+3 Interview: I’m Woman

“It has been an extremely heavy year emotional wise due to the content of the show.”

WHO: Vadim Turcanu: Producer

WHAT: “A true soul-bearing story of an immigrant girl who grew up without her parents and was sexually abused in childhood. This experience led to hard consequences and battles to overcome. In order to leave the past behind and begin a new life stronger then ever before, she needs to face her biggest fears. In a modern, technological world, where we often hide behind masks and feel alone in our personal battles, this show has a mission to connect people, to inspire and empower through vulnerability, sincerity and sharing, accepting ourselves with all our demons and angels.”

WHERE: Sweet Grassmarket – Grassmarket 1 (Venue 18) 

WHEN: Varies (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is our first Fringe and first time in Edinburgh. It is an awesome experience – lots of emotions, predominantly scary due to necessity of promotion face to face. Surely the experience is very beneficial in many terms.
Looking forward for a productive festival

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

Since 2018, we wrote and produced the play, premiered it in London and Birmingham, we participated at the AvignonOff 2019 with surprisingly great results – award for the audience vote of choice of theatre and nominated for Prix Tournesol (similar to Sit-Up Award in UK).

It has been an extremely heavy year emotional wise due to the content of the show, which required revealing personal hidden experiences. Needed and was blessed for having the right support during that time – lots of breakdowns. But pushing forward

Tell us about your show.

Ana Daud co-wrote the show with director Dmitry Akrish (one of the ten best contemporary Russian directors), it is her autobiographical play that touches subject we think about but not talk about – relationships, genders, abortion, human traffic.

It is our first Edinburgh appearance but looking forward to coming tours in UK and abroad.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

There are beautiful shows carrying similar social issues and topics that are worth visiting.
Not many artists can handle the pressure of this type of shows because of the emotionally heavy aspect of the subject. So we would love to recommend some of the similar ones:

– The Phoenix Bitch
– TABOO
– The Endless Second
– On the Other Hand, we’re happy
– Brandy Alexander


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“Too Pretty to Punch” (Zoo Southside, until AUG 26 : 13:25 : 60mins)

“This is a tech-heavy, content-rich show, delivered with a light and graceful touch.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars: Outstanding

Walking from EH10 to Zoo venues is a very pleasant experience. For once this rainy auld EdFringe the sun is shining. The people smile and say good morning. The mood music is what would happen if you were to shut Sir Harry Lauder and Ronnie Hazlehurst up together in a telephone booth and not let them out until they’d written something smile-inducingly pleasant. The gentrification wave that swept through EH9 before and after the crash has receded somewhat, but the shops and eateries are busy as well as interesting. Amble further down towards Northbridge and you start feeling as though you’ve arrived in EH91. Friends on the terrace at 86 Princes’ Street have their views, as do pals browsing the shelves at Lighthouse books. If there’s any agreement between them, which is doubtful, they might all conceded that people are less in their own space and more in your face the further from villadom one travels.

In their deeply personal, moving, and thought-provoking polemic, the poet and banjo wielder, Edalia Day, spends the hour describing what it is like to live day-to-day constantly menaced with aggression from randoms, both online and in the street. A lot has gone into this show. A lot of heartache and soul searching, a lot of personal discovery and revelation. “I didn’t escape from one box only to be forced into another.” You come for the social commentary, which is lucid and insightful, you stay for the video-projection, which is (as promised) kickass as well as for the finely tuned performance which shows no sign of flagging as EdFringe enters the home stretch. This is a tech-heavy, content-rich show, delivered with a light and graceful touch.

At a time when transgender voices are finally starting to be heard, it seems amiss to attempt to filter or dilute Edalia Day’s message for them. What I can describe is the effect this show had on this particular cis white male determined to be a strong ally in this generation’s fight for inclusivity, understanding, and respect. I came away having been thoroughly entertained. This is a performer who knows their craft and that, as with all great polemics, it’s not just about the message or the messenger, it’s about the recipient as well.

outstanding

StarStarStarStarStar

Reviewer: Dan Lentell (Seen 16 August)

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THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

+3 Interview: Late Night Ceremony

“Tinder over there is like a casting book with professionally taken photographs and long, fantastical self-descriptions. I guess the dating circuit is a little legacy piece of Hollywood.”

