1 September 2009

Take heart, brothers. It draws to a close.

So! As promised, an update! It's a big one, I warn you...

First up on the big list of stuff to see was Rhod Gilbert, and for those of you who aren't familiar, he's a rather funny ranting Welshman who's made a swathe of succesful Fringe shows over the last few years, as well as being a radio DJ and a frequent participant in the many panel shows that grace the UK's screens. So, y'know, expectations were high, given that this was an extra show thrown on due to high demand, and that every single one his shows sold every single one of their tickets.

His show was absolute magic, with him not losing my attention for a single moment. From rants about some of the more mental of his fans, to the inception of his show, it's all seamless integrated with banter with the audience and some inventive mimes. He practically bounds from one side of the stage to the other, and only ever breaks pace once when the fighter jets for the Tatoo fly overhead. A superlative comedy performance indeed.

Next up was an extra show of The Mark Watson Edit which, on the surface at least, claims to be an amalgamation of the best parts of his previous three fringe shows. This too was an additional show to those previously scheduled, and though the ticket was £14, it was well worth it. Completely against what was advertised, Watson instead decides to just talk for an hour, engaging with the audience to such a such a degree that we're able to stage a practical joke on one of our fellow viewers - a girl named Banana, of all things - whereby he pretends to tell a climatic story ending with 'but at the end of the day, it turned out the kangoroo wasn't really there!'. It's marred somewhat by a man in the audience passing out, but he didn't break a sweat, doing his very best to keep the audience calm as there're worries of heart attacks being thrown around. A good show with a slightly disappointing ending - you can do worse.

Had to cool off for a few days after that - Mark Watson was on Tuesday, and we didn't go see anything until the Saturday the 29th. That was Brendon Burns, and by god did he kill. A regularly scheduled show called 'Comedy Good Yeah Silly Side Cunt' was certainly one of the highlights of the festival, with him musing on everything from racism to the nature of advertising. Of course, it was in his own foul-mouthed, earthy manner, but each to their own. A highlight was his note on racist chavs who complain that immigrants are taking all their jobs. His retort? 'If there are jobs that I'm stealing off you, you need to raise your game, you fucking spastic'. Genius.

Russell Kane was on Sunday, and by Steve, he was hilarious. An absolute riot, his comedy a combination of high-brow observation and low-brow delivery. He's tackling big issues - his major theme this year is the 'dressages' that we put ourselves through out of habit, from the ritual of greeting eachother to the methods of Essex girls pulling in clubs, it's all covered here, and I can genuinely see why he's so competitive for the if.comedy award - the man is fiercely intelligent, and yet is over-looked every year despite sell-out shows and rave reviews.

On Monday, I went to see Bec Hill in If You Read This My Cape Fell Off. Bec's a relatively good festival friend of mine, and I kinda really only went along because I did feel obliged to see it since she was a friend! But I was geniunely surprised at just how good it was. She's brilliant on-stage, infusing everything with a boundless, optimistic energy that is almost immediately infectious. Her show revolves around wanting to be a super-hero even though we're meant to have grown out of it. She gives us a few basic steps, and expends around each one with a relevant and usually hilarious story that fills out the background to her decided what the step was. Type her name into YouTube to get a vibe of her humour - it's geniuenly brilliant.

Then, yesterday, there was my last day at the Fringe. This involved finishing work at 5pm and then heading over to Gilded Balloon to go see Sirqus Alfons' Eurotrash, which was absolutely mental. Google it, seriously. It's a mind-fuck of physical comedy, musical comedy and multimedia performance, and is more or less critic-proof. After that, a 'mind-reader' called Phillip Escoffey, which was interesting, but once we had dissected it together, we had all more or less figured out that all of it was staged.

The final flourish, though, was the Last Late 'n' Live. That was absolutely magic - despite the fact that Tom Stade got boo-ed off the stage, Adam Hills, Axis of Awesome and Sirqus Alfons. A brilliant end to a relatively sedate festival for me - last year I was out and about all day getting very little sleep and drinking perhaps a smidge too much. This year, a grand total of 3 nights out were had, two of which sucked ass royally. But anyways, I can hardly complain - got to see some excellent comedy over the course of the month, and got a few funky little videos out of it. I do apologise for not doing a fourth and final 'Walk Down the Mile', but the place was just so crowded that it just became a mass of backs and noise.

Will do an update of non-festival related stuff later - depends on whether I actually get Batman: Arkham Asylum or not. We shall see!

Until then, adieu!


Lynne said...

Rhod Gilbert great on Mock The Week. Good to know your Fesival ended on a good note with some great acts to ear-mark for the future. Roll on next year, or will it just be Gilded Balloon involvement?

Lynne said...

OMG! Company I work for in negotiations with Rhod-G to do a TV special! How neat is that!