“Alasdair Beckett-King: The Interdimensional ABK” (Pleasance Dome, until AUG 26 : 18:50 : 60mins)

“Perhaps Alasdair Beckett-King, ABK’s, greatest quality and asset is that he dresses the part – he looks very much like Alasdair Beckett-King.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars: Nae Bad

Alasdair Beckett-King is clubbable. Firstly he has the large eyes expressive eyes of a baby seal as well as a fine red pelt that would look sensational as somebody’s sporran. He is also clubbable, in the less bloody, cruel, and senseless sense that, were his name to turn up in the book of candidates, the endorsements from existing club members would be so numerous that one would struggle to find space sufficient to signify one’s support. Perhaps Alasdair Beckett-King, ABK’s, greatest quality and asset is that he dresses the part – he looks very much like Alasdair Beckett-King.

And this is not a small or trifling thing. Slanted on the axis of space-time so that things tend to run from good to bad, from bad to worse, this dimension finds itself in eternal need of an ABK to put our self-destructive behaviours into whimsical perspective. The one we have is dressed in muted dandy splendour, as though he’s the moralising star of an ‘80s cartoon franchise who has popped round in-person to add a little gravity to an ungrounded world. Which he is. I wasn’t planning on seeing any standup this EdFringe, that was until I saw ABK’s trailer in his #Plus3 interview. Could the show possibly be as awesome? In a word, a word requiring no lengthy preamble or overly-wordy explanation, yes.

This show made me laugh. This show made me think. This show made me want to see ABK again. This show was perfectly timed. This show had nice visuals. This show had something to say and said it well. This show does not want to build a wall. This show does not want to eviscerate our trading relations with our nearest neighbours for the sake of the kind of nostalgia Sammy Johnson was talking about. This show had a beginning which was very good. This show had a middle which was also very good. This show had an end which was not so good in as much as it was an end and, like I say, I want to see more ABK.

nae bad_blue

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

Reviewer: Dan Lentell (Seen 17 August)

ALL our +3 (festivals) coverage? Click here!

THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

+3 Interview: Patrick Monahan: Started from the Bottom, Now l’m Here

“If the Edinburgh Festival ever stopped, the world would stop too!”

WHO: Patrick Monahan: Comedian performer

WHAT: “Smart and funny observations on a new-found, middle-class lifestyle with ski holidays, through the prism of poor, immigrant, living-in-a-caravan roots. As seen on The One Show (BBC), Fake Reaction (ITV), Celebrity Squares (ITV). ‘Rip-roaringly funny… fun! Another hour would have suited everyone’ ***** (One4Review.co.uk). ‘Hilarious’ ***** (ThreeWeeks). ‘There isn’t a comic quite like him’ ***** (TheNewCurrent.co.uk). ‘Possesses the rare ability to be hilarious without being outrageous’ ***** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Patrick is a Fringe legend and it’s easy to see why’ **** (Daily Mirror).”

WHERE: Gilded Balloon Teviot – Nightclub (Venue 14) 

WHEN: 20:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I’ve been coming to Edinburgh for the last 15 years but it does feel like I’ve been coming since the 1960’s. I love it here, if the Edinburgh Festival ever stopped, the world would stop too!

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

We’ve adopted a baby maltipoo puppy. This is the first year at the Edinburgh festival that me & my partner have a dog with us at the festival & it’s amazing. The dog is so small my partner sneaks him into shows under the inside of her jacket.

Tell us about your show.

This is a brand new hour of stand up, which is a very personal show. It has plenty of jokes and observations in it, but also a lot of stuff about my poor immigrant working-class background, about my life coming from Iran to the Uk in 1980 and about my modern-day life living with my posh middle-class partner. Something for everyone.

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

You’ve got to see “modern Maori quartet: two worlds” what an amazing show full of talented performers, touching stories & their singing voices are in another world.


LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! FIND US ON FACEBOOK! OR SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST!

INTERESTED IN BEING INTERVIEWED TOO? CLICK HERE!

+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


LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! FIND US ON FACEBOOK! OR SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST!

INTERESTED IN BEING INTERVIEWED TOO? CLICK HERE!

“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)

ALL our +3 (festivals) coverage? Click here!

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.


LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! FIND US ON FACEBOOK! OR SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST!

INTERESTED IN BEING INTERVIEWED TOO? CLICK HERE!

+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.


LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! FIND US ON FACEBOOK! OR SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST!

INTERESTED IN BEING INTERVIEWED TOO? CLICK HERE!

“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)

ALL our +3 (festivals) coverage? Click here!

THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED