SUNDAY 21 AUGUST 2016 THREEWEEKSEDINBURGH.COM
PATRICK MONAHAN: QUIZZING THE KIDS WITH STORY POCKET THEATRE
We are big fans of both Patrick Monahan and Story Pocket Theatre. In fact, we've given both of them a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award. So of course we pricked up our ears when we heard that a plan was afoot this Fringe for the two former award winners to join up and create the brilliant-sounding family show 'Pub Quiz For Kids'.

We're very much looking forward to getting along to the show but, in the meantime, we thought we'd find out a bit more about it all by orchestrating a quick conversation with its star. Read the interview here.

'Pub Quiz For Kids' is on at Gilded Balloon until 28 Aug. Patrick also performs 'That 80s Show' at Gilded Balloon, also until 28 Aug.



PHOTO SHOOT: GIDEON IRVING
Gideon Irving's excellent show 'Songs, Space Travel And Everything In-Between' is on at the Pleasance Courtyard, and in our Week Three issue we'll find out all about it, and why the multi-instrumentalist is more often found performing in his audiences' living rooms. Look out for that on Wednesday, but for now... photoshoot. See the results here.

My Name Is Gideon: Songs, Space Travel And Everything In-Between is on at Pleasance Courtyard until 29 Aug.
Three to see at the Edinburgh Festival tomorrow...

Grimm: An Untold Tale | Underbelly Cowgate | 12.30pm
We begin with a recommended show from the theatre programme. "This is a story about stories, but one that doesn't get bogged down in self-indulgent meta-commentary; rather, it explores the stories of the real women who provided the brothers Grimm with their tales", explains our reviewer. The cast maintain "a tight grip on the audience's attention and emotions".

The Lounge | Summerhall | 3.25pm
More theatre now, and 'The Lounge' in which "performers deliver a menagerie of characters through expert physicality". Says our reviewer: "As the actors make liquid shifts from young to old it's hard to resist harrowing moments of realisation, about mortality, and about the need for revolution, a 'silver rising' in the care industry".

Knightmare Live: The Game Has Changed | Pleasance Dome | 7.00pm (pictured)
And finally, fast becoming a Fringe institution, it's the latest round of 'Knightmare Live'. "Brendan Murphy plays fantastical characters on and off the stage", says our reviewer, "with voices and an energy that reduced more than one audience game player to helpless giggles".
WEEK TWO ISSUE OF THE THREEWEEKS MAGAZINE IS OUT NOW - DOWNLOAD OR PICK UP YOUR COPY

The Week Two 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 Patrick Monahan, Juliette Burton, Andrea Walker, Bethany Black, Frances M Lynch, Shôn Dale-Jones, zazU, Tim Renkow, Delia Olam, Stephanie Jayne Amies and Teddy Clements, plus columns from Guy Masterson, Laura London and Clair Whitefield, and lots of reviews.

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

CABARET

JoJo Bellini's Kitchen Cabaret (JoJo Bellini)
Watching a woman cook you soup, whilst she sings the hits of Tom Jones, is a typically Fringe way to spend your lunch hour. Despite vocal problems during her afternoon performance (alleviated with a large glass of white), Bellini's musical love for all things Welsh is bawdily punctuated with her culinary props - a steaming pot in place of dry ice, a violently chopped percussive leek. Her voice alone is not strong enough to carry the show but, combined with her chef skills, it rouses the audience to the share in that simple joy of singing along to the radio whilst making dinner. This kitchen karaoke is not pitch perfect, but Bellini is a jolly host and her Welsh cakes are to die for.
The Stand Comedy Club 2, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Francesca Peschier]

COMEDY

Abi Roberts: Anglichanka (Abi Roberts / PBH's Free Fringe)
It's undeniable that Abi Roberts has huge stage presence, commanding the room from the moment she steps on stage. Roberts regales the audience with tales of how at nineteen, she was inexplicably thrust from Swansea into the glamorous world of Russian opera, studying at The Moscow Conservatoire. Through a wonderful blend of funny stories and audience interaction, we are whisked to post-Cold War Russia to learn of Roberts' struggle to assimilate as an Anglichanka (English woman). A fantastic storyteller who has led a fascinating life, you'll leave Roberts' risqué comedy having not only laughed, but also gained an insight into Russian culture and customs. Definitely a show for those looking for a scoop of wanderlust to go with their stand-up.
Voodoo Rooms, until 28 Aug.
tw review 4/5 | [Rosie Barrett]

