Edinburgh Fringe 2004 home

Week 2 - 15th - 21st August

The Musical! was going pretty well. We were not going to lose our focus on getting the punters in, but we now understood the rhythm of the show and how to sell it to people. By the end of this week we'd had some moments where the show was doing all the work and we were enjoying being a part of it. Never one to let the grass grow under my feet, my gig diary was getting fuller as I added a third show to the daily set of shows I was attending. I did 10 minutes of part-stand-up, part-music to open a show called "Searching For Harry", a show which was still playing when I went on stage for "When Hedges Attack".

Middle week also saw tensions come to a head with the running of a venue I spent a lot of time in. As well as paying for and participating in "When Hedges Attack", I also was co-producing a show called "Rehab's For Quitters". This show was bearing the brunt of the venue-management problems and the rest of the companies in that venue were unhappy too. All of these distractions kept me from seeing as many shows as I might have liked.



16th August

22.45 - The Haunting of Hill House
The concept behind this show was interesting. It was promenade theatre set in an empty room where the story, characters and even sets were created as figments of the audience's imagination. A lot of the story was told in the 3rd person with only the female protagonist ever played out reactively.

Much of the scene setting involves the other members of the cast giving orders to the audience or taking questions from them, or prompting them to answer questions. It was an intentionally interactive experience.

As the finale of the show, at the request of the other characters, we did what was necessary to kill the female lead character. We only realised that after she was dead. It was mystifying stuff and not all that cleverly scripted or executed.


17th August

21.20 - Congress of Oddities
This was a show worth seeing twice. In fact, I saw it twice. With two female leads playing the congress of oddities, which followed an introductory sketch, in which they played equally odd modern characters, introducing the aforementioned congress.

What is the Congress of Oddities? Well, it's a good old fashioned Victorian freak show. The characters are meant to be ex conjoined twins who were popular doing their freak show in Victorian times and have, somehow, being transported into the present to do their thing.

Largely based on the interplay of characters, with some need recreations of well-known songs in the fairground-organ style, this was undoubtedly a patchwork of a show, but it made me laugh.


22.55 - Four Queens Poker Club
Gilded Balloon Caves
Four of the female stand-up comedians of the London circuit got together for a showcase of their talents. I forget the exact line up. It had its positive points and its negatives. A stand-up showcase can sometimes fail to get going as a result of the changes in gear and style all crammed into a single hour. In this case, the compere - an ex Kid's TV presenter - managed to keep everyone bubbling with interest, but some of the acts didn't quite harness that interest.


18th August

19.30 - Sit-com trials - Liam Mullone, Ed Petrie, Isy Suttie, Andy Bone
Nicol Edwards
Liam Mullone had won this venue spot on eBay. He had originally won an entry into the Sitcom-trials show, but for complicated reasons he was given the hour to play with. So, he and the gang acted out the sitcom script, an odd piece set in a video shop. They added a bit of stand-up to it and the job was, as they say, a good-un.


22.15 - Flight of the Conchords
Gilded Balloon
This was my third visit to a Flight of the Conchords show. These dry kiwi musical comedians have a style and a way of writing that is so fascinating that it doesn't matter if every line is not comedic gold.

Compared to previous shows, these was perhaps their most experimental and least funny offering. Some of their songs were inspired, some of the intermediate material was fairly pointless and dull and some of it was entirely unmemorable. But these guys are the Conchords and no matter what they're doing, it's great. It was even great when they had to get the technician on stage to sort out some wiring problem or other.


19th August

19.30 - Sit-com trials - Liam Mullone, Ed Petrie, Isy Suttie, Andy Bone
Nicol Edwards
I went and saw this again - see the review from the previous day. Not sure why I saw it a second time, but I enjoyed it again.

Shows/events seen this week: 6
Total so far: 15

>> Week 3

Written: 29 May 2006
Ashley Frieze