Finding Peter (Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wine Bar: 12, 14-27 Aug: 10:00: 45 mins)

“The pacing is perfect. Just as one starts to wonder if the energy is ebbing, a fresh riptide of song and participation rolls in.”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars: Nae Bad

Wendy, John, and Michael are all in pajamas, but the siblings aren’t going to bed. Not just yet. They’re telling stories to one another on familiar themes. Pirates, native folk, the Lost Boys, sword fights, and (of course) Peter Pan. Enter the fairy Tinkerbell, so small we can only detect her presence via the sound effect of a bell ringing. Peter’s in trouble, held prisoner by a mutinous deserter from The Jolly Roger, and her captain, James Hook. Wendy announces that she will go alone to save the day, despite the brothers’ whines and protests.

Upstage centre is a mess of boxes and fabric behind which costume changes and bell ringing occur. The height is perfectly judged, forcing the players to come down to the level of the wide eyes gazing back at them. The costumes are basic, student night attire occasionally highlighted with something from the dressing up box. I wanted more, but the show isn’t for me as Granny / Mother-Out-Law censoriously reminds me afterwards.

While the set, lighting, and sound are minimal (perhaps even too minimal), the performances are turbocharged and ultra engaging. From the moment we enter, the smiles are set to max. If bubbly cheeriness were a communicable ailment, we’d all be in quarantine for a month. Jenny Witford, as Wendy, leads the trio. She’s the voice of reason and authority, the Atlas holding up worlds within worlds. Think Graham Chapman in a Monty Python classic, surrounded by an unending pageant of colourful minor characters. Jessica Arden and James Tobin take turns inhabiting (with varying levels of success) each of the personalities Wendy encounters on her journey to find Peter.

The pacing is perfect. Just as one starts to wonder if the energy is ebbing, a fresh riptide of song and participation rolls in. Frankie Meredith jam packs the hour like one of these Facebook videos explaining how if you roll up all your clothes and put your toothbrush in an old water bottle you’ll only need carry on for your 6-8 month around the world adventure. Pace and performance – they’ve got to be done right and Finding Peter gives a masterclass on how to get them right.

Meredith’s script seems to exist on three dramatic planes. The first is the siblings’ collective imagination, their dressing up and acting out. The second is the actors’ interactions through the fourth wall, audience interaction and knowing winks – “Well of course I want you two to come too” Wendy tells her brothers, “but then who would play all the other characters?” The third dramatic plane is Neverland, where most of the action occurs. Perhaps the lines between the planes could have been sharper, the internal logic more rigorous – but, again, who am I to argue when Daughter 1.0 (3 years old) is having such a blast?

This show is for her and it delivers. JM Barry’s familiar themes are delivered even without the “Art budget? Was there an art budget? I thought we had an unending ocean of cash.” advantage of the 2003 movie. Daughter 1.0 comes out of the show buzzing as though she really has been sprinkled with fairy dust. She could fly off at any moment her thoughts are that happy.

The Teviot Wine Bar is a tough space to convincingly fill, especially as this show isn’t getting the audiences it deserves, half a dozen in when we were there. You can do this very talented company and yourself a favour by getting out, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, to see this rollickingly gentle tribute to a classic family favourite.

nae bad_blue

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

Reviewer: Dan Lentell (Seen 9 August 2018)

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THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

+3 Interview: Damian Clark: Extra Show

“I’ve been working on these jokes for the past 10 years during a pilgrimage trip through the Inca Trail.”

WHO: Damian Clark, performer

WHAT: “Strap in for rapid-fire jokes from the Aussie hurricane in this brand-new show. Due to phenomenal demand, 26 shows have been added in the same room at the same time. Book now! Sell-out show: Perth Fringe World 2018, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011-2016, Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2013-2017. ‘The world’s wittiest machine gun’ (Scotsman). ‘A relentless onslaught of crippling laughs’ (Skinny). ‘Every joke – and I honestly do mean every single joke – is genuinely, gut-bustingly funny’ (ThreeWeeks). ‘Infectious, hilarious and highly recommended’ (Kevin Bridges).”

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

WHEN: 22:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

7th solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe, my fave number! The first 6 were just a run-up to this masterpiece 😀

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

My wife had a baby using all her own ingredients plus a sprinkling of spices from yours truly.

Tell us about your show.

I’ve been working on these jokes for the past 10 years during a pilgrimage trip through the Inca Trail and living with people in a mountain village surviving on lizards and leaves… or I’m going to write it this week, one of the two.

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

Heidi Regan – Heidi vs Sharks


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+3 Interview: Very Blue Peter

“I became a legal knife-wielding Oyster Shucker. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But all I know is, I smell like fish more regularly than one man should…”

WHO: Toby Boutall, Writer/Director/Performer

WHAT: “1998. England are out of the World Cup. JK Rowling is still pretty skint. Richard Bacon has been framed. Or did it really happen? Or was it all just a cover-up of something much, much bigger? Get your badge on, here’s one we made earlier, welcome to the set of Very Blue Peter. A bonkers, immersive, party of a late night show – bringing you back to your childhood whilst destroying the innocence of all of it.”