Aunty Donna: New Show (Electric Talent)
Back in Edinburgh once more, Aunty Donna are here to assault your senses with some of the most ridiculous sketch comedy you'll find. And I mean that in the nicest sense. It's fast and furious and so beautifully weird; I like my comedy off the wall, and Aunty Donna have perfected a style that sets the bar high. They're basically clowns in suits who will sing, dance and maybe even sit in your lap, all while generating enough heat to power the lights in the venue (probably). Their sketches make no sense whatsoever, but that's why they are so utterly addictive. This is superb mayhem that is, quite simply, not to be missed.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Lynne Jassem: From Como To Homo (Lynne Jassem)
We begin in 1957, when 10-year-old Lynne Jassem is a Como-ette, one of six dancing children appearing on 'The Perry Como Show'. Through a mix of nostalgia and autobiography Jassem tells her story, about the pressures of being a child performer, along with the struggles of gender confusion and homosexuality. She is old-school showbiz to the core, and serves up theatrical storytelling, mime, songs and some impressively nimble tap dancing. Jassem vividly portrays the people in her stories, bringing them to life, and it almost feels as though you're being transported back in time. It's a charmingly open and honest account of negotiating fame and identity at a time very different to the one we know now.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Daisy Malt]

They Built It. No One Came. (Fledling Theatre Company)
This musical comedy is based on a true story about two men starting a commune, only to have no one else show up. The performance starts incredibly strong, and the cast excel at comic timing. The musical numbers are exceptionally funny, in particular the final dance in preparation for battle, which has the audience in tears of laughter. But the show is let down by the finale, which feels wooden, and the acting fails to be believable. Also the jokes can border on insensitive; serious subject matter like mental illness should be handled with more care. The show still has the potential to be a fantastic, warped comedy, if only the cast can portray the bitter with the same skill they do the sweet.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Rosie Barrett]

MUSIC

Karmana, Songs Of The Roma (Simon Thacker and Justyna Jablonska)
When people migrate, their music moves and changes too. This was another stage in the journey of the music of the Roma people, from India through the Balkans and Spain. Virtuoso Scotsman Simon Thacker (guitar) and Justyna Jablonska (cello) were joined by Roma singer and violinist Masha Natanson, to share Thacker's transformations of traditional Roma songs and instrumentals. Many of the songs were about broken relationships, and these were poignant and spirited. I particularly enjoyed the Russian melodies. Thacker's guitar and Jablonska's cello sparked and sobbed, alternately supporting and leading, while Natanson shouted defiance or pleaded for mercy in impressive, versatile style. Good music for a hot summer night.
Summerhall, until 20 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

THEATRE

Bucket List (Theatre Ad Infinitum)
"Sometimes it's hard to tell what's real and what's not." So says main character Milagros, played feelingly by Vicky Araico Casas, at the start of Theatre Ad Infinitum's new show, 'Bucket List'. The talented ensemble tells the story of one young woman's quest for revenge against the corrupt, capitalist regime in Mexico that killed her mother. Physical theatre and live music are expertly used to create the world of the play. It also brings the complex political situation of post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Mexico to the attention of the audience. Although the story requires quite a lot of suspension of disbelief, I was still rooting for Milagros to succeed.
Pleasance Dome, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]

Cold / Warm (So Be It)
In a forgotten block of council flats a young man converses with his mother, I mean microwave, about his many unique opinions. He's a simple yet intellectual rebel who resists ordinary assumptions, mostly about shoes and sultanas, but sadly takes too seriously much of the doom and dystopia found in the digital zeitgeist. It's a surprising monologue that kept me chuckling throughout, and is well delivered, but it feels like there should be more. More elements, plot, or backstory would add substance and empathy for the protagonist, and it would be great to see more of the eccentric characters who occasionally knock on the door. Still, 'Cold/Warm' is an enjoyable take on isolated youth.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug.
tw rating, 3/5 | [Jane Berg]

