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On the Fringes: A Long Weekend in Edinburgh

On the Fringes: A Long Weekend in Edinburgh

Right now I am recovering from a particularly unpleasant throat ache. It literally feels like a tiny, bitter lumberjack has been quietly hacking away at my voice box. My poor ears feel like they’ve been unceremoniously stuffed with sand.

Despite this, I am in good spirits. You see I rarely get ill, owing in part to my pretty healthy (and totally tedious) lifestyle. The very fact of me being ill means that I have had some genuine FUN. For once I have dropped the dull façade of a dispirited twenty-something and embraced the ‘You Only Live Once’ attitude (known as YOLO to the hip at heart) that my generation is so good at.

The four days I spent at Edinburgh Fringe Festival were, for want of a better word, FUN. Pure, unadulterated fun. This is the second time I’ve been lucky enough to attend the festival, and I sure as hell hope I get to go back again someday. With its cosmopolitan vibe and kooky Scottish charm, Edinburgh is the perfect stage for up-and-coming comedians, actors and performers. There’s something nice, too, about a festival where the likelihood of wading through knee-deep mud is very low. Unless you’re at The Hive, that is. We saw seven acts in total – a lucky number for some. Below I’ve scribbled a few words about each one!

Hot Dub Time Machine

How can I describe this? I would say ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ but that doesn’t quite do it justice. This amazing club night took us through a ‘time machine’ of music, starting from 1954 and ending in the present day. A super enthusiastic DJ manned the decks while an on-screen Aussie flight hostess took us through our paces. It was so good that our muscles ached the next day. Now that’s what I call clubbing.

Reginald D. Hunter – Work in Progress

I didn’t really know much about Reginald D. Hunter before going to see him. I’m one of those people who is happy to tag along and see something if the opportunity arises. So it was that I ended up sitting in a room stuffed full of people and trying my hardest not to wrinkle my brow as this ‘comedian’ spent an hour mouthing off about women. Sure, he did it in an intellectual way so that it couldn’t be misconstrued as misogyny. I just wasn’t buying it.

Out of the Blue

As always, this cheeky band of Oxford boys brought laughs and applause a-plenty. Along with some truly fabulous renditions of California Girls and Mambo No. 5 there was a new skit about a human drum kit and some more mellow tunes that really showcased their fantastic voices. The line-up changes every few years or so, but hopefully the band will stand the test of time. This acapella troupe really blows the brats from Glee out of the water.

The Ladyboys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens

The Thai lovelies never fail to disappoint with their terrible lip-synching and risqué costume changes. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Britney were all immortalised as was living legend Tina Turner (complete with fabulous ‘eighties mullet). At one point, some giant beach balls were chucked around the crowd. It’s just that kinda show. Polite as always, the gang thanked their Scottish hosts by donning kilts for a moving rendition of Loch Lomond. I did spend some time searching for tell-tale bulges but honestly, there wasn’t even a hint of one. These ‘ladies’ know how to tuck!

Eastend Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky

Ever heard of a ‘danger wank’? Neither had I, until I saw this show. In a dingy, dungeon-like room in the Udderbelly the Eastend Cabaret coined the term. Sporting fabulously OTT costumes, this dynamic duo sang cheeky songs about everything from de-flowering to necrophilia, with a little bit of unrequited love thrown in for good measure.

The 27 Club

We’ve all heard of the 27 club – that tortured (but brilliant) gaggle of musicians who died bizarrely young. Set in one of the charming circus themed arenas, this show had arguably bagged the best location. The performance itself however was a bit, well, lacking. The singers, especially the buxom blonde lady who sang Janis Joplin’s hit tune ‘Another Little Piece of My Heart,’ were really talented, but they just didn’t match up to the real thing. Some of the ‘filler’ songs which told the story of each member’s death went on a little too long and I occasionally found myself zoning out. The best part of the show was hearing about the suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of these musical legends. I didn’t, for instance, know that the bullet from Kurt Cobain’s gun was found at the wrong side of his body for a suicide (he was left-handed).

Translunar Paradise

This play mime told the story of an old man who had recently lost his wife and was reminiscing about their time together. I have to say; this show wasn’t really my thing. Much as I appreciate theatre, I am by nature a wordsmith, so a story without spoken language doesn’t really appeal to me. Having said that, the acting was fantastic and the eerie mood set by the accordionist was spot on. The old people masks were terrifyingly realistic, and the minimal use of props was pretty admirable.

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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