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

WHEN: 23:15 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

As a performer, yes this is my first time at the Fringe and i’m pretty excited! However, I came up last year working with Eastlake Productions helping with shows such as This Is Not Culturally Significant and Your Ever Loving! It was utterly ridiculous. RIDICULOUS.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

This year has been a pretty crazy one. Got seen for Genie on the west end… wasn’t quite right for that. Helped my mates reopen an immense theatre in Tottenham Hale, N16 (even though it’s N17). But by far, the most important thing that happened this year was far away from acting. I became a legal knife-wielding Oyster Shucker. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But all I know is, I smell like fish more regularly than one man should…

Tell us about your show.

Very Blue Peter is my love child with Eric Andre and Rik Mayall (even though they don’t know it yet). The show centres around the Richard Bacon fiasco of 1998. After being supposedly caught in an illegal adult act, Richard Bacon was fired from the Blue Peter. However, this was all a cover-up for something much, much bigger! TCC (The Children’s Channel) had been cancelled on the 3rd April and 5PM for unknown reasons. After the cancellation of their channel, three disgruntled presenters broke into the BBC studios, Locked and blocked all the doors, kidnapped the school kids, the guests and the techies for that day’s show. They then forced the BBC to record this episode in hope of regaining some credit in their careers, but everything went disastrously wrong… The episode has only just been rediscovered and will be presented in front of your very eyes.

The show is being produced by Eastlake Productions, who recently opened Flesh & Bone at the Soho theatre! The company itself came about through a mix of drinking, football, stupidity and a little bit of theatre. After having worked with almost everyone here before, I knew they’d be the right people to go crazy with! We’ve only done a few in-house previews before hand, so Edinburgh will be getting the proper first previews and run! This is really exciting and we know that if it goes well, then it will go really well and we’ll hope to do a run in one of the theatres Eastlake Productions works with on the regular. if it goes wrong, I’ll find a nice little shack in Lancashire and retire. At 25.

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

There are a number of good bars to see at 12 o’clock at night. I like the one with the sofas in, that’s pretty neat. And Frankenstein’s for the mad one. Oh yeh, in terms of theatre, probably Loop, probably Ouroboros, maybe some of the young lads Naughty Corner’s productions…


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+3 Interview: Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Home Sweet Home

“I got a PlayStation 4! So, yeah, it’s been a big year.”

WHO: Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, stand-up

WHAT: “The debut hour from the future of Scottish stand-up. A three-time Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist, So You Think You’re Funny? finalist and two-time nominee for Best New Act at the Scottish Comedy Awards. As featured on BBC Radio 1 and 4 Extra. ‘On the cusp of something big and you don’t want to miss it’ (Daily Record). ‘A charming young comic. Macarthur-Boyd’s material is well-honed and well-delivered’ (Scotsman). ‘The personal and political housed seamlessly’ (Skinny). ‘A comedy nerd’s informed tweaking of stand-up convention’ (Chortle.co.uk).”

WHERE: Gilded Balloon Teviot – The Turret (Venue 14) 

WHEN: 22:15 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is my first proper debut hour, but it’s not my first rodeo. In 2015 and 2016 I did double-handers with Ben Pope and Rosco Mcclelland, then last year I did a 45-minute solo show called The Boyd With The Thorn In His Side.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

My girlfriend has emigrated from Australia to Glasgow to live with me… in my mum and dad’s house. That’s what the show is about, too, funnily enough. Also, I got a PlayStation 4! So, yeah, it’s been a big year.

Tell us about your show.

Well, like I said, I’ve got my girlfriend living with me, my mum, and my dad. The show is about that living situation. 4.3 million adults in Britain still live with their mum and dad, and I think that’s shite.

The first ever run-through of it was at the Leicester Comedy Festival in a room above a pub, then the Glasgow Comedy Festival at The Stand. Since then it’s had trial runs at the Bath Comedy Festival, at The Stand in Edinburgh, at the Tringe in Tring, at Breakneck Comedy in Aberdeen, and in the corner of a pub in Bristol called The White Rabbit. I’ve put a lot of miles into making sure that it’s as good as it can be.

I’d really like to tour it post-Fringe. Fingers crossed!

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

The room I’m performing in at the Gilded Balloon is called The Turret. It’s a wee tiny sweatbox, and it’s great. I can recommend virtually every comedian who’s playing in it. It’s like a who’s who of modern Scottish brilliance; Rosco Mcclelland, Julia Sutherland, Jay Lafferty, Chris Forbes.

Also, check out Ed Night and Ben Pope. They’re brilliant.


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+3 Interview: The Travelling Sisters: Toupé

“A tap-dancing cactus, a giant diva with a dental malfunction… that kind of thing.”

