Friday, June 26, 2009

What will it be...?

2 years ago, the show that everyone wanted to see was Fuerzabruta. Its Fringe programme entry was unremarkable, but soon the word-of-mouth spread (helped by the intensive flyering on the High Street). And it was fantastic: a memorable and unique experience that nearly everyone I spoke to saw and loved.

Last year, The Aluminum Show came close, containing that same surreal, joyous atmosphere that made you feel as though you were at a party on another planet.

So...what will it be this year?

A couple of contenders are Kataklo's return to the Fringe, after a captivating and beautiful sport-themed physical performance 3 years ago. Their Da Vinci-inspired show this year sounds as though it will be full of the same inspiring wonder as its predecessor.

The Tom Tom Crew could be another, with an explosive urban acrobatic act that at least looks as though it will have people snaking around the Udderbelly to get a glimpse of.

But I actually hope it's another under-the-radar show that unexpectedly appears - like Fuerzabruta before it - and brings everyone together in another magical experience that we will never forget.

The potential for that to happen is one of the many things which defines the Fringe for what it is. Unmissable.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We shall remember them

Some acts over the past few years have defined the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for me, and it is with a hint of sadness that I present this short roll-call of absentees from 2009's line up:

  • The Terrible Infants - I had high hopes for their return after last year's engaging and imaginative run (and they were on at the Udderbelly in London's South Bank earlier this month). But alas, their Roald Dahl-style morality tales will not be gracing Edinburgh this year. However, their company does appear to have a hand in a production running at the Pleasance - Ernest and the Pale Moon - so fingers crossed that contains a little pinch of Terrible Infant magic.
  • Gamarjobat - This one hurts. An Edinburgh Festival Fringe without these two madcap and energetic Japanese mime artists is hard to comprehend. Hopefully they're just taking a year off from Edinburgh and will be back, but the place will be a little less colourful without them. Hopefully Shut Up, Play! will help fill some of the lunatic Asian hole Gamarjobat will leave.
  • Drum Cat - say no more

However, don't get me wrong - I'm sure this year will be just as exciting, vibrant and vital as those previous. I'm actually excited to see what 2009's undiscovered delights turn out to be...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Festival highlights #1

Two of the shows I'm looking forward to at this year's Edinburgh Festival:

Faust by National Theatre ‘Radu Stanca' Sibiu (link)

This performance is a perfect example of how eclectic this year's Edinburgh International Festival programme is. A large-scale promenade performance by a Romanian company, this promises to be an assault on the senses, especially given its setting in the Lowland Hall of the Ingliston Showground exhibition centre (a venue more often used for less cultural events such as local antique fairs).

The gallery and video on the EIF site give a good impression of what to expect: a visually stunning and immersive theatrical experience that looks like the kind of show the Fringe is more used to playing host to.

Patti Plinko & Her Boy (link)

Patti (and The Boy) were an undisputed highlight for me last year, and I'm still listening to her debut album almost a year later. The visual and aural appeal of a slender slip of a girl and a gas-masked guitarist producing bewitching and unsettling noir cabaret tunes is deliciously unique.

Patti is also acquaintances with the divine Camille O'Sullivan, and inhabits the same vaudeville space as Amanda Palmer (both appearing this year) - might there be a collaboration made in greasepaint heaven waiting for us at 2009's Edinburgh Fringe..?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All sorted

All my tickets for the Edinburgh Festival, Book Festival and Fringe are now ordered and secured (all 54 of them).

That, coupled with the fact I have around 10 photoshoots arranged, means this could be the best year yet...

Special mention, kudos and thanks to the Fringe's "Friends of the Fringe" scheme, which got me 2-for-1 tickets to around 75% of the shows I'm seeing. I reckon that's saved me in the region of £200 this year, which should help pay for the bloody taxi bill...