Sunday, August 06, 2017
Edinburgh Fringe at 70
I had done my homework, so first up was a performance by Helen Wood entitled 'The O.S. Map Fan Club'. For anyone who has ever walked anywhere, and appreciates paper maps, rather than digital maps on a phone or tablet, this is a must see. Great fun! Dressed the part, Helen took us a walk along a route on an Explorer map with illustrations, facts, explanations, reminiscences, poetry, and impressions. Audience interaction too - I got to hold her lunch flask for the duration!
Just a wonderful easy comic performance. And now I've got the Fan Club badge to treasure into the future.
See Helen at theSpace@Surgeons' Hall at 11.55, just until August 12.
Just brilliant - music, comedy, dance ... and lots of drumming. They got a standing ovation, so I doubt I need to say more!
Until August 27, at 15.15. So if you want a mid-afternoon treat, this is for you ... if you can get a ticket!
'Concerto a Tempo d'Umore' slotted in perfectly, and was a brilliant choice. This was performed by the Orquestra de Cambra de l'Emporda from Catalonia. They are a twelve-strong string orchestra, but this is not classical music as you might expect it. The group make music fun, a physical comedy, with audience interaction and involvement! I'll not write a spoiler by describing what happens in more detail. As one reviewer put it, "An original way to enjoy classical music!" Very, very clever. For all ages, not just an old guy like me.
They got a standing ovation! One of the best hours I've ever spent at the Edinburgh Fringe! I loved it.
The orchestra are here within the Aurora Nova group's celebration of international, physical and visual theatre. They perform in the Music Hall at the Assembly Rooms in George Street at 17.00 until August 27. Go see them, and be royally entertained. You may even get to conduct!
Stewart D'Arrietta, vocals and piano, does a good job with his take on many of Cohen's favourites. I liked the band. Philip Alexander on accordion, melodica, and backing vocals; Tom Bancroft on drums; Graeme Steven on guitar; Heather Macleod on vocals. The star was David 'Demus' Donnelly on bass guitar. Don't know what he was on, but I would like some of it! His enthusiasm was wonderful to see. I understand he put the band together.
Welcome to the Church of Leonard! I particularly enjoyed a version of 'First We Take Manhattan', a long time favourite. And of course the performance finished with a rendition of 'Hallelujah'. Cue ear worm for the rest of the night.
Live music in the Ballroom of the Assemby Rooms, George Street, at 19.45 until August 27.
see here. So, remembering this, yesterday I made my way to a little performance space in the basement of the New Town Theatre (aka the Freemason's Hall) in George Street at 21.40 to see Sam in 'Losing Days'.
Wow! Not only is Sam a great actor, he is a singer and musician. He shares the stage with Maks Kubis, a talented instrumentalist, who acts as a foil to Sam's performance. But this was a tough watch in places. It is described in the Fringe Programme as a 'hilarious, harrowing journey'. 'Hilarious' (as it was at times) and 'harrowing' (that too) are good adjectives to describe the experience. 'Losing Days' is Sam’s own story, acted out splendidly with incredible honesty. Mental illness is not a comfortable subject for most people, and, by my generation at least, is not talked about much. Huge congratulations to Sam and all involved in putting this performance together!
I drove home with my emotions in tatters. 'Losing Days' was a Fringe experience I will remember for a long time! Not for everyone, I think, but if you are up to be challenged, go see this! Until August 27. There's a good interview here if you want to find out a little more.
"Sam, we definitely need to talk!"
Images from flyers and posters.