SATURDAY 13 AUGUST 2016 THREEWEEKSEDINBURGH.COM
GOODBEAR: SKETCHING OUT YOUR FRINGE DAY
Having met while both sketching with the Leeds Tealights, Joe Barnes and Henry Perryment arrived at the Fringe as sketch comedy duo Goodbear for the first time last year.

They return this Festival at the Bedlam Theatre with a show full of rather strange characters living their lives during one single day. We spoke to both Joe and Henry to find out more. Read the interview here.

Goodbear perform at Bedlam Theatre until 28 Aug.



PHOTO SHOOT: ZAZU
The brilliant zazU are back at the Fringe performing 'Raisins To Stay Alive' at Gilded Balloon Teviot. "It's silly, strange and, of course, very, very funny", says our 5/5 review of the show.

Not only that, but we finally get round to talking to the zazU guys in the Week Two issue of ThreeWeeks. And you know what that means - photo shoot! Check out the results here.

'zazU: Raisins To Stay Alive' is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot until 29 Aug.
Three to see at the Edinburgh Festival tomorrow...

My Name Is Gideon: Songs, Space Travel And Everything In-Between | Pleasance Courtyard | 1pm
Some theatrical tips for you today, kicking off with this great show from Gideon Irving that, aside from being "unmissable" - according to our reviewer - is also "often funny, sometimes moving, and constantly punctuated by songs that are incredibly sophisticated, both musically and lyrically".

The Glass Menagerie | Kings Theatre | 7.30pm (pictured)
Next, one of the theatrical productions being presented by the Edinburgh International Festival this year. "This production establishes a new standard for 'The Glass Menagerie', making the classic play feel surprising and new", says our reviewer, who adds that Cherry Jones "gives a brilliant performance that breaks clichés and delivers a natural, complex, funny, pitiful Amanda".

Two Man Show | Summerhall | 8.15pm
Finally one of the shows being presented by Northern Stage over at Summerhall. "While there are plenty of words, there's also music, dance, physicality, intimacy, pounding drums and earthy, primal roars that say things without 'saying' them", reports our reviewer. "In the climax I found a tear in my eye, and I can't articulate why. I don't have the words".
WEEK ONE ISSUE OF THE THREEWEEKS MAGAZINE IS OUT NOW - DOWNLOAD OR PICK UP YOUR COPY

The Week One edition of the ThreeWeeks magazine is out now! Pick up your copy from a Fringe venue of your choice.

Inside you will find interviews with Mark Watson, Goodbear, Holly&Ted, Hui-Chen Tan, Jonny & The Baptists, Martha McBrier, Njambi McGrath, Robert Shaw and This Glorious Monster, plus columns from Bob Slayer, Henry Maynard and Yeti's, and lots of reviews.

CLICK HERE to check out the Week One edition online
.
5/5 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED | 4/5 RECOMMENDED | 3/5 GOOD | 2/5 MEDIOCRE | 1/5 BAD  

IT'S THREEWEEKS' 21ST YEAR COVERING THE FESTIVAL
We are celebrating by interviewing five former cover stars for the TW:TALKS podcast
Come watch us interview Mark Thomas on Tuesday (16 Aug) at 10.30am
TW:TALKS Live at theSpace @ Symposium Hall - Get your free tickets here


COMEDY

Andrew Hunter-Murray: Round One (Test Tube Comedy)
A slightly baffling mish-mash of an excellent concept, daft characters and occasional audience participation, Andrew Hunter-Murray's debut solo show left me conflicted. I had high hopes for one of the stars of 'Austentatious' and the 'No Such Thing as a Fish' podcast. And the show itself isn't bad, it's just... you can tell he's new at this. Set in a pub quiz championship final, we're introduced to characters entirely unrelated to the context. They've all got their own quirks, but I'd have loved to see more of quizmaster Tony and his melancholic undertones. Thankfully, a raucous group in the audience helped enliven things, and in reality Hunter-Murray was at his best when he was riffing with his audience and going off script.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Chris Coltrane - Socialist Fun-Times (Chris Coltrane / PBH's Free Fringe)
Amidst the current backlash against political correctness, Chris Coltrane not only opts for political correctness, but celebrates it too. The result is a show that's positive and affirming, as well as consistently funny. Coltrane talks us through Trump, Brexit and the notion of offence, inviting us to join him in grinning through our despair at the news. The material at the end of his set is arguably the best, explaining why political correctness, rather than a burden, should be treated as a necessity, given that the alternative is nastiness. This comedy about comedy not only explains why Coltrane acts this way, but shows us why everyone else should get on board too.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Nina Keen]

