Live theatre and comedy

  • Getting back to you as promised on the Palin show. I was front row, directly below him. :love:He's still OK to look at but never mind that. The first half of the show he talked about his new book Erebus which was one of the ill fated ships on Franklin's North West Passage expedition. In the second half he just told stories from his career from being at Oxford to his last trip to North Korea. It ended with the German version of the Lumberjack Song & then we all got to sing the Lumberjack Song with him.


    Oh, and he mentioned Genesis along with Zeppelin & Floyd when he talked about the financing of Holy Grail. It turned out the guy next to me was a big Genesis fans & has been on a couple of Steve's cruises & will be seeing Phil in January at the show I'm attending.

    Sorry for the delayed response, it was good to read about the Palin show. I've seen him do a couple of similar shows and he is very good. And a Genesis mention into the bargain!


    Earlier I mentioned a performer Daniel Kitson who does live shows that aren't easily categorised, being somewhere between stand-up comedy and theatre, and that he occasionally tours his shows in Australia. He's bringing his latest one over, called Keep. In this one, as he often does he's playing himself as a character, this time who has indexed every single object in his house and garden and the show is him sitting down to read out every single one of the thousands of cards to us.... But things quickly take an unexpected turn.


    I saw him do the show in London and while it's not one of his best, even when he's slightly below par he's still very funny and engaging.


    Last week I saw a stage adaptation of the film Berberian Sound Studio. As with the film, it's about an engineer brought in to oversee the sound effects of a gory Italian horror film in post-production. Through his increasingly surreal experience we see how he has shut himself off from the world and the effect of this isolation on his state of mind. It was an excellent well-staged show with very good performances.

    Abandon all reason

  • Luckily it stayed dry for the open air production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Chilham Castle in Kent last week. Only 8 actors in total so lots of doubling up, with men playing women & vice versa. The 2 drunken knights were Irish & their victim, the idiotic steward, was Australian!

  • As my usual Edinburgh apartment isn't available for the 2019 Fringe, I was having to look elsewhere and not succeeding. Good, reasonably priced places get booked a year ahead. But I managed to find one today so that's me sorted for my 2019 fix. Yay!


    (And by the way, the owners of my usual rental have reserved it for me for 2020, the first time I've ever booked something 2 years in advance).

    Hmmm well obviously that's not happening! August and no Fringe.... It'll be very strange.


    Theatre is one of the things I am most missing along with cinema and visits to cafes bars and restaurants.

    Abandon all reason

  • Hmmm well obviously that's not happening! August and no Fringe.... It'll be very strange.


    Theatre is one of the things I am most missing along with cinema and visits to cafes bars and restaurants.

    It is going to be a strange feeling here in Edinburgh in August with no festivals going on. The place is usually buzzing but it is going to be eerily quiet

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • It is going to be a strange feeling here in Edinburgh in August with no festivals going on. The place is usually buzzing but it is going to be eerily quiet

    Yes I've been thinking about that. Some will of course welcome it but many businesses will suffer even more than they already are. I suspect even some residents who annually gripe about the crowds will miss it.


    The accommodation agency I go through are great. They've repaid my deposit, rolled my booking over to the equivalent dates next year and won't take a deposit until April. So when I thought I was booking 2 years ahead, little did I know it'd be three....

    Abandon all reason

  • I'm reviving this 4 years to the day since it was last active. I've seen plenty of theatre since then but always forget to post about it here.


    So far this year I've seen a 'scratch' session at Eden Court, my local arts centre in Inverness, with two works-in-progress performed followed by discussion.


    First 'proper' play of the year was Two Sisters by David Grieg, at Edinburgh Lyceum, in fact a first visit there for me. It was a drama about the two sisters reaching turning points in their lives, in the setting of a Fife caravan park where they had childhood holidays. A chorus of teenagers open the play and lurk in the background throughout, having asked the audience for some key childhood memories and incorporated these into the script as it's played, meaning no two performances are the same.


    Next I saw my first ever theatre screening, part of the NT Live series in which a stage performance is screened in cinemas. I've previously avoided them as the idea didn't appeal, but this first go was very good. It was The Motive & The Cue, by Jack Thorne, about John Gielgud directing Richard Burton in a stage production of Hamlet in 1964. It was very absorbing and had great performances from Mark Gatiss and Johnny Flynn as the two leads, and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor. It was well filmed with multiple camera angles and dispelled my reluctance about such stage screenings.