WHO: Polly Trope: Concepter and Performer

WHAT: “Arising out of Berlin and Hollywood open stages, this group showcase raises a fist with one hand and holds a glass with the other against the fact that the world we live in is a complete disaster. Borders close in, rents rise, intimacy dissolves. One person’s normal is another person’s crazy. Who gets to tell their story and who must remain silent? Embodied performance, experimental music, storytelling and a secret midnight ritual.”

WHERE: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Theatre 1
23:15 (Venue 53) 

WHEN: 23:15 (85 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes, first time. I have wanted to get here for years. One of my closest friends from way back when I used to live in London is Bob who runs the Heroes venues. It’s the best crew, they don’t program the standard stuff. They program everything that’s a little bit unusual, cutting-edge, inventive, weird and wonderful, disturbing and special. The sort of genre-bending hybrid stuff that’s incredibly hard to sell to bookers and venues and yet is a well of magic. That’s what I always want to see, as a performer, that’s where I get my inspiration.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

For my winter vacation, I went to Los Angeles I wanted winter sun, beaches, dying palm trees, and bleach blondes falling over dripping cocktails. And to walk up and down Hollywood Boulevard and into WeHo and to walk in the circles of my literary heroes, Tony O’Neill, Gerry Stahl and people like that. So as I was idly day-drinking and star-spotting, I went on Tinder.

Tinder over there is like a casting book with professionally taken photographs and long, fantastical self-descriptions. I guess the dating circuit is a little legacy piece of Hollywood.

I quickly realized that I would have to adapt my profile because in Berlin people just write one or two laconic sentences, such as “no tourists” — so I went and wrote a whole big story about myself. I didn’t have any good pictures to put, though. Which was probably for the best, so people had to read me.

I met this guy on Hollywood Boulevard and we decided to get spicy food. I thought I’d get a nice inside scoop from a local but instead, I got the relationship of a lifetime.

I went back to LA with one of my Berlin performance arts friends who inspires me the most. They were doing a US tour and I was kind of the support act, reading a story or two. And you should have seen us in Hollywood, we ended up in a space at a midnight show in a strip mall where they were showcasing improv comedy; and I thought oh my god people are going to laugh at us and be like WTF. But they loved us. It was quite incredible. We couldn’t have been more “the odd ones out” but somehow… we found a common thread, a common little piece of a big networked jigsaw of the world of trying to do art while you live and travel with your art and see what happens abroad–very adventurous.

That’s why I put together our showcase now, after a year, the collective is called BERLNGELES…

Tell us about your show.

It’s a late-night show. It’s performance art, tribal music, all our own new writing. Four performers come together to take on the idea of a late-night ritual. What do people do late at night, ritually?

We have a 14-year-old zombie child actor from Hollywood; a sex work memoir author from Berlin; one musical writer from Hollywood who will perform on the looper; and a Berlin-based transgender performance poet, who puts the noise back in opera.

The Berlingeles four each have their own body of work and harrowing back story; the appearance in Edinburgh is a one-off Rubick’s cube of late-night sexual healing, gender magic, and emotional release.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

I’m really looking forward to Andrea Spisto’s “Butch Princesa”. It’s billed as a comedic exploration of Latinx queer identity and I know it will use Venezuelan dance and beats to underpin a much bigger, deeper inquiry and romp through experiences of queerness and migration, gender expectations and critical theory, a mix of playfulness and deep perspective. I love these things that don’t seem to fit into any exact mould because you know then, that is something new in the making.

Also Michelle Madsen’s show “Bait: Kill the Princess” is a treat I am mega looking forward to. It mixes clowning with spoken word, and counter-intuitive treatments of expectation and belief playing with themes of fairy tale and embodied performance. I can’t wait to see this because it promises the mixed forms and mash-up feel that I really love and I also know Michelle is a very accomplished performer and writer. And lately, I am discovering the wealth and breadth of subversive and wildly interesting things that actually hide behind the label “clowning”. A lot more than meets the eye and audiences should take note.


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+3 Interview: Alasdair Beckett-King: The Interdimensional ABK

“Spending time at the Edinburgh Fringe is like navigating an M.C. Escher lithograph with extremely changeable weather.”