Ed Patrick: Junior Optimist (Ed Patrick by arrangement with Corrie McGuire at Roar Comedy)
Tales of rectal exams, breaking bad news and death combine to form this refreshingly good comedy show by Ed Patrick. Patrick provides us with a sharp, witty insight into the life of a junior doctor, cleverly dismantling the societal idea that doctors are demigods who will always save us. Its beauty is in its frank approach to the medical world, a world that Patrick shows us is a far cry from the ones depicted in 'ER' or 'House'. He mixes the funny with the serious to great effect, and intelligently capitalises on the ongoing battle between junior doctors and the government. This is an accomplished debut - the NHS will do well to keep hold of this particular doctor.
Just the Tonic at The Community Project, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [John Sampson]

Emma Sidi: Telenovela (Berk's Nest and Pleasance)
'Telenovela' is as funny and wild as the Spanish-language soaps Emma Sidi's riffing off are dramatic. When Sidi burst onto the stage, her first high-octane sketch is performed entirely in Spanish. It's something only a comedian like Sidi, assured and excellent in comedic delivery and physical humour, could pull off. It's the strongest section of the show, and when Sidi drops in on different characters, while still really funny, you're waiting for her to return to her main Telenovela character Vanessa, who gets all the strongest material. Ludicrous, but in the best way, Sidi creates a show so good I wish I could binge watch it on TV.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Improvabunga (The Watch This Improv Troupe)
Improvised theatre usually provides an opportunity for the audience to take control of a show. However, the main issue with 'Improvabunga' was that, from the outset, the apparently 'improvised' play felt manufactured. With little audience input after the first carefully guided selections of genre and location, the plot (on this occasion a disaster epic set in a pizza factory) remained linear and one-dimensional, with the actors firmly stuck in their pre-planned comfort zones. While the acting itself was good and each scene flowed into the next, the performance lacked the spontaneous wit that can elevate an improv show to the next level. There is potential here, though - perhaps a few shorter, snappier scenes involving more audience input would be more successful.
theSpace on Niddry Street, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

James Acaster - Reset (Phil McIntyre Entertainments)
It's starting to feel pretty silly going "Y'know who's really good at comedy? James Acaster". No matter how high your expectations going in, his latest sold-out-extra-show-added-sold-out-again show 'Reset' is pretty much guaranteed to exceed them. His creativity in crafting truly bizarre stories in mundane settings seems to know no bounds. Unlike previous shows, 'Reset' includes a couple of hints of an opinion, but without ever compromising the surreality. Jokes about Brexit, everyday sexism and voluntourism that you'd think would feel out of place, in fact sit completely comfortably next to stories about running a honey company and getting onto a witness protection scheme. Weaving observations into the surreal, 'Reset' is a show that has pretty much everything.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Nina Keen]

Marcel Lucont's Whine List (Phil McIntyre Entertainments with Corrie McGuire for Roar Comedy)
Feeling good about yourself? Having a lovely time at the Fringe? Then why not allow a pompous, condescending Frenchman to insult you for an hour. Marcel Lucont, the alter ego of comedian Alexis Dubus, is a brilliant character, the very embodiment of a Gallic shrug. His targets may be easy, as he criticises British food, transport and culture, but his masterful timing means he can get a laugh just from one raised eyebrow. While Lucont's laconic delivery and deadpan humour are hugely enjoyable, his lacklustre audience interaction - asking the crowd to discuss their worst amorous encounters - is less successful. However, whatever your views on Brexit, Marcel Lucont is one European we definitely need to keep around.
Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Michelle Wolf - So Brave (Bound And Gagged Comedy)
'So Brave' isn't your typical two star show - it's a combination of a 4 and a 0. In her initially sweet-sounding delivery (that you soon discover is actually a bit dark), Wolf does some brilliant material on Ben Carson, men's fake niceness, fountains epitomising Western extravagance, and period farts. Everything from her premises to her execution is hilarious. But interspersed within this material is retro misogyny and homophobia, with a dash of transphobia and ableism thrown in. This is confusing, because I could've sworn we'd established this was unacceptable ages ago and moved on. Being "dead inside" and "having no feelings" are not an excuse. We, the audience, have feelings, and violent and demeaning jokes fucking hurt.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Nina Keen]

