From the Edinburgh Fringe

by Lynn on August 7, 2016

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live from Edinburgh

I’m here for the Fringe. Actually there are two theatre festivals going on at the same time. First is the formidable Fringe Festival with over 3000 events, including music, dance, theatre, comedy, performance art, etc. The other festival is the International Theatre Festival and includes The Glass Menagerie starring Cherry Jones, reprising her roll of Amanda she did on Broadway last year.

The Fringe runs until the end of August.

The city is hopping with people carrying and checking their thick Fringe Festival guides. It’s more than 300 pages which should give you an idea of its scope. The people are friendly; the city is easy to navigate on foot, bus and cab. It seems that every hole in the wall is a Fringe venue. Proper theatres like the King’s Theatre and the Lyceum etc. are given over to the International Theatre Festival offerings.

Edinburgh is wild with weather. The skies are dramatic with clouds, wind, rain, sunshine, and temperatures around 18 ° C or 68°F. I was told to bring a toque and a scarf. I just brought an extra sweater and corduroy jacket. I like it better than sweltering.

Some Fringe stuff I’ve seen so far:

We Are Brontë

At the Summerhall complex.

Created by Sarah Corbett and Angus Barr

Two mournful performers demystify the myths of the Brontë family using few props and two chairs. They recreate the gloom and weather of Yorkshire where Anne, Charlotte, Emily and Bramwell Brontë lived. They deconstruct the themes of love, madness and revenge and present them in an irreverent, hilarious manner. There is a Q and A in the middle of the show in case we get lost with the literary illusions. And they also play Kate Bush’s homage to >Wuthering Heights, her song of the same name. How bad can that be?

Ubu On The Table

At the Summerhall complex.

Created by Olivier Ducas and Francis Monty; Théâtre de la Pire Espèce from Quebec.

I’ll quote from their flyer to be accurate: “All the world’s grotesquness on a table! In this award-winning adaptation of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry anything goes as Poland’s fate is sealed on a table top! Two armies of French baguettes face each other in a stand-off as tomato bombs explode, an egg beater hovers over fleeing troops and molasses-blood splatters on fork-soldiers…

Starring the Bottle (with red liquid in it) as Père Ubu, the Hammer as Bordure and the Big Teapot as King Wenceslas, assorted kitchen equipment finds a new life as two performers hammer out a small-scale fresco of grandiose buffoonery. “

Sigh. You can call it buffoonery. I call it overdone, one noted yelling, trying too hard to be funny and falling flat in the attempt.

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