Look, I wanted to do a recommendation post on Sunday, but I just like... hadn't seen anything good enough.
Now I have. You're welcome:
FOR ONLY AN HOUR - 19:35 - DanceBase: This is, and I'm not exaggerating even one iota, a perfectly formed piece of queer art. Phil Sanger is a dancer, but it's so much more than dance. It's drag and Dance and storytelling and dance and comedy and history and song and love. Love for himself, love for all of us queers, love for everything a queer artist has ever made or ever loved. It's a tapestry, a collage, a museum of perfect, beautiful moments. I'm gonna see it again. I've got a 500 word Broadway Baby review in the pipes and I could probably triple the length off the top of my head. I haven't stopped thinking about it like, a single time since it ended. See this show. (Full Review)
EVERYTHING I SEE I SWALLOW - 18:00 - Summerhall: The best mother/daughter play I've seen in a long time. Their relationship is based around competing feminist analyses. What happens when a hardcore second-waver's beautiful daughter becomes an Instagram shibari artist? Beautiful fucking circus is what happens. These women did shit with and on ropes that I had never imagined possible, including a d o u b l e s a c t. I said 'what the fuck' to myself about six times *during the show*.
ISLANDER - 10:00 - Summerhall: Look, an early night would definitely be good for you anyway. Have one, and then drag yourself out of bed and be swept away. It's a musical. It's in the Roundabout. If you're not sold already, we need to have a chat (and also go see something in the Roundabout together). A two-woman cast conjures an entire Scottish island voting to stay or go, and an encounter with their mythic cousins, whose island follows the whales. Live mixing on stage, expert character work, otherworldly voices. Don't miss it - it's not *that* early.
BACKBONE - 18:00 (70 mins) - Underbelly: So, the first time an acrobat shoves a base out from under a flyer, it's fucking terrifying. The tenth time it's... still terrifying. The gasps, y'all. The crowd in McEwan was gasping like you wouldn't g-ddamn believe. These Australians are WILD, and incredibly fun, and use every inch of the height they have in McEwan. Also live music. Also, *this is how you design lighting for circus*. It's magical, it's death-defying, they have giant rocks for... fun? It's so worth it. (Full Review)
Originally posted to broadwaybaby.com
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Forest in question refers to the cast – a fourteen strong group of graduates from the Moscow Art Theatre School. But they are not doing Stanslavski’s naturalism here. Instead, the large cast move carefully, deliberately, until a woman is standing on an upturned log, singing. The lyrics are in Russian, like all lyrics and voiceovers in this show, and the song is hauntingly beautiful.
Originally published to broadwaybaby.com
A raven mother, in German, is a neglectful one. One who values her own life, her own ability to fly, over that of her children’s. It’s a charge the three performers who created Raven with director Bryony Kimmings are deeply familiar with. After all, how could they possibly even want to continue their careers as circus artists after having children? Can they maintain the physique? Tour? Train at all?
Originally published to broadwaybaby.com
Journalist Lauren Booth’s first solo show, Accidentally Muslim, promises a journey from ‘Soho hedonism’ to a shocking revelation in a mosque. The journey she actually goes on – through life and through this performance – is fascinating in its own right but doesn’t match the one promised.
Side by Side Theatre Company, serving learning disabled performers from the West Midlands, returns to Paradise in Augustines this year with their adaptation of As You Like It, the Summer of Love-themed As We Like It. Adapted by founder and Artistic Director Susan Wallin, As We Like It condenses the story, adds music, and tailors the play to the talents of the actors.
It goes so fast and also so slow! The depressing nature of last week's recs has been made up for in spades in this delightful week:
1. Attrape Moi, Assembly Hall, 17:30 - If you, like me, think that circus should be fun, and that hyping up the audience shouldn't be necessary, and that circus weirdos should be friends, WATCH THIS CIRCUS that is by and about friends who are just having fun and make no effort to convince you to clap except by their BOSS CIRCUS SKILLS. Fast paced, wall-to-wall awesome, and with a bunch of acts that you don't usually see at the Fringe. Don't miss it. (It is the same show as in 2016 if you saw that, but also, see it again, why wouldn't you, joy is fun)
2. Stick By Me, Dance Base, 12:30 - Yes, it is for children. Yes, it is incredibly delightful. Yes, I did giggle through the whole thing. A man explores the confines of the stage with his popsicle/ lolly stick friend. It's cute af. He uses up like, a whole roll's worth of tape just for fun. The kids in the audience like to give running commentary on the action. It's great.
3. YUMMY, Assembly Roxy, 21:40 - Admittedly this is the only drag show I've seen thus far but it had it all - it was funny, awesome, weird as hell. A cast of seven Australian queens doing their thing for an hour. What more can you ask for?
4. WHITE, Pleasance Courtyard, 11:30 - Okay so this one breaks theme a little but it is a really well done and important solo show about being mixed race in Britain, and all the ways in which that is and isn't it's own thing. It's not the most polished thing I've seen but it really builds on itself well and the music/ looping that's central to the production was really really good, as well as the lyrics/script. Highly recommended.
I can't believe there's only a week left... start packing in those things you meant to see, kids!
If you’ve ever felt stuck between two groups, both suspicious of you and neither accepting of the other, you may have the slightest indication of what Koko Brown is trying to communicate in WHITE, her solo show about being mixed race in modern Britain.
There is nothing so delightful as watching something you assume to be impossible done before your eyes. Attrape Moi, by Quebecois company Flip FabriQue, perfectly captures this delight in every single moment of its packed Fringe offering returning from 2016. The fast-paced acts and character driven transitions eschew grandstanding and fishing for applause in favour of keeping the show going, but the audience has no trouble interjecting to show their appreciation.
We all remember the feeling of temptation to open the box that we’re not supposed to open as a small child. Judging by his excellent performance in Stick By Me, Andy Manley does too. On a minimal but hugely effective set, he goes on a complete adventure with a cast of other characters – all of them lolly sticks.
How to Spot an Alien might seem like an obscure skillset for 21st century children, but for Jelly and Jonjo, the two protagonists of Paines Plough’s annual offering for young audiences, it becomes a matter of life and death. The intensely inquisitive young siblings, played by Charlotte O’Leary and Jack Wilkinson, awake one day to an announcement that their mother has “disappeared never to return again” and go to live with their Aunt Lena, a strange woman they’ve never heard of before. She had strange rules, too – like “No questions,” “No thinking inside the house,” and “No leaving the house.”
I'm Alex, a theatre-maker based in the Bay Area with an outpost in Edinburgh, Scotland.