Paul Foot: 'Tis A Pity She's A Piglet (IMWP)
I think Paul Foot might have reached peak absurdity with his new show; an impressive feat given the weird comedy he's been dazzling us with for years. In ''Tis A Pity She's A Piglet', his targets range from couples on holiday to Oscar Pistorius, and even a stuffed toy monkey. He does it all in his unique style that skirts around the nonsensical, though of course he occasionally just throws in the nonsense too, for good measure. The vigour with which he performs often makes me wonder how he doesn't end up pulling a muscle. For the devoted Foot-fan, this new material is a treat. For the rest, take heed: it is seriously eccentric.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Rose Matafeo Is Finally Dead (Berk's Nest and Pleasance)
Rose Matafeo, who has a fear of dying, has organised her own funeral. But thankfully, for a show about death, her material feels really fresh. Matafeo is a real millennial comedian, and that's meant as the highest compliment. It's not that her comedy is inaccessible for other ages, it's just that the off-kilter, weird humour, mixed with continuous pop culture references, makes the show feel very much like the kind of comedy loved and shared by the online generation. Her strongest material is when she plays with music cues, especially an 80s movie montage about the struggles of trying on clothes in fitting rooms. A really fun, and funny, hour of comedy, just try to make sure you don't die laughing.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Tez Ilyas - Made In Britain (Bound And Gagged Comedy in association with UTC Artist Management)
"It's awkward talking about race and identity, but the conversation needs to happen," says Tez Ilyas, at the beginning of a show that does just that. From growing up, to a myth-debunking bit on arranged marriages, Ilyas takes us through his life and experiences as a Pakistani Muslim from Blackburn. A couple of the jokes felt a bit 'done', like the ones about vegans or the retro sexist gag about female Ghostbusters being good at hoovering. Also, after establishing himself as liberal, vague jokes about sexism, and slapping his own hand and saying "cheeky!" afterwards, don't make those jokes OK. For the most part though, 'Made In Britain' is smartly observed and enjoyable.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Nina Keen]

Yeti's - Demon Dive Bar (Dead Man / EastEnd Cabaret)
This is exactly the kind of show that words like quirky and kooky were invented for. Enter Yeti's bar, a bizarre cabaret full of weird accents, weird songs and even weirder costumes. From the nun-hating diva to the sleazy head-in-a-box magician, the whole show, by Fringe favourites EastEnd Cabaret, is innuendo-heavy and logic-light. The costumes are hugely inventive, and the interaction between the two performers feels comfortable and playful, though some of the songs themselves felt a little underwhelming. But the rest of the crowd clearly loved them, despite a frankly uncomfortable amount of audience hair-stroking. If the real world is making too much sense, head to Yeti's for some silliness.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Gemma Scott]



IT'S THREEWEEKS' 21ST YEAR COVERING THE FESTIVAL
We are celebrating by interviewing five former cover stars for the TW:TALKS podcast
Come watch us interview Brendon Burns on Wednesday (17 Aug) at 10.30am
TW:TALKS Live at theSpace @ Symposium Hall - Get your free tickets here

DANCE & PHYSICAL THEATRE

Binari (MAC Theatre Company)
This Korean physical theatre piece portrays the Ohgugut ritual, a form of shamanic exorcism, where souls can escape from the struggle between the world of the living and of the dead. All ages can enjoy this performance, however, as the topic of death is conveyed with a playful, joyous spirit. 'Binari' merges traditional folk dance, music, song and mask work. MAC Theatre Company have managed to capture the essence of the ritual with an outstanding aesthetic - simple fabric props mutate into powerful images. If you're not used to Eastern theatre, wait until the second song and you'll be completely drawn into its beauty. Language is not a barrier here - the body speaks, with delicacy and impeccable detail.
Assembly Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 ⎪ [Lucrezia Pollice]

IT'S THREEWEEKS' 21ST YEAR COVERING THE FESTIVAL
We are celebrating by interviewing five former cover stars for the TW:TALKS podcast
Come watch us interview Susan Calman on Thursday (18 Aug) at 10.30am
TW:TALKS Live at theSpace @ Symposium Hall - Get your free tickets here

