Another week, another Edinburgh round up
We're sat here on the bed without anything on. Not by choice.
More from Harry Clayton-Wright
We ran out of clothes and they're with the woman who is doing our laundry for us. Naked, we sit and write this for you. What's been going down? Well, we went on our first gay night out here in Edinburgh. We visited The Street and CC Blooms and it's at this point we'd like to say that we really can't get enough of cheap drinks and mirrored walls. Makes scanning the room and looking for hot guys just that little bit easier. It was a fun night that consisted of recreating the original Beyoncé choreography from the Run The World video. We owned it.
Shows we've been to see in the last week:
Jay Foreman: We're Living in the Future - Underbelly
He's a boy with a beard who plays comedy songs on an acoustic guitar. The show is about how the future has caught up with us so fast. Jay sings about Angry Birds, a sofa made of human skin and emoticon text-etiquette. Jay Foreman is a talented musician and his songs are very catchy. He has a gentle style and his lyrics contain material that is interesting, quick and clever.
Jay Foreman: We're Living in the Future
May I Have The Pleasure… ? - Traverse at The Point Hotel Conference Centre
The first of our Adrian Howell theatre experiences was May I Have The Pleasure… ? which is set at a wedding party. On the top floor of the Point Hotel in Edinburgh, it feels exactly like you're at the reception of a ceremony you've been to. Adrian shares his story; he's been to over sixty weddings but he's always the bridesmaid (best man) and never the bride. We're shown footage from his wedding experiences and, over the duration of the evening, the group bonds through sharing stories and collectively listening to a soundtrack of wedding party classics with Adrian slow dancing with choice audience members. The night ended with champagne and an amazing view over the beautiful city of Edinburgh partying to some disco classics with a group of strangers. It was pretty magical.
Ruby Wax (pictured): Losing It - E4 Udderbelly
We've always been a major fan of Ruby Wax and this was one the shows that was top of our list of things to see. It's an explorative insight into mental illness that makes a sometimes difficult topic accessible and very funny. Judith Owen accompanies on piano with beautiful songs that really compliment Ruby's caustic humour and self-deprecating manner. The show really takes you on a (we hate the word but we can use it now X Factor has started) journey and is a real cathartic experience. It's transferring to the West End from the 31st August to 1st October so if you can't make the festival, you should definitely book your tickets to see it then.
Ruby Wax: Losing It
Camille O'Sullivan: Feel - Pleasance Courtyard
This was stunning. The show has a magical and fairytale feel with the beautiful props and set dressing. Camille has the most magnetic quality when you're watching her perform. She's enchanting and bewitching. Her band are such talented musicians and the sound that hits you is incredible. Her vocal performance is so interesting, with unexpected turns at every corner, and her interaction with the audience is like watching a cross between a child playing and a circus clown. It's a gorgeously eccentric world with so many influences and, if only for an hour, we loved being a part of.
Camille O'Sullivan: Feel
Hi Jinks with The Hamiltons - E4 Udderbelly
Christine and Neil Hamilton have a show here and, as you'd expect from the couple, it's high camp. We're treated to projected images of the Hamiltons throughout their life and career (the one of them as Adam and Eve was really something); they drink champagne from the outset and just sit and chat with their guests and of course, Christine naturally oozes her highly flirtatiousness energy. They break the ice by making fun of themselves and their past in the opening monologue and it's nice to get all that out of the way. This show saw Anita Dobson, Gyles Brandreth and the London Gay Men's Chorus as guests. At the end of the show everyone gets up to sing Land of Hope and Glory, accompanied by Worbey and Farrell. Everyone was waving flags and it was one of those highly surreal moments where we had to pinch ourselves to see if we were actually dreaming. But no, it happened.
Mae Day: I'm Not Waving, I'm Drowning - The Rat Pack
Mae Martin is the hottest girl twink we've seen and really owns that title. She loves Harry Potter, is just that little bit neurotic and is so very funny. Singing songs about Don Cheadle and a zombie apocalypse, we laughed a lot. She has this really funny, endearingly awkward and yet very natural stage presence. The audience really loved her and so did we. And here's an interesting fact too, she sent a video of the Don Cheadle song to his agent and then got a reply from Don himself with this picture. We love trivia.
Mae Day: I'm Not Waving, I'm Drowning
Eat Your Heart Out - Assembly George Square
One of the shows we really weren't that fond of. It was far too long to sit through when we only enjoyed two of the acts. Though Scottee was an excellent compere, it was Myra Dubois who was the saviour of the show. Overall though, it was a tedious experience with a feeling of the acts using the banner of performance art to excuse a certain amount of laziness.
