neill doing his more alternative blend of comedy, covering the more obscure topics such as being a transvestite and attempting to serenade a lady with lyrics from Cannibal Corpse. After another musical interlude it was Mr Burrows turn, and whilst he still raised a chuckle his stand-up wasn't quite as unique or amusing as Mr O'Neill's which explains how he manages to charge £10 for his solo show whilst Mr Burrows' is free. Ending with one last musical number this was certainly a hidden gem well uncovered, and considering it was free when so many average comedians manage to charge for an hour of mild amusement. Speaking of which...
Unfortunately no hopscotch was played in the show
Obviously not learning from our mild disorganisational adventures from before we hot-footed it to Pleasance courtyard to see Shappi Khorsandi: Dirty Looks and Hopscotch. We arrived bang on 8.30 only to be told to wait outside as the show had started, which led to us having to go in (luckily followed by about 10 other latecomers) and get a personal greeting from Shappi. Thankfully that was all it was and we managed to sit down straight away avoiding any further embarrassment, unlike the man in the front row who had to leave for the toilet before the end.
The show centered around Shappi's recent relationship with her rockstar ex-boyfriend, and while her storytelling was great and frequently raised a smile there were few moments of genuine hilarity. With almost all the material about this one subject it started to get a bit tiresome and whilst not a bad show it just felt a bit average, especially after seeing Andrew O'Neill for free.
Shit-faced Shakespeare
The final act of the day we were to see was without a doubt the strangest, Shit-faced Shakespeare. Just like the cast we were surprised to find that more than ten people had bought tickets and also didn't really know what was going to unfold. As it turned out the show entailed one of the cast members had started drinking at 5pm (the show started at 10pm), was therefore shit-faced and had to struggle through a performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Not quite what Shakespeare intended.
The drunkard played, or at least attempted to play, Lysander in a scaled down version of the classic. So whilst the other three, sober actors rang out their lines perfectly we were left waiting as the drunkard slurred, forgot and replaced his lines with other more amusing bits of dialogue. The other catch was that two audience members had a gong and a whistle which they could ring any time in the show and he had to drink a bottle of beer to presumably keep his, erm spirits up.

I bet his parents are proud
What started out as quite entertaining, and certainly a unique idea, did start to drag a little as the other actors and actresses repeated their lines time and again whilst the drunkard played up to being on stage. There was also the issue as to how drunk he really was. If he was as drunk as they claimed then he did well to reel out some of the lines he did, but likewise if his intoxication was all an act then it was one of the best pieces of acting I've ever seen. Either way he played up to being the centre of attention brilliantly.
The real star of the show was Puck however, coming on in scenes by himself, dancing around and providing moments of genuine comedy without the aid of alcohol. Definitely one of the odder shows on at Edinburgh and if different is what you're looking for it's well worth a look, although the novelty factor does wear off.

No comments:

Post a Comment