Monday, September 05, 2016

A glutinous weekend gorging on the final few days of the Fringe last weekend. 
Stuart Cosgrove in the Book Festival talking about Northern Soul. A strange and emotionally unengaging play notable (to my mind) only for featuring Siobhan and eight to ten other people popping on stage for the long-awaited final five minutes to sing Happy Birthday to an unfamiliar tune under ghost sheets. The exceptionally marvellous and carefully saved for the end Bucket List by Theatre Ad Infinitum, a Bristol-based company. It was funny, surprising and an indignant howl to the futility of our ant-like attempts to make things better. 
I have no idea what The Toad Knew was trying to say, in contrast. A man (an artiste) called James Thierée had created the most wonderful spectacle featuring all sorts of clanking flying wizardry, physical theatre, music, amazingness. And a toad. I am over the moon that this was featured as part of the International Festival. I have high hopes for future programming from Fergus Linehan.
Sunday began with Once, a colourful eclectic exuberant romp through the cruel futility of love. Derevo are a Russian physical theatre company who strayed more towards the frivolous this year than I've seen them do before. Maybe old(er) age agrees with their mastermind man, Anton Adasinsky.

Then a strange but energetic and very commendable piece of dance under the EIF umbrella at the EICC. Raw might have been about street urchins being saved or might have been about people needing each other. It wasn't terribly clear but it didn't really matter. It featured a passel of brats which dance doesn't usually (unless in Miss Ermintrude's over-indulged and over-long School Of Dance showcase) and it was impressive to see how they'd been corralled into something like order.
But Flip FabriQue were more my cup of tea. Their show took place at prime time 6pm at crowd-pleasing Assembly Hall.  Attrape Moi is essentially a street circus act with some props and a massive trampoline. But they performed it with such a mischievous, delighted air and such a boisterous brazen soundtrack that they were elevated from being just another acrobatics show to being something breath-taking and marvellous. Strangely, the pirate recordings do them a bit more justice than this official trailer. Suffice to say, three out of four of the female audience in my party are now following them on instagram. 
The day was rounded off with Michel Faber, speaking about death and his wife's death and the flimsiness of life and his coping through poetry back at the Book Festival. I was more tempted by seeing him than the topic, I must admit. I love his Crimson Petal and the White. But imagine his "crude fact and dirty detail" applied to the pretty cheerless topic of death from cancer. A strange counterpart to circus, for sure. Luckily, I found his poetry vaguely repulsive so my easy to water eyes were kept in check. And for all my prudishness, the audience seemed to contain a fair quantity of people with direct personal experience of what the man described. They claimed his poems brought them comfort. Who'm I to argue with that?
We rounded off that Fringe (Book Festival, International Festival) with something of a cast reunion on the Monday (forlorn clutching at strands of midsummer dreams) and some millions of pounds of fireworks. 
As after all good Augusts, my head is stretched, my heart is tugged every which way, my eyes are dazzled, my legs are a little weary and my "Fringe jacket", a little cold and damp. 
Only 51 weeks to go till the next one.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home