+3 Interview: Arlecchino Torn in Three

“Having a long run allowed us to test our show with an international audience and gave us the boost we needed to dive into the Fringe world.”

WHO: Betty Andriolo: Actor

WHAT: “Fancy a trip to Venice in Edinburgh? Join Arlecchino as he takes on two jobs and two masters. Midsummer madness rages! Master number one: Beatrice, disguised as a man, searches for her beloved Florindo and she hires Arlecchino. Master number two: Florindo, accused of murdering Beatrice’s brother, escapes to Venice and he hires Arlecchino. True love or tragedy? At his wit’s end and starving, will Arlecchino ever get his dinner? Three versatile actors, nine roles! Physical storytelling with masks, puppets and music bring Venice to life, blending tradition and innovation.”

WHERE: Greenside @ Infirmary Street – Forest Theatre (Venue 236) 

WHEN: 17:20 (50 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

At home in Venice, we discussed coming to Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After months of planning and crowdfunding, Bottegavaga has fulfilled a dream we’ve had for ages.

It’s our first time to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and we’re here to bring our theatre, closely interwoven with our beloved city, out of Italy, in hopes of sharing Commedia dell’Arte and the genius of Carlo Goldoni abroad. Edinburgh seemed to us the perfect place to make this dream come true!

Edinburgh Fringe is the third-largest ticketed event in the world (after the Olympics and the World Cup). It’s an ‘artistic village’ where we feel part of a cosmopolitan community. We’ve been able to meet artists from Poland, UK, Russia, Japan and beyond: we are inspired to see other artists’ work and to know different artistic ways of approaching theatre.

In the past, Commedia dell’Arte troupes travelled throughout Europe, influencing authors like Molière and popular traditions such as the Punch and Judy shows. We’d also love to go on tour and find new audiences. Commedia dell’Arte is a theatre that conveys delight and celebrates playfulness. In times like ours, we think people need this. There’s a more serious side, too. Venice is a city in crisis due to unsustainable tourism, and we want to show the world Venice’s real soul, its struggle to avoid becoming a museum or a Disneyland. We wish to achieve this, using an international language, while keeping old values alive and making them understandable and appreciated.

So, our Arlecchino Torn in Three is an experiment, and we wanted to see if our modern-day version of Commedia can be enjoyed by a contemporary audience from all over the world. And Edinburgh has been just the place for this. We’ve also discovered that even audiences unfamiliar with masks and Commedia dell’Arte appreciate our show, although some journalists didn’t quite understand that Commedia is a crazy world where anything can happen, even if it ‘doesn’t make sense.’ Our show keeps changing each night, thanks to a dynamic, continuous relationship with the audience.

We’ve learned a lot about the British sense of humour, about how to do flyering (and even sent our producer onto the streets in a Commedia mask). We’ve had a go at street theatre on Virgin Money Stage, and Arlecchino adopted a red phone box for a Dr. Who stunt. We’re baffled by Scottish deep-fried pizzas, enjoyed whisky tasting and are now shortbread addicts. Above all, we’ve had the chance to exchange and network with a lot of extraordinary artists and see their shows. We still have one more week to go, but so far it’s been an amazing experience for us. The Fringe is certainly a challenge, and it’s one we’ve found well worth trying!

We’re also acting teachers, and are leading Commedia workshops for children at the Italian Cultural Institute. What a joyful time: Scottish and English kids had great fun playing with masks and experimenting with different characters in their group.

At the Demarco Foundation, we did Spotlight on Venice and talked about our work and our city, which, like Edinburgh, is in peril. There, we met the legendary Richard Demarco, one of the founders of the Fringe; his love of theatre is truly inspiring.

What we really looking forward to is to make a bridge between Italy and the UK, to create a cultural exchange with like-minded people, to bring our experience in Commedia and physical theatre as a resource for actors who want to train and explore the foundations of theatre. We want to find the time and space for the art and culture of different peoples that can stir and nourish our spirit, stretching beyond all boundaries.

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

The biggest thing that’s happened to us last year? In 2018, Bottegavaga performed for a whole season in Avogaria Theatre, an iconic theatre in Venice. It was founded after World War Two by Giovanni Poli, a leading Commedia director, and renowned artists such as Jerzy Grotowski also performed there. Having a long run allowed us to test our show with an international audience and gave us the boost we needed to dive into the Fringe world.

