Day 2: this was a long but brilliant day! 8 events back to back with, at best, 45mins between each show to get to the next one-again, good old fast food came into play and broke the day up (with slightly healthier alternatives!): panini, jacket potato and a battered cheeseburger on the way home… Don’t judge!
I left you with 10mins to go until The Golden Cowpat; a family show about a magical cow that, well, you can guess from the title. Truly charming show with some great music and excellent storytelling-with little kids up and dancing, joining in actions and even bidding in a Cowpat auction-it was a great show to kick off the day and something I’m recommend to parents. I then had a bit of time to relax in the Pleasance Courtyard-a great variety of bars and spaces that you should go and see if you have the chance.
Next up was the House networking event. I’m in Edinburgh thanks to this new company that is bringing together venues in the south east for collaboration and ideas. I met some new people, saw some names that have been on my ‘must meet’ list and had some interesting conversations.
Then, a quick walk over to the Pleasance Dome-the uni building-which, by the way, has THE best bar space available. I was here to see The Gambler. This had caught my eye due to it being an international collective of artists melding theatre, physicality, dance and live music to create a powerful piece. It was a tightly worked piece that held the audience throughout, dealing with gambling addiction and the thought processes behind it. A very solid show that was intriguing and thought-provoking.
Then off to C Nova to catch (remor), a physical theatre piece lasting only 11mins. I was curious as to what we’d see in such a short space of time, but this was a beautifully intense 11 minutes of perfectly choreographed physical theatre. Set in a prison cell, the audience gain an insight into the thought process of a couple stuck in a tiny room, and you’re in there with them in a literal cell. An excellent piece that was adding to the great run of shows that day!
Next was One Hour Only, a piece funded by the Old Vic New Voices and Ideas Tap. A 2man cast and exactly an hour see power play, debate, sex and reason fighting for supremacy, with a hint of attraction and love underneath. The piece is set in a brothel with a working girl’s first night and a punter’s first visit-the story, brilliant, gritty, edgy and, if slightly stretched, believable. The set was evocative and brilliantly designed. A fantastic piece.
The Lonely One followed this: a piece created by an associate of Little Angel Theatre and the company dotted line. Rooting the show firmly in shadow puppetry, this was a ghost story/murder mystery with some great atmosphere. Injections of comedy were found in some characters (a shadow puppet grandma with a shotgun for example) whilst others added depth to this little town (a man smoking a cigar, exhaling smoke In shadow puppet form was a personal favourite). A very solid and enjoyable piece - only criticism was the American accents used by the cast; some kept slipping. Other than that, a great show!
Then a brisk walk to the Sapphire Rooms (a gentleman’s bar either side of the festival and after shows) to see Mr Joe Black with his show, Sex, Drugs and Vaudeville. I’m not going to say too much as Joe is joining us quite a bit this coming season and you’ll have to see for yourself: suffice it to say that gin japery, great songs, brilliant jokes, much silliness and even some audience interaction make this a great night out.
Finally, it was another brisk walk back to Bedlam Theatre to catch DugOut’s Inheritance Blues. I saw DugOut a few years back and was really impressed by their work-since then they have been consistently excellent with rave reviews and multiple awards. This show is devised and looks at a blues band’s career making day as they play at a wake. With meta-theatre, a great story, interesting characters, deft choreography and direction, a great range of live music and songs, not to mention it being very very funny, this was a fantastic show.
This rounded off the day nicely and again, hit the hay around 1am. I’m up and ready for day 3 now which sees Les Enfants Terribles’ 'The Trench’, Bullet Catch and Translunar Paradise. Looking forward to it all!