Nearing the end of my little stint in Edinburgh so I wanted to make the most of it. The first show of the day was by Paines Plough and was technically 2 shows, each written by a Scottish playwright (David Greig and David Harrower). The plays were called Letter of Last Resort and Good with People respectively.
Letter of Last Resort was a very entertaining piece based around a new PM on their first day in office and the writing of a letter for our nuclear submarines. The piece was simple and had a gripping premise. The design had some cool projection, if in my opinion, a little unnecessary for the majority of the piece.
The second piece, Good with People, looked at growing older, changes in thinking, changes to environment and letting go of the past. A great piece with some lovely moments, if a little confusing until the end when everything is brought together nicely. Both pieces were exceptionally well received and, albeit an early start, I was hoping these pieces set the bar for the rest of the day.
Next up was The Magician’s Daughter by the RSC and Little Angel. A thoroughly entertaining family show! Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, this piece introduced children to classical text through fun songs, great poetry and a fantastic piece. My day was on track to be great!
Then it was back to The Traverse for the final show for me at this venue; Monkey Bars. This show had recently been awarded a Fringe First and with good reason. A verbatim piece that placed the comments, thoughts and conversations of children into the mouths of adults, completely unedited. Some conversations looked at politics and royalty, whilst others looked at careers in the future. Placed into adult scenarios (bars or election campaigns) this was a truly wonderful piece of theatre and highlights the wisdom, creativity and individual thoughts of children who always go unheard. I was so impressed with this show and I’d urge you to see it! A truly fantastic production.
Next up was another award winner and Old Vic New Voices piece, Chapel Street back at the Underbelly. A piece that was aiming to be relevant and speak about/on behalf of the ‘young generation’. Whilst this was achieved to a degree, some content may alienate older audience members and elements of the script felt lazy-however, there were funny moments and overall was an ok show.
A quick jog to Summerhall to catch Remember Me. A visceral 20 min piece of physical theatre, compounded with beautiful lighting and stage effects. A personal highlight was the combination of two overlapping pepper’s ghosts that gave the effect of the naked male and female form rippling together. A gripping piece with high impact.
Then it was off to St Stephen’s to see Northern Stage’s Oh, The Humanity and Other Good Intentions. This was a selection of 5 short pieces that worked together wonderfully. The stage and space looked fantastic and I personally loved the design for the set, which utilised shadow beautifully and effectively. The pieces themselves were all extremely original, thought-provoking and relevant to every audience member. Questions were posed on life, loss, desperation, achievement and a need/desire to be seen. The show did divide the audience and seemed to be very much a marmite piece-personally, I loved it and would recommend it.
Next, a brief respite at Edinburgh’s best Indian, Mother India. I won’t dwell, but the food is served tapas style so you get a range of some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had in one sitting. Beautiful. Suffice it to say-if you’re ever in Edinburgh, go! The food is worth the inevitable wait-no advance bookings are taken-just go!
Next up was the cabaret and comedy duo, Bourgeois and Maurice with their new show, Sugartits. I have loved this pair since I first saw them a couple of years back and I was not disappointed. Packed with hilarious songs (some focused on up to date news stories, others social commentaries all delivered hilariously!!!), great comedy, and interactivity (I ended up being part of the final dance which took me by surprise to say the least!), this was a fantastic way to finish the day. If they pop to your neck of the woods, just go. A great night out with many surprises and laughs… Watch out Windsor….
Finally, it was bed time. The bag was packed, I passed up a third night of battered foods (which was a shame!), and I hit the hay ready for my final day at the Fringe this year!