At Avogaria Theatre, we held special Goldoni post-show buffets and this has been great! It’s our ‘theatre research – Italian style’. Our chef Anna Santini recreated dishes from the time of Goldoni. As our guests munched on these delicacies and enjoyed glasses of wine, the company discovered experts and performers  keen on getting to know our work better. It has been a lovely mixed audience experiment… multicultural moments that encouraged us to take part in the Fringe.

Tell us about your show.

Our Arlecchino Torn in Three is an adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters (1746). The original play has a cast of nine, but has been reworked by the director Alberta Toninato to be performed by three actors, who double (or even triple) roles in a fast and furious romantic comedy. Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters has given us the opportunity to work on a very sophisticated comedy for a new audience.

As we created the show, we researched body language and gesture, with the aim of creating a playful script that’s universally accessible. We use traditional Commedia masks with a modern twist to present our ideal kind of theatre: universal, sincere, immediate and essential, without special effects, and highlighting the physical skill of the actor. Thus, our physical storytelling is a showcase for the actors’ creativity and versatility.

Arlecchino Torn in Three offers both entertainment and the pleasure of performing a classic, blending the popular tradition of Commedia dell’Arte with literary and stylistic virtuosity. With the mask, everything becomes a game: mistakes, work, love, even hunger or poverty. Mask characters such as Arlecchino teach us the possibilities for happiness in a confusing and often difficult world.

We’ve re-worked our script for Edinburgh, using both English and Italian. As far back as the 16th century, Commedia dell’Arte deployed what is known as ‘gramelot’, an invented language, full of unknown words and sounds which was highly entertaining. We try to use English in this way, mixing it with Italian and Venetian dialect, creating a sort of new linguistic code for a contemporary audience. The artistic/linguistic research we’ve been passionately carrying out may be very similar to the ‘modernity’ that Carlo Goldoni sought in his plays all his life.

Bottegavaga have been working together for more than ten years, a Venice-based adventure that started back in 2005, exploring Goldoni on one hand and Shakespeare on the other. Actors Betty Andriolo, Vanni Carpenedo, and Christian Renzicchi trained in Commedia and also with Yoshi Oida, Emma Dante and Gabriele Lavia. Alberta Toninato is the director, and the UK producer is Valerie Kaneko-Lucas. Professor Margaret Rose from the University of Milan is our consultant. We’re an Anglo-Italian company. For us, working together has always been an endless quest supported by a strong bond, perfect chemistry and a lot of passion!

Our show has been partially funded by a crowdfunding campaign launched by the company themselves, attracting finders from Italy, the USA and the UK. We’re part of the Italian Cultural Institute’s Italian Artists at the Fringe. The Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh has also supported our Commedia workshops for children.

After the Fringe, we’re working on taking our show to Chicago.  We’ve been invited to take part in the Chicago Physical Theatre Festival in June 2020, and we’d love to get there!

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

Paolo Nani’s The Letter – his show is an amazing example of how comedy can be done with no words and just a suitcase of props. We’ve enjoyed seeing him on TV in Italy and were thrilled to see him live in Edinburgh.

The Trial by Stone Crabs – It’s an interactive show where the audience becomes the jury in a trial about LGBT+ rights. Ines Sampaio is a multi-talented young actor-musician doing 6 roles, ranging from the trans protagonist to her crotchety homophobic father.

Limbo – Teresa and Anjrej Welminski were members of Kantor’s troupe, and this show is visually stunning, evoking an infernal waiting room populated by eccentrics.

The Forest – Performed by graduates of the Moscow Arts School, it was a poetic and moving devised show about our disconnection from nature, a Russian take on the environmental crisis.

Zeroko’s Tea Time – a pair of bowler-hatted Japanese guys perform magic with the simplest of props, such as umbrellas and tea cups. It’s a heartwarming and charming show from Tokyo that made us smile on a rainy Edinburgh day.


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+3 Interview: Limb(e)s

“Just to be here, presenting a show is a triumph. Technical mishaps have led to creative solutions (after initial periods of debilitating stress). Smaller audiences add up to an impressive number over the course of the festival.”