Eat Your Heart Out
The Pleasure of Being: Washing, Feeding, Holding - The Point Hotel
We were lucky enough to take part in one of the most talked about shows here at the Fringe. Adrian Howells, who we saw in May I Have The Pleasure… ? earlier on in the week, has created a remarkably intimate, one-on-one theatrical experience like no other where you are washed, fed and held. Sat outside the hotel room, we were actually pretty nervous. This is the most confronting thing we'll do here at the festival. And intimacy is scary enough (who's with me?). We step into the room, read the instructions and undress. With the robe on, we knocked on the bathroom door with a bit of trepidation. Adrian warmly greets us and we immediately began to feel a level of comfort. Candles are flickering and we see a bath full of petals. We're instructed to disrobe and get in the bath. It's the perfect temperature and we begin to relax. We're washed from head to toe (to clarify, not down there), he even cleans inside our ears which makes us smile. It's like being a child again. After getting out of the bath and feeling really refreshed, relaxed and revitalised, we join Adrian on a mound of cushions on the floor where we're invited to be cradled in his arms. It sounds like it would be odd or uncomfortable but surprisingly it really wasn't. Since there was nothing sexual behind the motives, it was really nice to have that caring act of kindness. We actually gave Adrian a hug afterwards as a sort of thank you and to feel like we gave something back. Walking down the street afterwards, it felt like our spirit had been lifted and we felt a real sense of calm.
Dry Ice - Underbelly
A one-woman monologue about the life of a stripper. It's a show that is a well written, wonderfully lyrical story that is told in a really interesting way. Sabrina Mahfouz's performance was really something, flowing in and out so many different characters with the greatest of ease. We're a big fan of this show which, quite interestingly, was directed by David Schwimmer.
The Midnight Beast - E4 Udderbelly
The Midnight Beast are a product of the internet and social media generation. Finding fame on YouTube, they've had nearly forty million views. Their parody of Ke$ha's Tik Tok has had over twelve million alone. You've probably seen it. The reaction of the crowd was something that we weren't expecting. It was like being at a Justin Bieber concert but with the audience looking more like one big cast of Skins. It went crazy. The funny thing is that they have created what they make fun of in one of their songs parodying boybands. They've attained a level of hysteria and it's quite amazing to see.
(You can't get any tickets because there were only two shows and you missed them)
Marcel Lucont Etc: A Chat Show - Underbelly
Marcel Lucont is one of those really funny gems that we're so glad to have found here at the Fringe. He steps out on the stage for his chat show, barefoot and with a glass of red wine in his hand. Did we mention that he's French? It's something that makes for incredibly funny stand-up. Who knew? He has the audience in the palm of his hands from the start of the show and we came on the right night as the guests were great. Sarah Millican, who is now one the biggest names here, and Abi Titmuss, an equally big name who is here performing in the show Dusk Rings a Bell. Marcel is a great interviewer who gets away with being quite cheeky. It's a lot of fun and oh yeah, we have a crush on him too.
Marcel Lucont Etc: A Chat Show
When Women Wee - Underbelly
The show is set in a toilet with the premise that you're going to hear and see what women really get up to in the loos. Well, mostly vulgar women who are a bit TOWIE. If women really behave like that in toilets then thank goodness we're gay.
When Women Wee
Worbey and Farrell: Well Strung - Cow Barn
Worbey and Farrell can beat the shit out of a piano. Four hands fingering away on the keys like crazy. It's very impressive. Classical music is presented in this lighthearted show by these highly dexterous and very skilled pianists. They're very old school and it's a show we'd want to take our Nana to go and see. She loves them camp.
Worbey and Farrell: Well Strung
Cabaret Whore: More! More! More! - Underbelly
Four characters played by one woman in this one hour show. There's Bernie St. Clair, a washed-up cross between Liza and Celine Dion; Kasia, the Eastern European ukulele playing performance artiste; Baby Doll, a seventies throwback and little girl who refuses to grow up and La Poule Plombée, an Edith Piaf parody. They're original songs that are performed well. Though it's not as funny as it could be. Some of it feels like it's performed too much on one level and even the darker moments aren't taken to where we wanted them to go. It would have been nice to have a bit more of a contrast. The show is maybe for a more mature audience, but the characters are clever parodies and we warmed to all of them.
Cabaret Whore: More! More! More!
Oyster Eyes: Keeping the Captain Warm - Just the Tonic at the Caves.
A bizarre sketch show. Very surreal but definitely brilliant. It's like the kids from school who were just really odd all teamed together to write a sketch show and are just rejoicing in their collective sense of ridiculous. It's infectious too. With four in the troupe, there isn't a weak link in the chain. We couldn't pick a favourite though our highlight was the car crash stand-up comedy routine with jokes inspired by rabbits. Genius.
Oyster Eyes: Keeping the Captain Warm
IMAGE: Trevor Leighton