Owing to work and travel I haven’t seen many Fringe shows this year, but here’s what I did see:
- The Half: Well-performed tragicomedy about a comedy double-act (both women) reuniting after a decade. Very much about what it’s like to be a woman in theatre/comedy.
- Afternoon Concert at St. Michael and All Saints (Free): The Roxburgh Quartet played Dvorak’s “The American” and some Mozart (I think). Not bad; good first violin, but the cellist was weaker.
- Museum After Hours: A medley of 15 minute samplers from comedians, poets, and circus acts.
- I enjoyed SHIFT‘s cyr wheel acrobatics – or at least, what little I could see of it due to the dreadful staging (not their fault). Pro tip: unless your circus performers are on stilts, you better have raked seating or an elevated stage.
- Jay Lafferty had great delivery but spent her time dunking on obvious/tired subjects (millennials, Brexiters, rich people, health and safety, gluten intolerance).
- Ben Target‘s physical meta-comedy was met with aggrieved incomprehension from the mostly-aged audience; I thought at least half the jokes were pretty great, which is a good hit rate.
- Solid acrobatics from Tabarnak. Shame it was all over in just five minutes.
- My highlight was Toby Thompson‘s lovely and funny poetry, whom we saw on Kate Tempest’s recommendation. I’ll try to catch his full show next week.
- Once Upon a Daydream: Adventurous family-friendly mix of live action, music, and animation by a Taiwanese company. There are many good bits but the “miserable single woman seeks happiness through love” theme was tiresome.
- First Snow / Première neige: The most Canadian thing I’ve ever seen. Deeply earnest, mulingual, multicultural, multinational, fourth-wall breaking, overly concerned about its place in the world, with good acting, important story, and confused execution. You can tell this is devised theatre.
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