WHO: Gabrielle Martin: Director and Performer

WHAT: “Aerial dance that offers the darkest hour, and questions what it means to carry or let go of another. Two bodies suspended in the limbo of loss, cradled in the surrogate limbs of rope and the temporary solace of flesh, weighed by conscience, spun by dependency, freed by mortality. This new show by Gabrielle Martin (Cirque du Soleil, Cavalia) and Jeremiah Hughes (Cirque du Soleil, Dragone, So You Think You Can Dance) combines an emotionally raw physicality with a haunting original soundscape to create a hypnotic, destabilizing narrative full of mourning, distant hope, and eerie beauty.”

WHERE: Assembly Roxy (Venue 139) 

WHEN: 21:25 (50 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes! My experience here seems to be a process of reframing the definition of failure and triumph. Just to be here, presenting a show is a triumph. Technical mishaps have led to creative solutions (after initial periods of debilitating stress). Smaller audiences add up to an impressive number over the course of the festival. Every time I’m biking and it’s NOT raining is a small miracle! Overall, I think there’s an incredible open, optimistic, and alive feeling here.

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

The show we’re presenting at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe was conceived last summer and so much has come to pass in the year leading up to now. My collaborating partner and I created this show while touring Europe as performers with Cirque du Soleil. We would move to a new city every week and every week we would try to find a new studio to rehearse in. We ended up lost in industrial city outskirts and in studios without heat or air conditioning, often asking ourselves why we were spending our days off in a studio. But something was working because all that spare time spent stuck in confined spaces lead to our engagement and somehow we made a show that’s been nominated for a Total Theatre Award in Physical / Visual Theatre here at the festival.

Tell us about your show.

Limb(e)s was created by myself and Jeremiah Hughes. We met while in the creation for TORUK, a show by Cirque du Soleil, and immediately gravitated towards each other as the only artists on the show with a dance background. We often felt we had more to express as performers and creators and needed to an opportunity see if that was true or not! We couldn’t afford a lighting designer so Jeremiah tried a first stab at it, and when we premiered the work last month at the Montreal Complètement Cirque Festival, the main feedback we received was that no one could actually see what was happening on stage (but we trust they would have loved it, had they seen it!). So in some ways, the real reveal has been here at the Fringe, and from lemons to lemonade the biggest feedback we get now is how incredible the lighting design and aesthetic of the work is! As for future plans, we do not have any dates booked and are not sure whether that’s a blessing or a curse due to the exacting nature of the work!

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

“Lucille and Cecilia” because it’s also a circus-inspired duet, equally dark, but much more witty!
“Goliath in the water” because it’s kinetic and shares themes of the loss and fragility!


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+3 Interview: Could It Be Magic?

“We have sold over 1200 tickets already from very strong word of mouth and whilst it’s a comedy show the magic has been getting great reactions and gasps and cheers in all the right places.”

WHO: Paul Aitchison: Writers / Performer / Chief Wizard

WHAT: “In a unique mix of mind-melting magic and bonkers character comedy, one performer plays four contestants in a hilarious and somewhat manic magic competition. This is debut show from Paul Aitchison, as seen/heard performing on BBC Radio 4, West End stages and on your tellybox. Best known to Fringe audiences as co-writer and performer in award-winning sketch act Mixed Doubles (Guardian Top Five recommendation and Dave Comedy Peoples Choice winners). Feel-good comedy meets stupendous sleight of hand, magnificent mind reading, and top draw bamboozlement! It’ll be fun but… Could It Be Magic?”

WHERE: Just the Tonic at The Caves – Just the Fancy Room (Venue 88) 

WHEN: 15:30 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

My first Edinburgh was back in 2004. I was performing in our school play that was …inexplicably bought unto the fringe for a week, but I remember having the time of my life and thus knowing that both performing and the Edinburgh Fringe were inevitably going to be part of my future.

I’ve performed in 6 Edinburgh Fringe festivals, usually in Improv/Sketch comedy. For several years as part of “Mixed Doubles” an award-winning Sketch comedy act that did well and performed a few times on radio 4 and toured internationally.

It’s my first year doing a magic show, but as people quickly get once they see the show, the focus is as much on the comedy and audience interaction with the 4 characters as it is the tricks.

The response has been pretty overwhelming. We have sold over 1200 tickets already from very strong word of mouth and whilst it’s a comedy show the magic has been getting great reactions and gasps and cheers in all the right places.