WHO: Laura Trenerry, Performer

WHAT: “Masterfully combining physical comedy, characters and original music, The Travelling Sisters are ‘insane geniuses of sketch comedy’ (GreatScott.media). This infectious trio conjure characters and twists you won’t see coming. A theme park ride for the soul. Best Comedy Melbourne Fringe 2017. New Zealand Tour Ready Award Melbourne Fringe 2017. Best Newcomer Nominee Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017.”

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

WHEN: 18:15 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is our third time to Edinburgh! We lived in the UK for two years and were lucky enough squeeze in two Ed Fringes. We moved back to Australia last year, but we’ve saved our pennies and we’re coming back!

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

It’s been a total whirlwind since our last fringe. So much has happened. But we made it to the TV alongside the big wigs this year. That was pretty mega for us. Hopefully, we’ll manage to sneak back on again soon.

Tell us about your show.

‘The Travelling Sisters’ is made up of Lucy Fox, Laura Trenerry, and Ell Sachs. We met at uni and have been creating, performing and producing together for four years. As well as working together we’re the best of mates which makes life and performing pretty damn exciting. Our show is a comedy sketch- fast-paced, wig laden, costume-heavy stupidity with a touch of the absurd. A tap-dancing cactus, a giant diva with a dental malfunction… that kind of thing. After Edinburgh, we’re taking it to Buckingham Palace.

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

Laura Davis: Ghost Machine. She is brilliant!


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+3 Interview: The Club

2016club_gb

“A torrent of bad language and comedic hedonism.”

WHO: Mark Farrelly – Actor, playing Nick Reynolds

WHAT: “Olly Watson is a poet, who is lonely! But now he has a match, a real woman with pictures and everything! What next? Coffee, flowers, chocolate? Don’t be boring, send her poems about spoons! How’d that go then?”

WHERE: Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

WHEN: 17:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is my sixth…my first was back in 2001 when I was a fresh-faced university graduate doing a version of A Tale of two Cities. I do the Fringe every few years, whenever an interesting and decently-paid project comes up that I’m free for.

Tell us about your show.

The Club, which I describe to friends and punters as a torrent of bad language and comedic hedonism, is written by Ruaraidh Murray. He is a talented writer / performer who I met at the Gilded Balloon two years ago. He asked me to be in it because we are friends, and he also perhaps knows my familiarity with Withnailian people.

We play two men (based on people Ruaraidh knew in the late 90s) who have no boundaries, limits or sanity in their pursuit of hedonism. Enormous fun to play. A barnstorming comedy with an unexpectedly dark and poignant edge. I also get to sink an entire bottle of wine in the first ten minutes, when not swearing my head off.

It’s produced by Something For The Weekend’s Suzanna Rosenthal, kicked off with previews at the Park Theatre in London and will likely be coming to London again in the next six months. We were hugely blessed to be directed by ace theatre maestro Joe Harmston.

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

So much great stuff this year! By all things Godly see Phil Nichol. Lucie Pohl’s Apohlcalypse Now! Anything starring David Benson (he’s playing Boris Johnson and Kenneth Williams here). Anything featuring Sarah-Louise Young. The Snow Queen at Gilded Balloon’s new Museum space. Henry Naylor’s play Angel. The list stretches on… a real selection box of quality in 2016.


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+3 Interview: And The Rope Still Tugging Her Feet

and_the_rope_still_tugging_her_feet

“I wrote and perform the show, we took it to the Brighton Fringe where we were lucky enough to be awarded an Argus Angel award for outstanding theatre.”

WHO: Caroline Burns Cooke – writer & performer

WHAT: And the Rope Still Tugging Her Feet was inspired by 1984’s Kerry Babies scandal. A dark, comic take on a time in Ireland when ‘the most dangerous place to be was in a woman’s womb’ (Bishop Joseph Cassidy).

Written and performed by award-winning writer and actress Caroline Burns Cooke (Best Actress ECU European Independent Film Festival for MYRA; Best Feature screenplay for She Moved Through the Fair from Scottish Screenwriters), and directed by Colin Watkeys of Face to Face Festival, director/dramaturg of legendary performers Ken Campbell, Claire Dowie and Jack Klaff.”

WHERE: Gilded Balloon Teviot – The Turret

WHEN: 12:15 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I’m a fringe veteran! As an actress I’ve been in a dozen plays including The Lad Himself at the Gilded Balloon, The Trial of Jane Fonda at the Assembly Rooms and tons more. This is my second self-written piece but the first solo one.

Tell us about your show.

My director, Colin Watkeys, has been directing solo shows and producing the Face to face Festival for years, working most notably with Claire Dowie, Ken Campbell and Jack Klaff. I wrote and perform the show, we took it to the Brighton Fringe where we were lucky enough to be awarded an Argus Angel award for outstanding theatre and three 5 star reviews. We hope to build on this at Edinburgh and tour it, hopefully doing a London run as well.

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

I’m a big fan of the International Festival for unique experiences. I love the programming at Summerhall and there’s often great stuff at the Traverse, but don’t miss Charmian Hughes in Soixante Mirth at Cowgatehead, Nick Revell in Gluten free Jesus, and Shoot the Women First at The Stand.


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