Doubting Thomas (Grassmarket Projects)
"I have done terrible, horrible things, now do you think anything less of me?" asks Thomas McCrudden, who has come to the stage in his middle age, to finally stop acting. To drop the "mask" of the hard man that brought him a six-year sentence for attempted murder. Grassmarket Projects has devised 'Doubting Thomas' with a group of five ex-offenders, based on McCrudden's autobiographical writing. The brilliantly paced narrative flashes enigmatically between past and present, wrecking the boundary between fiction and reality. The performers are reliving, revealing, and demanding that we really 'see' them; their quiet, raw, honesty will give your moral core whiplash.
Summerhall, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Jane Berg]

A Good Clean Heart (Neontopia / Wales Millenium Centre)
'A Good Clean Heart' follows two brothers, separated at birth, through their struggle to reconnect. James Ifan masterfully plays eighteen-year-old Hefin, struggling to cope with the news of the brother he never know he had, whilst Oliver Wellington portrays Jay's longing for his lost brother to devastating effect. Alun Saunders, who won Best Playwright at the Wales Theatre Awards 2015, is one of the most exciting young writers on the British theatre scene today. The dialogue moves effortlessly between English and Welsh (surtitled throughout), and the use of the two languages helps emphasise the rift in the courses of the brothers' lives. The best play I have seen at this or any other Fringe.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Rosie Barrett]

How Is Uncle John? (Creative Garage)
A mother grieves her distant daughter, Hope, and contemplates their failure to communicate. In fact, Hope has been trafficked by her boyfriend while on holiday in Italy, but her mother must first confront her own trauma and fears in order to reach her. It's a good premise, but unfortunately the play doesn't go much further, and it's a pity to see the actors limited by a script which is at times confusing and repetitive. The fact that they are always separate on stage works more symbolically than dramatically, and the withholding of important information until the last moments obscures the mother's emotional journey. The essence is great, but it is sadly lost in execution.
Assembly Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Jane Berg]

Immortal (GreenTea Productions)
From the moment the beleaguered air crew, stranded behind enemy lines, staggered on stage, the sense of a bond between them was palpable. Cleverly the script eschews clichés of stoic, stiff-upper-lip behaviour, instead showing us genuine bravery in the face of fear and desperation. Gallows humour is deployed liberally, building a sense of camaraderie and lending the proceedings an air of authenticity. The men respond as human beings, not ciphers, and that's to the script and the actors' credit. Tensions are high, tempers flare, and gradually fault lines appear between the men; to say more than that would spoil things for you. Suffice it to say that things don't end the way I expected them to.
Greenside @ Infirmary Street, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andy Leask]

The Marked (Theatre Temoin)
This empathetic story about London's homeless has been brought to life with care, honesty and sensitivity. The lonely protagonist Jack is faced with unfortunate struggle against the demons of his past. These demons appear in flashbacks, as masked characters, and in the present story as he fights to push them away. The show includes wondrous magical elements, such as the dustbin transforming into a tent, monstrous creatures appearing from the darkness, and characters switching from demon to human. The ultimate shock was to discover that the show is performed by just three actors, proving an unbelievable amount of stamina and force. A marvellous journey, which ended too quickly. I only wish I could see it again!
Pleasance Dome, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 ⎪ [Lucrezia Pollice]

A Number by Caryl Churchill (Gone Rogue Productions)
How much of our identity is governed by our genetic make-up? 'A Number' explores the consequences of cloning, focusing on the disintegration of a father-son relationship, after the son discovers he is a copy of his 'dead' elder brother. Charlie Randall shows great versatility as he inhabits three variants of the same person, while Tom Smyth, as the father, brilliantly captures the essence of a man whose life is in free fall. It's a stripped back production that lets the intensity of the material lie bare, on a minimalist stage with little interference from the sound technician. It's an affecting piece, questioning whether our identity stems from what's inside us or from our experiences.
C Nova, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [John Sampson]