    Back to Eden Court for Houdini's Greatest Escape, a very entertaining comedy crime drama by the New Old Friends company. It features the illusionist on tour in England and becoming caught up in a murder for which he's framed. It incorporated his campaign of exposing fraudulent medium acts (which I hadn't known about) and ended with an impressive escapology routine.


    On a London visit I then saw A Mirror, by Sam Holcroft at the Trafalgar Theatre, a political drama starring Johnny Lee Miller. It's presented as though it's a wedding, but we learn that this is a cover for a performance of a play that's banned in the totalitarian state which is the setting for the play within the play within the wedding. There's then a further unexpected twist at the end.


    Next up was Nye, by Tim Price, at the National Theatre. It depicts Aneurin Bevin's battle to establish the UK's National Health Service and the resistance he faced.


    I then saw my second stage screening, Vanya. It's an adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, given a modern-day anglicized setting and performed solo by Andrew Scott who plays all the characters. While it didn't entirely work for me, he was impressive in a very demanding production.

    Abandon all reason

  • We're not even going to stand up comedy any more, if they use Ticketmaster, which Mr FIC doesn't like becaue it won't let you print tickets and he won't have the app on his phone. I don't like going to comedy shows alone (which rules out Romesh Ranganathan, who is touring in a few months).. In recent times we have seen Nigel Ng & Phil Wang, but there is absolutey nothing at the moment.

  • We're not even going to stand up comedy any more, if they use Ticketmaster, which Mr FIC doesn't like becaue it won't let you print tickets and he won't have the app on his phone. I don't like going to comedy shows alone (which rules out Romesh Ranganathan, who is touring in a few months).. In recent times we have seen Nigel Ng & Phil Wang, but there is absolutey nothing at the moment.

    That's a shame to be missing standup because of unprintable tickets.


    I always try to see Daniel Kitson whose shows kind of defy categorisation. He's sort of a standup, but usually does story shows. He quite often plays in Australia so if you and Mr FIC are up for something a bit different here are details of some Sydney shows he's doing.


    I'll be at the Edinburgh Fringe in August where as usual I'll be focusing on theatre but I try to include a smattering of standup comedy. So far I know I'll be seeing Pierre Novelli.

    Abandon all reason

  • Backdrifter

    Changed the title of the thread from “Live theatre” to “Live theatre and comedy”.
  • Saw Chris McCausland in Lancaster recently and he was very funny indeed, a warm, positive sense of humour taking the Micky out of himself. Recommended.

    Tomorrow is Northanger Abbey in Keswick. Finished reading the book five minutes ago, I’m hoping the play is better. You could tell it was the first complete novel she wrote as it doesn’t really meet the requirements of either a coming of age novel or a Gothic satire, falling somewhere between the two stools, although you can already tell she is a great writer. Have also just picked up tickets for Count Arthur Strong later in the year. I miss him on the radio, which I think is his best medium, he didn’t quite cut it on TV, so will be interesting to see him live.

  • Saw Chris McCausland in Lancaster recently and he was very funny indeed, a warm, positive sense of humour taking the Micky out of himself. Recommended.

    Tomorrow is Northanger Abbey in Keswick. Finished reading the book five minutes ago, I’m hoping the play is better. You could tell it was the first complete novel she wrote as it doesn’t really meet the requirements of either a coming of age novel or a Gothic satire, falling somewhere between the two stools, although you can already tell she is a great writer. Have also just picked up tickets for Count Arthur Strong later in the year. I miss him on the radio, which I think is his best medium, he didn’t quite cut it on TV, so will be interesting to see him live.

    There is a recording of one of Chris McCausland's show on Comedy Central from time to time, "Speaky Blinder", he is funny, and seems like a genuinely nice guy too.

    Ian


    Putting the old-fashioned Staffordshire plate in the dishwasher!

  • Improv theatre, anybody? I am a musician for improv theatre groups, there is quite a scene here at my place. I hardly ever go watch it myself though.

    In looking through possible Edinburgh Fringe shows I've come across a couple that are wholly or partly improvised based on audience input.


    Others I'm interested in include Attila The Stockbroker is performing this year, anyone remember him? He's doing a show about early forms of music, incorporating early instruments. Also, a show performed by a woman in a bathtub to a single audience member. I love stuff like that.

    Abandon all reason

  • Improv theatre, anybody? I am a musician for improv theatre groups, there is quite a scene here at my place. I hardly ever go watch it myself though.

