Aug. 27th, 2016

sebastienne: (notebook)
Children and Animals

Yeah, that link says nothing about what this show is, and that's really all we knew - it's by the same people as Callisto, in the slot right after, and featuring three of the same actors.

So no, I wasn't expecting to see a show that actually talked about and represented kink in a clear, joyful, complex-positive light. Not at lunchtime on a Thursday. Not in a show that had no actual sexual contact - I don't think there's even a kiss in it. Just an hour of energy, fear, roleplay, humour (so much humour, and kindness, even when people are being mean). The main characters were played by Cal and Tammy from Callisto (yes, my two favourites) and they are both just such phenomenal performers - maybe I could watch them read a phone book, I don't know. Looking forward to seeing Callisto again today!

A Luxury Cruise through the Horrifying Vacuum of Space

Another pair of performers I could watch doing pretty much anything, Sian & Zoe are alt comedians who did a lot with very little - minimalist props, a petite audience, a strange venue (I mean, it was a standard EdFringe room-conversion, but for some reason the windows were filled with mattresses wrapped in binbags and it was hotter than the surface of the sun. Despite these challenges, they brought joy and energy and the kind of surreal imagination and lateral thinking that reminds me of the Hitchikers Guide text adventure. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes sublime, always hilarious.

Mort, adapted by Tim Foster.

"So", I bounded up to these people as they flyered on the Royal Mile, "who's Tim Foster?"

A few words into their explanation, I cut them off: "so he's not Stephen Briggs, then? Good."

It was marvellous to see a Pratchett play with internally-coherent plot and good pacing. This was charming, had a Light-Entertainmenty feel, though I'm sticking to my interpretation that their Igneous Cutwell was not cross-casting, but was just a witch who'd realised she'd make more money if she set herself up as a wizard. And seeing fresh audiences laugh at jokes that have soothed me for twenty years - that will never get old.

Reefer Madness

This blew me out of my seat. I don't think this cast had a single weak link, I mean any one of them could have carried an entire musical; the intensity of all them working together, every performance a show-stealer, the tight band and the brilliant writing and the joyful chaotic choreography all pulled together perfectly to create the smoothest amateur musical I have ever seen. This would not have disappointed me on a West End stage (although then we'd probably lose the minimalist set and I'd probably not be able to sit in the front row and feel the actors' breath on my face). I liked this better than the film - and the film had Alan Cumming as the narrator. If I didn't already have evening tickets for the rest of my time here, I would DEFINITELY be seeing this again.

Trying to be fair-handed, can I think of any criticisms.. I wasn't always sure that the addition of throwaway pop culture references worked. They were funny - "you'll make Fred Astaire look like Boris Johnson!" but they did break the period immersion, and this is ultimately such a 1930s period piece that a sudden reference to Snapchat, while funny, felt to me like a reminder that this was an amateur show.

But that was the ONLY reminder. Reefer Madness is a whip-smart commentary on how White America reacts to things it doesn't understand; it's smart and sexy and fun and this production will stay with me for a long time.


sebastienne: My default icon: I'm a fat white person with short dark hair, looking over my glasses. (Default)

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