It takes a huge amount of effort to bring a show up to the fringe and doing such a technically complicated show as COULD IT BE MAGIC? even more so. There were many nights this year when I got back late from working in theatre only to then Power up the laptop and pull work til 3am to get it all done. So it’s a great feeling when you see it pay off. As someone who’s experienced both successes and failures in their career – it’s a lovely feeling to see a large queue of people waiting excitedly to see a sold-out show, then realise it’s your show.

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

Professionally I’ve had some very nice acting jobs come through this year. Some on telly as we speak and others in theatre and a couple to come after the Fringe.

Also getting to put this show on, Something I’ve wanted to do for several years has been a real year highlight.
Going solo is both terrifying and electrifying and there are a few people who have really helped my get to this point.

Including (but not limited to) my wonderful family, Serena Dunn, Jamie Maguniess, John Henry Falle, Chaz Redhead, Will Close and Dianne Roberts. Also, the many magicians who’ve work inspired me to finally do my own.

In my personal life, I got engaged!

Tell us about your show.

I’m proud that the show is pretty novel in concept and execution. I can be confident in saying It’s certainly one of the most unique of the many magic shows on offer at this year’s fringe.

The audience is welcomed to the Magic Ring Magic Society’s Best Magician of Magic – Magic Competition. (TM)

Four Acts present their best 15 minutes of magic to the audience in the hope of winning the immortal trophy. I play all four acts. So there’s lots of quick changes whilst the audience are watching videos introducing the next act. Each act has their own style of magic and humour, so there’s a new energy introduced with each finalist.

The acts this year are:

The Reg kettle, a bitter reject from the working mens club magic circuit now forced to do kids parties. Zantos Thorne, A cocky American mindreader who also sees himself as a Pick-up artist.  Klause Fantastiche, Germanys No1 Illusionist (in his price range) and Famed 1970s TV Double act Colin and Carol.

The aim of the show is to just get the audience to have a really great time and see some unforgettable magic moments.  There are other elements to the show… but those would be spoilers.

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

I’ve seen some great shows the year, too many to name but: “Boar” is a triumph. Titania Mcgrath’s show is playing on a treacherous satirical cliff edge but writing and performance are sharp enough to navigate it safely though. One never regrets an evening with The Showstoppers. Ever. Algorithms is at serious risk of being the next fleabag Cirque Bezerk is quite something to see. Holy smokes and “Mr thing” is the best way to end a day at the fringe. It’s got everything; games, nonsense, a banging band and a puppet barkeep…who needs more.


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+3 Interview: Ogg ‘n’ Ugg ‘n’ Dogg

“What I am really, really looking forward to at the moment is not having to flyer every day to get an audience.”

WHO: Colin Granger: Writer, director, marketing manager

WHAT: “Hail Ogg ‘n’ Ugg! Heroes! And ta so much for inventing the dog. Don’t miss this mind-boggling tale of how two Yorkshire hunter-gatherers palled up with the wolves and saved us from doglessness. Expect flying meat bones, sabre-toothed tigers, time-travelling stick and maybe, if you’re lucky, even a pat of Dogg! Award-winning Fideri Fidera’s reet funny comic take on the amazing evolutionary process that transformed the wolf into man’s best friend and all the dogs we see in the world today. Perfect for dog lovers young and old, big and small.”

WHERE: Gilded Balloon Teviot – Dining Room (Venue 14) 

WHEN: 12:30 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

My name’s Colin Granger and I’ve been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe in various guises for the past 35 years – as director, would-be actor, playwright, producer, fringe venue manager, and programmer. I’m back this year with Theatre Fideri Fidera, a children’s touring theatre company I set up with my partner Marina and our daughter Natasha Granger in 2016. This year we have brought a play I’ve written called ‘Ugg ‘n’ Ogg ‘n’ Dogg’ What I am really, really looking forward to at the moment is not having to flyer every day to get an audience. There are just too many children’s shows on the Fringe, and with Edinburgh, schools now back, far too few kids to watch them.

