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The Edinburgh Fringe, days 8 and 9: Thursday and Friday

August 28, 2010

Today is our last performance! It has been an AMAZING time. Later on I will write about it, but for now have some more reviews!

Thursday

Andrew and the Slides of Chaos – a comedy where a boring office seminar turns bad after the presentation laptop develops sentience and tries to take over the world. Really funny with some pretty slick graphics, and astoundingly smooth on-stage interaction with the video portions (pulling things out of the screen, talking to the screen etc.). If only all office presentations could be this entertaining!

Baby Wants Candy – the classic improv musical show. We were able to get half-price tickets, which is awesome in itself – but these guys are so talented! It’s like “Whose Line is it Anyway,” but they improvise an entire show based on one audience-suggested title. Ours was “Electric Sexpants – The Musical!” Really, really hilarious.

Lorca is Dead – possibly my top show. By Belt Up theater company, it was an interactive performance where the audience is invited into Andre Breton’s study for a performative meeting of the Paris Surrealists group. They are putting on a play about how their friend, Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, died. The playwright clearly did his homework in a number of areas – Lorca’s biography, the surrealist movement, communism, fascism, the Spanish civil war – but it is not at all heavy-handed. Using surrealism as a jumping-off point, time becomes fluid and other elements become fluid as well; for example, Lorca is portrayed by anyone wearing the red scarf, even if they are an audience member with lines being whispered in their ear. With plenty to laugh at, the production barrels along at breakneck speed, whipping through not only Lorca’s life but the current tensions between the remaining members of the group (including Salvador Dali and his wife Gala’s ex, French poet Paul Eluard). By the time we reach the death scene, the shit has hit the fan with the different ideological and personal disagreements, and Lorca’s death emerges from the breakdown in heartrending silence. (History: Lorca is thought to have been murdered in the night by Spanish Nationalists for his leftward leanings and homosexuality; his body was never found.) “We are defined by our beginnings. There is a house on the vega…” I left the theater in tears. If I could I would go again.

Blues Brothers – a rollicking good time! Danced my socks off.


Friday. Show-wise, Friday kind of sucked. I’m not going to write about the shows really, but here’s what I saw:

Cracks – ensemble cast, everyone dies for no apparent reason

Hildegard of Bingen and the Living Light – one-woman show about the life of the learned abbess (my favorite of the day, despite the fact that I nodded off a few times)

Love Bites – abusive, eating-disordered relationship

Interabang – improv comedy

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