I only saw 4 Fringe acts this year, two the same as last year and two new ones. Here is a quick round up of the shows.
First off I saw Laura Solon: the Owl of Steven. I saw her perform Rabbit Faced Story Soup last year which I really enjoyed. Laura does an hour of story telling, doing the voices of her characters as well as being the narrator. This story involved two women going to the Island of Steven to film the famous and mysterious Owl. Unlike Rabbit Face Story Soup where the start of the show was a bit weak, this one started off really well and continued to be engaging and funny throughout. Unfortunately I found the ending to be very sudden and not particularly good, it felt like we were in the middle of a thickening plot rather than the ending.
Next I saw Reginald D Hunter’s Trophy Nigga. I think Reginald is hilarious on shows like Have I Got News For You so was keen to see what an hour of his stand-up would be like. I thought he was very funny and surprisingly philosophical, with a good balance of jokes and stories. The main theme was racism & bullying, which according to reviews of him, seems to be his theme for most shows – probably making him a little bit predictable if you’ve already seen another of his shows. One part I thought was brilliant when he was talking about cyber-bullying. Instead of having more security and helplines for the bullied, Reginald suggested the parents should just tell their kids to do something else, like eat a piece of cheese.
My favourite show last year was The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and it didn’t disappoint this year either. Totally new material (apart from the Sock Song at the start) based around TV shows. Incredibly crude, jokes so awful they were good and silly songs. Fantastic stuff considering it’s a guy behind a Punch & Judy stage wearing socks on his hands. Please go see it!!!
Finally yesterday I did the Faulty (sic) Towers Dining Experience. This was a 2 hour 3-course lunch in The B’est Restaurant (Drummond Street) with three actors playing Basil Fawlty, Sybil Fawlty and Manuel. The food was a little mediocre – you get a set menu of red lentil soup, chicken and mash (not a single vegetable) and an orange & ginger cheese cake – but considering there must have been 70 people there all at the same time, it was quite impressive. The show was great – Manuel was really spot on. Lots of ridiculous gaffs and a lot of interaction with the diners. Poor Steven was allergic to the soup and so got given raw celery and a carrot as a joke, and a lady asked for some more butter on our table resulting in endless comments about our butter needs.