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

The best thing that happened for our company in the last couple of years was getting good reviews for our 2017 production, Oskar’s Amazing Adventure, and it winning the Primary Times Children’s Choice Award. This gave us a good two years on the road playing at theatres and venues all over the UK and Ireland. The best thing for myself and Marina is that after getting sidetracked for nearly 25 years founding and running the arts and entertainment venue Komedia in Brighton and Bath, we handed over our jobs to our staff so we could to spend more time on our first love, creating theatre.

Tell us about your show.

The play is set a long time ago in the fresh, sparkling new world just after the Ice Age when there were no dogs for us to be best friends with. There were wolves but we didn’t like them and they didn’t like us. But then along came Yorkshire hunter-gatherers Ogg ‘n’ Ugg to pal up with the wolves, and save us all from a life of doglessness. Audiences can expect lots of fun, flying meat bones, rapping wolves, sabre-toothed tigers, time travelling sticks, and – if they’re lucky – even a chance to pat the world’s first dog – Dogg!

I wrote the script and directed ‘Ugg ’n’ Ogg ’n’ Dogg’, but as a company, we always develop the script in workshops, rehearsals, and previews, so my original script always gets changed a lot in the process. We are premiering Ogg ‘n’ Ugg in Edinburgh and start touring in October with performances in small rural touring venues in Dorset – my favourite type of touring.

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

I have hardly seen a thing. After a hard day flyering all I can manage is a hot bath and an early night. I have, however, seen one four times, Swipe Right Theatre’s ‘Scream Phone’ at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose. But have to own up, that my daughter is one of the performers and co-wrote and directed the show.


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+3 Interview: The First King of England in a Dress

“I auditioned for this show through Young Actors Company in Cambridge, and we performed the show in multiple locations throughout the UK.”

WHO: Izzy Dawson: Ethelred/Ethel

WHAT: “Vikings, giants and magic await you in this fun-packed historical adventure. Will Ethelred get his mum back? Why has the king turned up on his doorstep dressed like a peasant? And just why does the king want to wear the old clothes of Ethelred’s mum? Find out in this delightful adaptation of an English folk tale that’s rammed full of engaging storytelling, original music on an ancient instrument and plenty of joining in!”

WHERE: theSpaceTriplex – Studio (Venue 38) 

WHEN: 15:05 (50 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes, we could not comprehend the amount of people that would be at the festival. I was looking forward to performing, and seeing other shows as well! Fortunately, we managed to see a variety of shows, from physical theatre to improvised musicals!

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

Before the Edinburgh Fringe, I was asked by my church to write and sing my own composition. I played/sung to 3 services (over 1000 people)! This was a big achievement for me because I managed to overcome my fear of judgement from others, and I loved people hearing my music!

Tell us about your show.

Our show is written and produced by Chip. Set over 1000 years ago, and it follows Ethelred’s story of finding/saving his mother alongside partner King Knut! I auditioned for this show through Young Actors Company in Cambridge, and we performed the show in multiple locations throughout the UK. Going next, we’ll be part of next years national celebration of 1000 years since Britain’s first equality law: Kingdom 1000.

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

I would recommend seeing a variety of genres as this covers many interesting themes! I preferred seeing improvisation shows (e.g: Showstopper is fabulous). We also saw YUCK, which is a hilarious and outgoing physical theatre show led by a full female cast.


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+3 Interview: The MKC Experience

“Nothing beats supporting new talent.”

WHO: Angela Ishmael: Manager

WHAT: “After working with some of the music industry’s biggest names including Mark Ronson, Boy George and Florence + The Machine, MKC step back into the spotlight to bring a new, exciting and captivating show to Edinburgh after selling out in 2017. Expect a fully immersive musical adventure taking you on a rollercoaster of emotions and styles that will touch your hearts and leave you uplifted and inspired. Known for their passion, blend and soulful delivery, MKC’s slick and choreographed presentation, combined with a genuine connection to each other and the audience, make this the ultimate vocal experience.”

WHERE: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Grand Theatre (Venue 53) 

WHEN: 17:45 (70 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Happily no!

MKC performed at Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in 2017. We didn’t have a clue what to expect then! Crazy logistics trying to get nearly 30 divas – including the lads – from South London in a tiny space at the Niddry. Try getting accommodation at Festival time for all of us in one place! Let’s say we know each other intimately now – no flinching when it comes to costume changes we just get on with it! Rehearsals leading up to the run were frantic and intense, but all so very worth it in the end. Back then, the aim was to showcase MKC’s repertoire in the form of a theatre show; we wanted to bring innovation to choir performances and get audiences to really feel our passion for music. It worked. We created a real buzz, far exceeding our expectations and sold out – achieving Laurel Status if you please – all of our shows after the first day. The performance highlighted years of MKC’s harmony perfection in the form of creator and MD Mike King’s incredible arrangements.