WHO: Alasdair Beckett-King

WHAT: “The award-winning Alasdair Beckett-King returns to this timeline with a dimension-hopping stand-up comedy show. Is a better world possible? Yes! It already exists, but you don’t live there. ABK makes the best of a bad timeline in this ramshackle jaunt through a multiverse of wonders. Also, Winston Churchill performs the best of Queen. ‘A singular and truly distinct act, Alasdair Beckett-King creates his own multi-faceted world’ **** (Scotsman). ‘Alasdair Beckett-King is a nice man’ ***** (EdFestMag). ‘This is a comedy show’ **** (One4Review). **** (Fest) **** (Voice) **** (Three Weeks).”

WHERE: Pleasance Dome – JackDome (Venue 23) 

WHEN: 18:50 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Spending time at the Edinburgh Fringe is like navigating an M.C. Escher lithograph with extremely changeable weather. Contorted bridges and impossible staircases thronged with clowns, silent discos, acapella singers and student impro troupes going through a difficult time in their personal lives. A happy comedian, a sad comedian, a bitter comedian – in many cases this is the same comedian. But there are so many things to look forward to. You can walk up Arthur’s Seat with Londoners who insist on calling it “a mountain”. You can adopt an Edinburgh accent and give inaccurate directions to American tourists. You can get baked potatoes with vegan haggis on Cockburn Street. It’s a veritable wonderland, and I love it.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

Since 2018 I have started to learn lock-picking, which is bound to pay dividends at some point. I also created an animated intro to my show in the style of 1980s cartoons. It took most of ‘18/19 to do, because I tried to make the pastiche as authentic as possible, and because I don’t value my own time highly enough. But it worked out nicely, because the video was shared by other comedians who I love and admire, and the British Comedy Guide said it might be “the best 100 seconds of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.”

I mean, the show is currently over 3300 seconds long. But an endorsement’s an endorsement, right?

Tell us about your show.

The Interdimensional ABK is a stand-up comedy show written (and animated) by me. I’ve done work in progresses at festivals all over the UK, and I hope I’ll get to do it f a few times after the Fringe. The premise is something I’ve been working on for a little while: I come from a parallel dimension called the A Timeline which is slightly better than the B Timeline (AKA, the real world). So, I get to make jokes about all the best and worst things in our world, from an outsider’s perspective. So, there’s silliness, whimsy, and absolutely several proper jokes. We’re talking double figures, easy.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

I think people should try to see a variety of shows. Stroll up and down Cowgate and see if any of the flyers take your fancy. As well as the massive venues, see shows on the Free Fringe, at the Stand and the Monkey Barrel. I also love a bit of Lothian Gothic, so I recommend a Ghost Walk around Greyfriar’s Kirkyard and a visit to the Camera Obscura on Castlehill. Finally, I have to recommend a small vegan-friendly pizza place called Novapizza in the New Town. Vegan pizza is everywhere these days, you can get it at bus stops, you can get it on the NHS. But Novapizza were making it when no one else was. They’re pioneers in the art of pretend-o cheese. True heroes. Shows I would recommend people to see? Jon Long: Planet Killing Machine.


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“Brave Macbeth” (Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Above, AUG 1-18 : 11:50 : 60mins)

“The performances alone would make this a five-star experience, but it’s what’s gone on off stage that makes it truly outstanding.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars: Outstanding

EdFringe is a time of reunions. Friends auld and new set aside their politically-inspired social media spats and bad-tempered artistic differences in order to share in the world’s leading cultural banquet. Shakespeare is (as ever) the ghost at the feast. The Bard generously provides something for everyone, but a scheduled encounter with him can bring on all the premonitions of a Christmas dinner to be spent sitting between the know-it-all cousin just back from their first year at uni, and the slightly racist uncle who doesn’t understand why things aren’t the way they used to be. How to introduce Daughter 1.0 (aged 4, nearly 5) to the bard? Too light and she’ll miss the expert heavy lifting of his scripts. Too classical and she’ll be lost. Enter Captivate Theatre to the rescue.

We enter to find the stage empty, but it’s not going to stay that way. More is packed into the 1hr’s traffic than an already stuffed carry on bag when the check-in assistant regretfully informs you that your main suitcase is over the weight limit.