    I also meant to say, at the Fringe this year are some improv theatre shows and one in which it's a different unrehearsed performer each time who has no prior knowledge of the show. I saw one such production many years ago and it was okay, but I couldn't help feeling that it was unsurprisingly a bit rough. I'm not planning to book for anything like that.

    Abandon all reason

  • Two recent productions: a new take on Macbeth at the Edinburgh Lyceum in which material has been added to depict Lady M's transition into insanity and her subsequent death. The original text omits all this action. It worked very well, I thoroughly enjoyed the show.


    I then saw Sunset Song at Inverness Eden Court. It was a staged version of a classic Scottish novel about a young woman growing up on a remote farm at the hands of a brutal father. It was a good, very engrossing production performed by actor-musicians who provided a dramatic soundtrack that was occasionally a bit overdone but on the whole it worked.


    David Bowie & Me was comedian Jack Docherty's memoir of his schoolboy obsession with Bowie and then meeting him when DB was a guest on Docherty's chat show in the late 90s. I tend to avoid these "Stevie Wonder Felt My Face" type shows but I enjoyed this one and had a good laugh.

    Abandon all reason

  • In looking through possible Edinburgh Fringe shows I've come across a couple that are wholly or partly improvised based on audience input.


    Others I'm interested in include Attila The Stockbroker is performing this year, anyone remember him? He's doing a show about early forms of music, incorporating early instruments. Also, a show performed by a woman in a bathtub to a single audience member. I love stuff like that.


    If you want to see some genuinely good improv in Edinburgh, based on audience input, you need to check out Racing Minds.


    I have seen their show many times and they are all gifted improvisers.


    I'm just gutted I can't make it to the Fringe this year, partly because the room rental is now absolutely INSANE.

  • If you want to see some genuinely good improv in Edinburgh, based on audience input, you need to check out Racing Minds.


    I have seen their show many times and they are all gifted improvisers.


    I'm just gutted I can't make it to the Fringe this year, partly because the room rental is now absolutely INSANE.

    I wasn't aware of Racing Minds, just looked them up. But I can't see any listing for them on the Fringe website, although there are still more shows to be added in the next week or so.


    Re rentals: the short-term let system was up in the air when I last checked due to the Council's draconian approach which has left many property owners withdrawing due to uncertainty over licensing. When booking for this year I was told by some rental businesses to leave it for the time being until licences have been sorted, as I'd risk booking with a property that fails to gain a licence and I'd be left rental-less. As I prefer to get it sorted 10-12 months in advance I managed to find a nice looking family-run hotel off London Road that was amazingly well-priced - well, comparatively speaking. It's well reviewed so fingers crossed. I've always rented apartments until now; staying in a hotel will be a first for me.


    For the first night I'm in one of the student rooms off Leith Walk. If you don't mind "slumming" it a bit (the rooms are basic but okay) it's a very cheap option. If the rental market doesn't stabilise I'm tempted to book a longer stay in a student room and put up with it on the basis that I'm usually out all day at productions so I'm only in the room morning and night and asleep in between!

    Abandon all reason

  • I wasn't aware of Racing Minds, just looked them up. But I can't see any listing for them on the Fringe website, although there are still more shows to be added in the next week or so.


    Re rentals: the short-term let system was up in the air when I last checked due to the Council's draconian approach which has left many property owners withdrawing due to uncertainty over licensing. When booking for this year I was told by some rental businesses to leave it for the time being until licences have been sorted, as I'd risk booking with a property that fails to gain a licence and I'd be left rental-less. As I prefer to get it sorted 10-12 months in advance I managed to find a nice looking family-run hotel off London Road that was amazingly well-priced - well, comparatively speaking. It's well reviewed so fingers crossed. I've always rented apartments until now; staying in a hotel will be a first for me.


    For the first night I'm in one of the student rooms off Leith Walk. If you don't mind "slumming" it a bit (the rooms are basic but okay) it's a very cheap option. If the rental market doesn't stabilise I'm tempted to book a longer stay in a student room and put up with it on the basis that I'm usually out all day at productions so I'm only in the room morning and night and asleep in between!

    HI, it's this...


    https://tickets.edfringe.com/w…fore%20your%20very%20eyes.

  • Right that explains it, I searched for 'Racing Minds'. They're doing that thing of trying to be first in the programme listing. They'll be near the top but over the years there have been increasingly ridiculous use of multiple a's to the point there are acts called things like the AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! Comedy Group. Starting with a string zeros would of course trump even that.

    Abandon all reason