MUSIC

Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret (Edinburgh International Festival / Barry Humphries / Miaow Miaow / Australian Chamber Orchestra)
Barry Humphries gave a voice to the many composers and performers who were silenced, then forgotten, by the Weimar Republic in the 1930s. The superb Australian Chamber Orchestra were in 1930s character throughout and, together with cabaret artist Miaow Miaow, combined sex, pathos, musicianship and hilarity, bringing 1930s Jazz-inspired German cabaret to the Usher Hall. The music itself was a combination of Jazz, Second Viennese School and a desire to escape. Mr Humphries' scholarly narrative was compelling and funny despite the subject's sadness; he clearly loves this music. The performers were so authentic I felt I had been tapped on the shoulder by the past, and the music felt too effervescent and ingenious to leave the stage so soon.
Usher Hall, 8 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

Mark Padmore & Kristian Bezuidenhout Lieder By Beethoven And Schubert (Edinburgh International Festival)
If chemistry is the key to good Leider, then this performance created sparks. Leider, an equal partnership between the singer and pianist, is extremely difficult to do well, so I was delighted by the way these performers drew strength and inspiration from each other. Tenor Mark Padmore was the model of artistic restraint, keeping poise and sensitivity throughout, only exhibiting his volume and tenor pizazz when necessary. The songs' stories were told simply, effectively and without adornment - I enjoyed the contrast between the chilling 'Der doppelgänger' (The Wraith) and the whimsical 'Die Taubenpost' (Pigeonpost). The famous 'Ständchen' (Serenade) by Franz Schubert was a joy too, and I left humming it; a glorious start to a Festival morning.
Queen's Hall, 8 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

IT'S THREEWEEKS' 21ST YEAR COVERING THE FESTIVAL
We are celebrating by interviewing five former cover stars for the TW:TALKS podcast
Come watch us interview Lucy Porter on Friday (19 Aug) at 10.30am
TW:TALKS Live at theSpace @ Symposium Hall - Get your free tickets here

SPOKEN WORD

Love: Songs And Poems (David Lee Morgan / PBH's Free Fringe)
David Lee Morgan's intimate show takes you on very personal tour of one man's life-long experience of love. His poetry brims with romantic imagery, guiding the audience on a poignant journey through the love stories that have shaped his life. His performance is full of passion, as his movements connect with the emotions his words express. Morgan compartmentalises his poems into three sections, about heartbreak, being in love and depression. Unfortunately, his poetry is slightly one-dimensional, with the bulk of his focus on more depressing, dark verse, making the subject of love seem too narrow a focus for an hour long show. 'Love: Songs and Poems' is one for the broodier types.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [John Sampson]

IT'S THREEWEEKS' 21ST YEAR COVERING THE FESTIVAL
We are celebrating by interviewing five former cover stars for the TW:TALKS podcast
Come watch us interview Mark Watson on Saturday (20 Aug) at 10.30am
TW:TALKS Live at theSpace @ Symposium Hall - Get your free tickets here

THEATRE

The Company Of Wolves (Twisted Tales)
Re-imagining Angela Carter's 'The Company of Wolves', this production from Twisted Tales is all bark and no bite. Director Rebecca Cochran-Patrick has decided to stage it as a "kitsch 1950s cautionary tale for girls", but this twee take on the source material strips Carter's work of its eerie sensuality, and is chastely sexless for a story about sexual awakening. It is fun, however, with a great retro soundtrack and sparky performances. Alex Britt as The Wolf is funny one minute and menacing the next, and Felicity Challinor, as part of the ensemble, stands out as a charismatic and versatile performer. 'Company of Wolves' might smooth over what made Carter's work special, but it sure has a blast while doing it.
theSpace On The Mile, until 12 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Faslane (Jenna Watt in association with Showroom and Contact)
"I'm aiming to be totally transparent", Jenna Watt declares at the start of her performance lecture about Trident. This does not mean she doesn't have an opinion, rather that she wants to show the debate in all its human complexity, as a spectrum rather than as a binary. Watt is an engaging performer, and it's fascinating to get an insight into how she formed her opinion about the nuclear deterrent. Watt recounts interviews she conducted with family members who work at Faslane, as well as with activists. Although the show could have explored the debate in more detail, and involved the audience more, 'Faslane' thoughtfully interweaves the personal and political. It is entertaining, open-minded and clear-sighted.
Summerhall, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]