I came to Shakespeare via the RSCs, both Reduced and Royal. Captivate Theatre outshines them both. At their best and worst the Reduced Shakespeare Company can be campy, kitsch, and occasionally iconoclastic. By contrast, Captivate Theatre are authentic, classy, and surprisingly reverential. Where the Royal Shakespeare Company can be pompous, oh-so-trendy, and incomprehensible Captivate Theatre are instead accessible, authentic, and unafraid to be direct. This is not Shakespeare pictured paying stiff court to Gloriana, rather it’s the Swan at ease with his contemporaries, as imagined by John Faed, only with more kilts.

Brave Macbeth opens rather like the first instalment of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise, an atmospheric nod to the spine-tingling atmosphere of the original that has Granny and me worried. If this is the spooky opening how will Daughter 1.0 handle the coming murders and mayhem? We need not have worried. It isn’t long before the big musical numbers, catchy tunes, and fabulous dance numbers have the audience (and even naughty, naughty the actors) in fits of hysterics. King Duncan’s demise is the cause for so much merriment that she’s laughing like a drain pipe.

This is a big cast and one of the best-balanced ensemble pieces I’ve seen in ages. The witches are fiendish without being traumatic. Lady M is fantastically melodramatic, to the point were even Henry Irving might have asked her to reign it in a bit. Banquo, Malcolm, and Duncan do more with their foreshortened parts than Tyrian Lannister off on a night out with a jackass and a honeycomb. Macduff foils his villain in more ways than one. The Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King hereafter himself is bold, brave, and brilliant. His set solos pieces strongly hint at the depths which there isn’t time to plumb while his interactions with the other characters give a more flavourful summary of Macbeth on stage than would a dehydrated copy of the SparkNotes served up by Heston Blumenthal under a foam of literary criticism.

The performances alone would make this a five-star experience, but it’s what’s gone on off stage that makes it truly outstanding. The choreography is so good even this double-left-footer wants to join in. The adaptation is streamlined and sophisticated. The composer needs to be dragged off to a military research facility and forced to weaponize their earworms – I am gutted that the soundtrack isn’t for sale in the lobby. Most importantly, Daughter 1.0 has had her first introduction to Shakespeare and come away wanting more. Captivate Theatre has done exactly what it says on the tin.

outstanding

StarStarStarStarStar

Reviewer: Dan Lentell (Seen 14 August)

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THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

The First King of England in a Dress” (theSpaceTriplex, AUG 1-17, 19-24 : 50mins)

“Stuck in traffic on the A14, I’ll never look at East Anglia the same way again.”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars: Nae Bad

At a rainy BBQ in Newcastle, en route to #EdFringe, I heard one auld pal explain where they lived, “it’s up the road from A. You know, down the way from B.” Up and down don’t enter the conversation much in the part of East Anglia I’m from. Not when it comes to directions. ‘Flat’ is the word. ‘Eels’ is another. The town of Ely is named for them. Dutch navigators, the digging ditches rather than the exploring East of Suez kind, put in the channel and loads which took care of the water but they didn’t get round to putting back the hills. I say putting back the hills because there were once hills in East Anglia, something I didn’t know until seeing ‘The First King of England in a Dress’.

We enter to find a wicker eel trap, eel spear and other assorted must-have items from the time when Saxons and Vikings lived in close disharmony a thousand or so years back. We are greeted by the actors, who put Daughter 1.0 (aged 4) and the other kids instantly at their ease. We are in for an hour of smashing storytelling set in a land divided and a country ready to be born.

Ethelred misses his mum. She was stolen from him by something worse than Vikings. So when a stranger asks his dad for a bed for the night, he is naturally nervous. But when the stranger and Ethelred start sharing stories of giants, frogs and magic, it isn’t long before they discover surprising secrets about each other…

Together actors Kate Madison, Chip Colquhoun, and Izzy Dawson craftily conjure a bygone age into something both comprehensible and real. Chip is the author of three books, one of which inspired the stage play. His writing style is hugely engaging, weaving big historical themes into material that is finely tailored to his young readership. The other two tomes are already Amazon Primed and on their way to Christmas stockings. A finicky reviewer, which I am, would suggest that the foreshortening required to fit EdFringe’s shorter timeslots could have been finer, but the kids didn’t seem to notice or care.

They were too busy being engrossed in making squelchy sounds to compliment characters walking through muddy bogs, and helping the cast out with their improvised make-up, mop wigs and hidden crowns. The kids are all having a great time, although some of the adults might have prefered fewer demands for their on-stage presence.

