Here at Bunbury Magazine, we love creativity in all shapes and media. We have featured writing, photography, art and interviews with musicians, playwrights and all sorts of lovely people. We basically try to create a cornucopia of loveliness on-line with each issue. Given this, we thought it was only right that this year we take a trip to Edinburgh for the biggest cornucopia of loveliness in the world – the Fringe and International Arts Festival. According to the Edinburgh Guide, this year there will be “49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across Scotland’s capital city.” How could we miss that?
We couldn’t! So we packed up our suitcase for four days and headed up with our mascot, Pinhead Po.
Over the next few posts we shall be giving you a round-up of the shows we saw and the hijinks we got up to while we were up at the biggest arts festival in the world. Also, we will be giving awards out to all those deserving and hard-working folks at the Free Fringe!
Ben Target – The Audience Participation Award: As we queued up for Hooray for Ben Target (pronounced Tar-jay), the director asked if anyone could help collect imaginary lemons. We could not pass this up so the three of us hit the streets in search of fruits of the mind. When we arrived back at The Banshee Labyrinth, we were treated to highlights of the show we had come to see and were currently stood outside of. We were eventually let in very quietly by the eponymous Ben who had started crafting an imaginary cake with the help of the audience. The show was filled with silliness and very good-humoured jiggery-pokery as well as a history lesson on Target’s grandfather. This show is definitely not to be missed!
Cormac Friel – The Michael Palin Award: The first thing that struck us about Cormac is just how nice he is. Quite possibly the nicest person we met at the Fringe. In his show at the Jekyll and Hyde, called Alpha Fail, he discusses what it is to be an ‘alpha male’ in today’s world. His stage presence was easy and reassuring which really helped draw the audience into his world. Also, one of the best flyers for a show at the Fringe.
Pierre Hollins – Every Breath You Take Award: We first saw Pierre at Porky the Poet’s Free Fringe show (more on that to follow) where he did a guest spot. The day after, we bumped into him on Niddry Street we he met Po. On the third day, we went to see his show, sat in the front row and stared as he said words. It’s no wonder we were dubbed his first official stalkers! He has been on the circuit for 30 years and his experience shows. He was terrific on the stage, particularly when he broke out his guitar.
Richard Tyrone Jones – Stewart Lee Award and My (Christopher) Best Joke of the Fringe: ‘What The F*ck Is This? One man. One hour. Five words.’ The flyer says exactly what this show does. Richard, in a tweed jacket, boxer shorts, shoes and nothing else says nothing but those five words for an hour. In different orders and different voices, of course. There is an accompanying slide show with increasing bizarre pictures and bags of audience interaction in this manic, patience-testing and ultimately rewarding show. Half the audience had left by the end but they really missed out, especially one beautiful moment where everything was turned on it’s head at the end. Best Joke: The ‘The The/Bruce Forsythe’ joke. Saying anything more would be a huge spoiler!
Wil Hodgson – The Missions and Values Award: Wil Hodgson’s show is called ‘You Will Be Taken From This Place’ and that is exactly he does. Using a beautifully descriptive and well penned set, he truly does take his audience away on an amazing informative historical journey. He begins this journey by saying that he has been doing comedy and the Fringe for a long time and wanted to try something different; a spoken word show, about the history of capital punishment in Britain, with much of the story based around the hanging of Peter Allen ( hope I got that right, don’t fail me now Wikipedia) It was a fascinating show with parts of humour though comedy was never the main aim of the show. Wil is talking about taking it on tour and we implore him to do so and all of you to get out and see it!
Darren Walsh – The Milton Vine Award: We sadly were not able to make Darren’s pun-filled half-hour though we were drawn to him whilst he was flyering for his show by the board around his neck advertising ‘FREE PUNS.’ Even with the word ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ he did not disappoint! A full review of his show, ‘Chicken Meow’ will follow in the future.
Christian Reilly – The Aint No Rest For The Wicked/Money Don’t Grow on Trees Award: What do you like in a free show? Do you like comedy? Music? Saving money on seeing Boris Johnson, Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi live? Christian Reilly is a consummate master of taking some of the biggest and hottest topics plaguing society today such as bullying and the food racism of the traffic light system. Beware though, his songs WILL get stuck in your head. Beautifully addictive.
Valdermar Pustelnik – The We’ve Got Fun ‘n’ Games: On our very first day at the Fringe this year, we were sat in a Subway having a spot of breakfast when we saw a man in a Viking hat with a great big ginger beard handing out flyers for a show called ‘My Demons are Bigger then Yours.’ This was a really touching and funny show about one man’s struggle with what it means to really be a man today and whether or not his family need him or he needs them…if only to find his pants! We also find out that you can say pretty much anything you want if you wear an impressive hat. Great delivery and emotion in a well-crafted show.
More to follow. Much, much more!