Just how incredible? Enough for Boy George and a 150 strong NHS choir to move millions of people in a tribute to David Bowie on Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer Show, performing Mike’s arrangement of “Starman”. We had audiences cry when we sang it at the Niddry too. And we know we’ve gotcha when you cry! One thing that frightened the life out of us was the sea of flyers to wade through on the Mile alone! We didn’t realise how crucial this was to getting bums on seats! The Mercat Stage really helped to boost our seat sales; but we’ve now perfected the sort of flash-mobbing. Don’t be surprised if we pop up while you’re eating your curry!

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

For us, the last 2 years have been about building on the success of our sell-out Space @ the Niddry shows in 2017. It was so gratifying to know that people out there really enjoyed our Experience and wanted more. We’ve performed extended versions of the show at the Cockpit Theatre, Greenwich Theatre and went a touch further north to the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans! We’re working on taking the show UK wide, however, that’s going to take some serious money, so fundraising will be the way forward for us. Anyone interested? We had a breath-taking experience shooting a video with Boy George and Culture Club. Popular with all MKC fans is our live concerts, and we continue to perform at clubs in the South East, Pizza Express in Holborn being a great place for us to get our groove on. We’ve supported other famed artists in the past (Angelique Kidjo, Florence Welsh) but nothing beats supporting new talent and we’ve recorded with a few stars that have amazing futures ahead of them. Preparing for this year’s festival has for us been a top priority, learning new songs and new moves for a more powerful MKC Experience.

Tell us about your show.

The show’s concept was created entirely by Mike King, with production support from all of MKC’s members, especially Zoe James who quite frankly is a genius at getting us to move anywhere in time! As a vocalist, it’s always a pleasure to be able to realise your MD’s vision, but with Mike, it’s an absolute privilege. We’ve had 8 years of being able to sing some of the most complex harmonies that only his talent can create. Very lucky. If you want to see a traditional, 4-row choir with choral sheets and robes, don’t come and see us! We’re not your typical choir – that’s why we call ourselves a vocal collective. MKC is not a Community choir either; as much as we have fun and enjoy singing we are semi-professional vocalists that can bust a tune! Everyone could give Adele and ‪Ed Sheeran‬ a run for their money – we just love to do it together.

We’ve got new songs this year, mixed with some MKC solids. It’s the mix of songs with the sassy movements that will grab your attention. Bling and ass shaking is part of the norm for MKC (so is the rum punch and pizza wind down after the event, but more about that another time…) and we certainly aren’t afraid to shake them! This year, we’re not holding back on letting you hear the voices; more soloists backed with dynamic harmonies will give you an Earth-shattering vibe that takes you to a great place. And the choice of songs will surprise you; where are you going to hear West End Theatre mixed with London Grammar in one set? Different, but only MKC can pull it off. There is a seriously strong Legends tribute medley at the end of the show. Come see to find out who…

What makes us unique is our family feel; we’ve been through so many experiences as a collective (and because there is so many of us there isn’t much left that we can’t handle…..) look out for the special encore at the end that epitomises this….

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

The good thing about asking a collective what we should go and see is the vast amount of suggestions. The challenge when you ask a collective what we should go and see is the vast amount of suggestions! We’ve tried to narrow it down to our top 3, and of course, the music shows won hands down!

There have been rave reviews from MKC members about Eva Cassidy‬: The Story, theSpace@the Symposium Hall. An emotional journey highlighting the brief life of a woman with an inspirational voice. Reflects a lot of what we stand for in our music. A whole bunch of MKC are going to see Havana After Dark @ Pleasance, EICC; the Cuban salsa mood will keep us energised for the rest of our run! And a few very fortunate MKCers caught the Aretha Franklin Story (also at theSpace@the Symposium Hall). Almost all of the female vocalists in MKC use Aretha as an inspiration to get in touch with their inner divas! Awesome legend. Tickets for this weekend have already sold out, so don’t miss it next week!