This adult, however, is extremely grateful to ‘The First King of England in a Dress’ for opening up the world of East Anglian folktales. It’s more than a little special to exit an EdFringe show considerably wiser than when you went in. Stuck in traffic on the A14, I’ll never look at East Anglia the same way again.

nae bad_blue

Star (blue)Star (blue)Star (blue)Star (blue)

Reviewer: Dan Lentell (Seen 13 August)

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THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

+3 Interview: You Have a Match

“The play has gone from strength to strength, we’ve changed up the ending and developed the characters so they are even more well rounded and, we hope, charming.”

WHO: Zoe Alice-Woodruff: Actor/Writer/Producer

WHAT: “Two girls take on the world of app store dating. In a society where its easier to swipe right then say ‘Hi, how are you?’, where is the line between a serial dating addict and someone longing for more? Tegan is straight. Riley is gay. They have been best friends since their school trip disco disaster and have shared everything: from fake tan mitts to condom collections… except sexual conquests. Watch as they deconstruct their co-dependency, pack for the dating trip of a lifetime, and swipe through the world of easy hookups and awkwardly going dutch.”

WHERE: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Theatre 3
22:15 (Venue 53) 

WHEN: 22:15 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

It is indeed! For half the company (there are only two of us) it’s her first time in Edinburgh full stop. For the other, she’s been up a fair few times to watch things but never to perform. We sold out our run in London last year at The Bread and Roses and then did two very successful runs of the show at Theatre 503 and Canal Cafe, and decided it was time to tick something off the bucket list and bring You Have Match, written and produced by us, to the Fringe!! Thus far – it’s been an adventure, it is as intense as we expected with a little more sunshine than anticipated so that’s been a delight. Today is our first day of the run and we are very excited to get flyering! Come at us Edinburgh!!

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

Our biggest thing is today Anuschka turned 26.

No I joke, we’ve had a good year, we’ve both started new muggle jobs that are slightly less soul-sucking than the last, Nush’s boyfriend moved into her flat with her and Zoe (that’s me) has bleached all the colour out of her hair and now regularly get’s mistaken for Swedish – so that’s fun!

The play has gone from strength to strength, we’ve changed up the ending and developed the characters so they are even more well rounded and, we hope, charming, and we had an incredibly successful preview at Theatre 503.

Tell us about your show.

We wrote it. We produced it. We sing the theme too.

We met in a restaurant in 2016, in the middle of August, when we’d rather have been doing anything else than putting cutlery out at 9 o’clock in the morning. Anuschka’s first words to me were ‘I don’t usually train the newbies’ and with that, a great friendship was born.

About 6 months later, just after I got fired (if you ask me I will tell you why – it makes me laugh) we pooled their creative minds, put pen to ordering pad, poured out the Savvy B and decided to take on the world of New Writing. And the rest is, as they say, a hangover.

We performed You Have A Match at The Bread and Roses last year and sold out all 3 nights! We have also been part of The Pub Theatre Festival, and we’ve performed at Canal Cafe and Theatre 503. Our goals for 2020 are taking the show to The Vaults festival, and a small scale national tour (if we can get the funding! Don’t think we’ll be able to do that on the fly like we did this year.) and then we do have plans for a potential web series down the line. But all in good time my friend, all in good time.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Unless you’re our parents, who’ve seen the show about 20 times between them, no one needs to come back and see us again – we’ll be happy with the once!

We highly recommend Tumours, a play about a girl about to turn 27 who is convinced she is going to die and join the 27 club, even though there is absolutely no reason for her to think that in a logical world! It is so beautifully written, and laugh out loud funny with the same heartwarming love at the centre of it that we hope You Have A Match has. Ashleigh is a brilliant writer, and her piece is glorious, and we implore everyone to go and watch it.

We also think Butterflies at Zoo Playground would be right up the street of our audiences! It is a story about three women, and an endless stream of notifications told through revenge porn (!) and monologues which to us is really interesting and exciting. I think our audiences would really resonate with it as it again female-fronted theatre-making waves.

I think our last recommendation would have to be I’m Coming because quite frankly, a story about the journey to a woman’s first orgasm is something everyone needs to see! A male friend of mine and his girlfriend went to see it yesterday and he said he was ‘enlightened!’ with eyes wide.


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