Aug 14, 2007

Stepping Back from the Fringe

The final reviews of the season...
Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath: As far as depressing theatre goes, this was pretty up there. A one-woman play, it tells the story of Esther (self-proclaimed housewife and poet) in the last moments before her death (having stuck her head in the over). The "effects" (a talking oven, and Esther's hallucinations and memories portrayed on screen with her doing all the voice-overs) alternated between clever and slightly annoying. All in all, though, a remarkable performance and a moving story. Someone hand me the kleenex, please.

Owen Powell: Show number 2 of the Sunday was Powell's 1hr exposition on "the two closest Starbucks in Britain." Using powerpoint slides, pie charts, video footage and barrista testimony, this quirky and rather endearing comedian took us along for an entertaining ride in his quest to find same-brand coffee shops spaced less than a hundred steps apart. And find them he did; now what does that say about our society? Some interesting potential MBA case-study there, I think.

Sting for Nolte: Last few hours in Edinburgh, last show, and last-minute contender for the hotly disputed Res Ipsa award. This play is about a young philosophy professor who loses his fiancee (and his mind) when he ditches serious research in favour of a futile attempt to convince Sting to remake all of Nick Nolte's films. Sounds weird, I know, but somehow it works. An acting tour de force and wonderfully quirky, although I wouldn't recommend it to Sting...

So there it is, fifteen shows in total (out of more than 2000...) and almost all of them wonderfully entertaining. And of course, all set in the fabulous city that is Edinburgh. Now if you're only interested in seeing the city itself (and you should if you haven't already), then August is probably the worst time to go, as you'll be battling with throngs of not-always-sober theatre-goers and hounded by desperate performers pushing their flyers onto the unsuspecting passerby. But if you enjoy theatre, music, comedy, and people doing strange things in the name of art, then this is a must-see event.

Now I realize that these past few posts have probably held little interest for any of my readers that are not already at the Fringe or planning to go over the next couple weeks, but hey, it's my blog and I do what I want. In any event, my INSEAD-minded friends need not worry, I'll be back to blog about statistics and fancy-dress parties soon enough. Before I do, though, I would like to leave you with a picture of a large upside-down purple cow, because who doesn't want to see that?!

And, at DTLF's request, a snapshot of my fellow buskers from Grassmarket on Friday night, as we happily massacred Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue":

And now, here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for, the 2007 Res Ipsa's Favourite Fringe Show award. I must have changed my mind about this a dozen times, but in the end, the award goes to... "Failed States" (with honourable mention to "State of Matter", "Out of the Blue" and "Sting for Nolte").

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