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“Modern Maori Quartet: Two Worlds” (Assembly George Square Studios, until AUG 26 : 15:50 : 60mins)

“Absolutely everyone is saying you should go see it and that’s because everyone should absolutely go see it.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars: Outstanding

There was a time when people actually read the newspapers. No, no, it’s true. Every day they took a few coins out of their pocket which were exchanged for the latest headlines, insight, and opinion. It wasn’t a perfect system, fake news and churnalism are nothing new, but it ticked along merrily enough. Then globalism happened. Then digitisation happened. And it turned out that those who own and operate newspapers have about as much collected wisdom as the Creator bestowed on a stick of celery. Hōhonu kaki, pāpaku nana.

Back in the day, the longest-running year-round show in Edinburgh was the collapse of the North British Newspaper. The coming of a new Scottish Parliament and Government, the continuing health of Scotland’s professional and service sectors, the growing significance as well as size of the capital’s festival season, meant there was more raw news than ever. The masses came online and there were even more ways to consume and digest news content than ever.

And yet, somehow, as the cricket ball of destiny gently arced towards the green, the outstretched hands of the fielding news industry were allowed to slip into pockets of mediocrity. The ball struck head-on even as the note of nonchalant condescension whistling from the Scottish media’s main mouthpiece reached its shrillest. With shoulders still shrugged, the impact stunned, concussed, and obliterated the North British Newspaper’s faculties, reducing the once proud and active player to a drooling spectator convalescing cantankerously in the pavilion.

Still, every year, all but dead, and definitely decaying, the North British Newspaper is solemnly wheeled into the commentary box to provide its two penny’s worth of insight into EdFringe. Older producers (though rarely any actual punters) convince themselves that unlike everyone else on Earth, the denizens of Edinburgh actually give a tinker’s fart what their crippled local newspaper has to say about anything. EdFringe was (and is) no less of a local or an analogue experience than reading the North British Newspaper on the train into Waverley. And yet EdFringe has not only survived but thrived in the new cultural landscape.

For an insight into why, one need look no further than ‘Modern Maori Quartet: Two Worlds’ – this season’s must-see toast of the town. Absolutely everyone is saying you should go see it and that’s because everyone should absolutely go see it. Firstly, because the show is beautifully presented. Four great looking guys in matching suits which, even at this late stage, are so sharp and well pressed you might cut your finger on them. Koro, Big Bro, Uncle, and Bub take to the stage for an hour of storytelling at its finest.

In less ambitious or dexterous hands the show’s premise might have come out a smidge goofy. But the quiet charm, relaxed confidence, and unashamed boldness of four matching, but totally different performances leave no room for doubting the effectiveness of the narrative architecture. We are given a privileged insight into the soul of a distant nation coming to terms with the passing of the old and the rise of the new. The stories are centre on unrequited love, unending grief, unsettling self-denial and, finally, most poignantly of all, the unravelling of hope. 

The music is soulful. The dance routines are measured and graceful (I’ve got my promised haka). This is the closest I may get to seeing the badinage, banter, and rehearsed spontaneity of the Rat Pack on stage in my lifetime. Culturally nourishing, intellectually stimulating, and physically elating – how tragic for all humanity that this show is not a snack food product.

What this show is, is a testament to what soul searching can do for a person and for a people. No answers have been provided when the house lights come back up, but the underlying questions of life, the universe, and everything have been defined and refined – which isn’t bad considering it’s pretty much just four blokes singing songs for an hour.

Britain right now is in the midst of a seemingly endless period of schism and interregnal discord. The toxic vapours of the public’s angry nostalgia and self-pitying hubris are left to fester by the breakdown of the traditional cultural cloud lifters such as the North British Newspaper. How fortunate it is then that the global presence of EdFringe can deliver a reaffirming shot of cultural adrenaline, sourced from far away nation tormented by the past, troubled in the present, and uncertain of the future. It’s a damn pity that, with the archbishop incapacitated and irrelevant, there is no one around to crown Modern Maori Quartet: Two Worlds kings of the Fringe ‘19 and joyfully exclaim, “Tēnā koe Kïngi o te Kīngitanga.”

outstanding

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Reviewer: Dan Lentell (Seen 17 August)

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THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED