Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fringe! Tim: Against All Odds, Everyman, Bloodbath: the Musical, Sexual Metro, Sammy J and the Forest of Dreams, and the Late Show

Last Wednesday.
Went to Edinburgh for the day, to see Neil Gaiman speak (TOtally worth it, by the whizzle) as part of the Edinburgh Book Festival, and caught a coupla shows courtesy of the Fringe Festival.

Tim: Against All Odds was... odd. It wasn't until five minutes in that I realized that, not only is my ex-boyfriend's name Tim, but one of the two actors looked shockingly like another ex-boyfriend. Sort of a weird headspace from within which to absorb a piece about a man determined to make the name Tim great (seeing as there are "no great heroes named Tim... No President Tim... No Tim on the moon!") against all -- well, you get the idea. The show was cute, and quite often funny, and both actors had great comedic timing. I'm not entirely sure the show's content stood up to the energy they put forth, but ah well.

Saw a show that got started late, by a stand-up comic named Cowards, who billed himself as the Everyman... It was more like the Everycomic. I'd heard almost all his jokes, in one form or another, over the years, and his audience observations also lacked originality. Or maybe I'm just still rolling my eyes over the fact that, on hearing that I was a computer game designer ("....but you're a lady!") he commented that I must have designed the 'shoe-shopping' part of APB.

Little does he know that was totally not my department.

But seriously, ooooo. A joke about women liking shoes. Life on the bleeding edge of social commentary there, mate.

Left that show early (not early enough) and was still late to my next viewing experience -- Bloodbath: The Musical. Catchy title, hey?

Several young actors/tresses who are way too good-looking for their own good, is what I'd like to start with. The male lead, playing Billy Vale (sp?) especially...... good lord. I think that, thanks to him parading around in full police uniform complete with trousers tucked into combat boots and shiny Seventies-style aviators, I may have just developed a cop fetish. YOWZA.

And can I just mention, nubile cheerleaders everywhere? Especially the slightly skinny, gum-chewing brunette with the shiny pantyhose, the Winehouse-esque rise and fall of hair, and the great rack.... Homina homina homina, as more eloquent people than I have put it.

The music: also quite catchy. Despite sound tech issues (inconsistency in volume levels, mostly, which made individual sung lines sometimes difficult to pick out) and my own snobbishness about headset mics in small theatres (for goodness' sakes, learn how to PROJECT, young actor-types! These technicrutches will cripple your talent in the future!) the songs came through pretty nicely, and were for the most part clever and funny, with a good rock sound supplied by a live band just behind the scenery. Some were good enough to make me want to buy the soundtrack, in fact.

The ending left something to be desired -- it should have ended just before the last song (which, as it was just a reprise of an earlier tune, wouldn't have deprived the audience of anything by its absence) instead of trying for shock value. The penultimate (shoulda been the last) number, "The Chair Is Fair" (as in, electric chair) was, in fact, a brilliant little gem, complete with surprisingly polished dance number, and had a denouement that would have been a plenty shocking note on which to end the musical.

Glad I went, in other words.

This past weekend, I bought last-minute tickets to return to Edinburgh on Saturday night. I decided to catch one of the famous late-night stand-up comedy shows -- they last until 3 or 4 in the morning -- despite the fact that I knew this would strand me in the city overnight (there being no trains back to Dundee between 11:30 pm and 9 am or so). Worst comes to worst, I figured, I'd only be killing time ...solo the middle of the night a city with which I was unfamiliar... for four or five hours. ¬_¬;

First show: Marcel Lucont, with a show called Sexual Metro. This was crap. His energy level was half-asleep, as was the audience's. He bills himself/is billed as "France's premier misanthropist and lover" and at least the rampant arrogance was kind of fun sometimes, but I don't actually think he is French. His accent is appalling. Most of the audience spoke French, but he didn't make any jokes or references at all that would indicate that he is French -- it was all a bit 'Allo 'Allo, with jokes and phrases that were very Pepe le Pew: like something an Anglo would assume a Frenchman would think or say. The jokes themselves were at a ratio of about one chuckle per five minutes... maybe.

Straight off after that, dashing across town to see Sammy J and the Forest of Dreams, which got started so late I needn't have bothered to rush. Very fun show, sort of a watered-down Avenue Q -- muppets and adult humor. Some quite amusing moments. The King in particular was hilarious.

Then back to the Underbelly (the venue at which I saw Sexual Metro, not to be confused with the Udderbelly, where Sammy J was) for the Late Show, which was stand-up comedy. Freakin' awesome. Lasted till 3+ a.m.

Wandered to the nearest club, Opium, which was open till 5. Met some chaps there, and ended up hanging out until past noon the next day with them, eating pizza, drinking beer, and singing with one of them who was a rather decent guitar player.

I can think of way worse ways to spend a weekend.