Owltime (Morphe)
Charlie Wise introduces himself as "career's advisor for the Taliban", then says he is a "Yazidi Kurd" living in the Calais Jungle. The thing is, while Wise is patently not a Kurdish refugee, he does not seem to be acting either. 'Owltime' is offensively bad. It has no discernible narrative structure or point and does a disservice to the issues it professes to talk about (Syria and the refugee crisis) by its inadequacy. Two other members of the company occasionally offer irrelevant interjections, which are not integrated into the show. The three children in the audience of this purportedly family show were bored and bemused. If I weren't reviewing, I would have walked out within the first ten minutes.
C Nova, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Royal Shakespeare Company)
There are rules that we all adhere to. Rules for what we say. For our bodies. Rules that we don't even think about. But what's stopping us from actually breaking these rules? What stands between us and changing the way things are? This is exactly what Alice Birch looks at in 'Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again'. The Royal Shakespeare Company take on this elusive new writing, with four daily extraordinary performances. This is a challenging seventy minutes, but so worth it. A frank exploration of the constraints of being a modern woman, and what would happen if we rebelled against them. With slick staging, a bold, experimental style and some brilliantly clever writing, this is a show you wont want to miss.
Traverse Theatre, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Bethan Highgate-Betts]

A Royal Flush (Cat O'Nine Tails and New Celts Productions)
This confused mess of a play is really two plays: one, a satire of cynical tabloid journalism; the other, a farce about two hapless kidnappers with a princess locked in a portaloo. Both interesting enough premises, and both mined for a few laughs. But the split focus results in a ping-pong back and forth between the disintegrating kidnap attempt and the journalists trying to build their story about it. As such, the tone and rhythm is disrupted. It's not without merit – as I say, both sides have a good number of funny lines – but there are too many dead moments in between. The plot unfolds predictably, and by the end I found I simply didn't care.
theSpace on the Mile, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andy Leask]

Skin Of The Teeth (Fat Content Theatre)
An hour in the company of the boy who couldn't feel fear is as unnerving as it sounds, especially when faced with the headlight stare of Daniel Holme's Nicholas. Though billed as physical theatre, it is Holme's micro-expressions that have the audience leaning forward not to miss the next twist. Anna Beecher's cautionary tale has echoes of Angela Carter via Roald Dahl. Max Perryment's excellent sound design elevates this alien yet familiar fable, both disturbing and compelling, but the emphasis is on plot rather than character development. It is rare for a UK audience not to be moved by a boy-and-his-dog connection but the detached character of Nicholas is hard to empathise with, even with added canine.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Francesca Peschier]

Tank (Breach)
In the 1960s, John Lilly led a NASA-funded experiment to teach dolphins to speak English. The experiment notoriously included a young researcher, Margaret, living in close proximity with a dolphin, Peter, and "wanking off his massive dolphin cock". Breach's new show tells this story. Using verbatim excerpts from the tapes of the experiment and sound distortion software, two of the company reconstruct parts of what happened, while the other two offer potential details to fill in the gaps. The company is very aware of our urge to humanise dolphin behaviour and the way the story has been sensationalised in the public imagination. They offer an ethically aware plurality of interpretations. A smart, engaging, well-performed show about how stories are told.
Pleasance Dome, until 20 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]

Unseen (Ashley McLean)
Holly is homeless and it's not her fault, just a combination of bad luck, ill-fated decisions and the sorry state of the economy. Writer/performer Ashley McLean's script manages not to make extraordinary the fine line between homeless and not. Holly's encounter with past job rival Maria (Lara Fabiani) leads to heart-to-hearts over bacon rolls, about the precariousness and chronic unfairness faced by the homeless and those who can't, or won't see them. The dialogue between these two women divided by circumstance is realistic and never feels forced, unlike some of the more moralistic monologues. There's no major drama to this piece, but it's the very passivity that lends weight to the depressing heaviness of being trapped without a roof over your head.
Spotlites, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Francesca Peschier]

Where Do All The Dead Pigeons Go? (Scott Turnbull Presents)
Scott Turnbull sits at an overhead projector and, through a series of illustrations, takes us on a flight of fancy through a troubled creative mind. When his girlfriend dumps him, socially awkward Turnbull moves to space, with a malfunctioning robot as his only friend. As the show grows increasingly dreamlike, we begin to wonder if any of this is real, or occurring only in Scott's head. The childlike drawings suit the show's sense of innocence and wide-eyed wonder, beautifully exploring ideas of isolation and insanity. It's eccentric to say the least, and certainly won't be to everyone's taste. but amongst lovers of 'Mighty Boosh' style quirky comedy, the witty and wonderfully weird Scott Turnbull may soon develop a cult following.
Northern Stage at Summerhall, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Rosie Barrett]

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

ThreeWeeks Edinburgh
UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

[email protected] | [email protected]