From The Mouths Of The Gods (The Flanagan Collective and Joanne Hartstone)
Bringing together maths, God and the experience of a first kiss, 'From the Mouths of the Gods' attempts to tackle an essential philosophical question: do we really make decisions freely? Featuring a different actor and audience member every night, this half-scripted, half-improvised piece takes the form of an informal discussion. The audience is invited to participate, reflect and debate on issues of moral responsibility and free will, and the piece keeps on growing as each performance allows the spectator to shape it into a new experience. While the concept is interesting and innovative, the fact that even the actor is unprepared, and has to act text in hand, limits the dramatic intensity that it could have had.
C Nova, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Pénélope Hervouet]

Glasgow Girls (Pachamama Productions, National Theatre Of Scotland and Regular Music)
As important now as it ever was, musical 'Glasgow Girls' returns to the stage. It tells the true story of a group of teenagers, both asylum seekers and native Scots, who banded together when one of them was threatened with deportation. The songs are catchy, funny, moving and important and, while it may paper over the issues asylum seekers face when they get to Scotland, it's an effective call to arms that had the audience up on their feet in rapturous support. The choreography by Natasha Gilmore is also stunning, showcased in a beautiful sequence near the end paying tribute to each of the girls' cultures. With the current political forecast looking bleak, 'Glasgow Girls' is a political drama that offers hope, not damnation.
Assembly Hall, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

In Our Hands (Smoking Apples)
Smoking Apples have brought another gorgeous show to the Fringe. It's a deceptively simple story about an elderly fisherman, dealing with the estrangement of his son and the disintegration of his struggling fishing community. It's full of heart and pathos, told almost wordlessly, but the real delight is in the visuals. Samuel Wyer's design is beautifully evocative and full of wonderful details - a net unfurls to create a whole village, a whole lifestyle. The father and son are both puppets, with each small gesture unbelievably expressive, and the performers too are a joy to watch - even the scene changes are entertaining. Though the pace might be a little sedate for some, this is an enchanting, sincere piece that deserves your patience.
Underbelly, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Jules Verne's Extraordinary Voyages: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Not Cricket Productions)
This story is dependent upon spectacle; Nemo's vast submarine, the Nautilus, and the great Kraken that attacks it are iconic incidents in the tale. Wisely, given the constraints of special effects in live theatre, most of these details are left to our imagination, and are all the more powerful because of that. A sea-bed stroll, performed in near-silence, blue-lit, with shadowy fish and seaweed drifting in silhouette is an understated highlight. Less wise was the decision to have a single tentacle, visibly held by a cast member, to represent the Kraken. It drew laughs, squandering the tension the hitherto imagined attack had built. However, complex characters and intense performances elevate this above the other plays in the company's Jules Verne trilogy.
C Nova, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Leask]

Lines (Pangean Productions)
1.34 million people travel on the London Underground each year. 'Lines', a new spoken word play by Ian Horgan, gives us glimpses into the lives of some of these people. Although the show relies on archetypes ('Homeless Man', 'Refugee'), the live guitar music and the deft construction of Horgan's subtly rhyming script mean it still manages to surprise, and the minimalist set is effective at conjuring up a variety of underground locations. The company is strong and works well together, with Jez Ridley and Adriana Moore's performances particularly standing out. However, the show lacks forward motion; the connections between the characters could be established earlier. Overall, Pangean Productions delivers a well-crafted ensemble piece, encouraging us to look differently at the people we meet.
Summerhall, until 15 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]

The Vaudevillains (Les Enfants Terribles)
Prepare to be thrilled, prepare to be dazzled! Les Enfants Terribles present their new musical creation, an explosive combination of cabaret, circus and freak show. Delve into the bizarre, eclectic crowd of Siamese triplets, knife-throwers, magicians and many more that the Empire has to offer. This peculiar club's evening entertainment is halted by the mysterious murder of the club owner, Charlie, but this certainly does not end the fun for the audience, as we embark on a thrilling and musical quest to find the murderer. This multi-talented cast brings to life these shady and twisted characters, and still manages to make them all endearing. Prepare for a night you'll never forget!
Assembly George Square, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Pénélope Hervouet]

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