Aug 8th ’13 – Gusset Grippers and Obie: A Comedian’s Guide to Improving your Memory

Gusset Grippers, 12:00, The Newsroom, 3***

Obie: A Comedian’s Guide to Improving your Memory, 14:45, Espionage, 4****

On my TOP TEN WEIRD PRE-FRINGE SHOWS list, Gusset Grippers (3***) is at number one. A comedy show about how not to wet yourself. It certainly caught my attention pre-fringe. I should really have gone earlier in the Fringe, but it started at 12 noon and I was never up early enough! So on Thursday 8th, day seven, I ran up Leith Walk towards the Newsroom on Leith Street to make the start of the show.

I have learned over the last few days that there is a section of the Fringe which is pretty educational. Educational in a more obvious style rather than messages hidden within the arts. There is a brochure sponsored by Edinburgh Skeptics and Good Thinking which showcases nerdy, geeky and educational shows including Gusset Grippers, Bonk! (a sex talk) and the Festival of the Spoken Nerd. There is also something called ‘Bright Club Scotland’ at The Assembly Rooms which “blends original comedy and (PHD) research”.

Elaine Miller is a Chartered Physiotherapist. She knows her stuff. She is warm, friendly and immediately puts her audience at ease. I did feel like I was back at high school in a sex ed class, with her table of props and informative yet informal approach. But none of the local nurses that my school got in to speak to us about sex said anything like: “Imagine you are on a date and you have a fart brewing…” or “pop a finger up your fanny or bum and squeeze” (I must point out she didn’t want us to do the finger thing while we were in the audience, but yes she DID want us to imagine we were holding in a massive fart).

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Elaine proved herself as more than just an expert or a comic – but as an ambassador and someone who is out to make a difference. She seems like the kind of person who thinks big, hence bringing what is basically a funny educational health talk to the largest arts festival in the world. Not many people would have the balls (?!) to do that. She is also pushing her findings and knowledge to the government and is standing up for women all over the country who are all facing a common problem but are too embarrassed to speak up. She truly is a woman to be admired and respected.

Elaine’s show was a good laugh. In terms of stand up comedy, much of the comedy material was obvious and verging on the cringey; but that all added to the persona of a lovely knowledgeable mum on stage who loves to crack jokes and has no fear of any rude words. Elaine is the self-titled ‘face of the pelvic-floor’ and she is definitely worth a watch. Not only will you have an enjoyable and free hour, but you will be blessed with much helpful knowledge and less pairs of damp pants for the wash.

Gusset Grippers, The News Room, Leith St, 12pm, FREE. INFO HERE.

The educational theme then continued as I attended Scottish comedian John Obrien’s (Obie’s) show about how to improve your memory. (Obie: A comedian’s Guide to Improving your Memory 4****). I met Obie on the comedy circuit a couple of years ago and I have found his work very interesting. Obie runs workshops in stand-up comedy and memory training and I have attended both and learned a great deal from them. I was intrigued as to how he would merge his comedy with a memory workshop in just an hour. Especially while stating that the audience would “improve their memory”. Could he manage this while also making the audience laugh? Yes – he did.

The thing that I admired most about this set, was the excellent and expert structure of the hour. So much stand-up I have seen is haphazard or lacking in direction, but Obie with this show had a tight and perfectly crafted structure while still allowing for spontaneity, improvisation, audience banter and responding to anyone that happened to call anything out.

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The international audience that the Fringe brings is no mean feat for anyone with a thick accent, never mind a proper Glaswegian. It was quite amusing watching the deep concentration from an Israeli couple as they tried to follow Obie’s Glasgow vernacular. But as the show played out the man in the couple chipped in a good few times so he had managed to follow which was impressive in itself.

Within this hour  Obie managed to create a great rapport with the crowd, show off his own memory skills which were very impressive, shared how he did this with the audience and allowed them to try out their new skills. None of this dragged at all and it all flowed brilliantly with a neatly tied and timed ending. The audience were delighted with the show and one guy who had been grinning ear to ear the whole way through the performance happily slapped a tenner in the bucket at the end while raving about the hour to his girlfriend.

This routine was laugh out loud funny, wonderfully packaged, included much audience interaction and delivered on the claim that the audience would learn something along the way.

Check it out if you like Glasgow banter, improv, Derren Brown or just fancy a guaranteed good hour on the Free Fringe.

FOR INFO ON THIS SHOW CLICK HERE. 

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GINGER PRIDE – EDINBURGH FRINGE 10 August 2013

This morning I paraded through Edinburgh City Centre with a couple of hundred fellow gingers and ginger supporters. There were ginger wigs, pro-ginger banners, ginger photos, ginger grannies, ginger babies, ginger twins, ginger lovers and I think there was a ginger dog. Someone was even dishing out the Ginger Nut biscuits. True story.

Me and my non-ginger friend Suzanne met with the crowds today across from The Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street at 11am. Already there was a big crowd, people filming and a good few photographers kicking around. All eyes were on Canadian comedian Shawn Hitchins who organised the event as well as having his own free Fringe show ‘Ginger Nation’. Shawn was mingling amongst his ginger ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ as well as the ginger loving paparazzi.

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As the group of proud gingers congregated for a group photo, the press went wild. Ginger Pride was hot news.

Banners were out in force. There were Shawn’s own banners ‘It Gets Redder’, ‘Ginger & Proud’, ‘For the Love of Ginger’, ‘Because I am a Ginger’ and ‘All Hail the Red Orange and Pale’. Children, couples and ginger families had home-made banners too with slogans and photographs.

The Fringe crowds were loving it and I got a bit carried away waving at the onlookers and asking them if they would like to take a picture.

Ginger Pride was a great laugh, and to most people the whole concept is hilarious. However, it was certainly by no means just a bunch of redheads taking the mick out of themselves.

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Every single person there had stories to tell about horrific bullying due to them having a hair colour which is in the minority. I am 31 and I hardly ever think negatively anymore about having ginger hair. As the years have passed I have realised ‘It gets redder’. People admire your hair, hairdressers go wild as they brush it and you realise there are plenty of hot guys who are actually attracted specifically to your firey looks.

But today brought back memories of being a child with red hair. I was in great admiration of the parents that had brought their children along, because it is bloody hard being a kid; and it is even harder if you are ‘different’ in any way. I got it all as a kid; ginger ninja, duracell, fanta pants, irn bru chew, and Schumacher. Apparently when I walked into my registration class for the first time as ‘the new girl’ when I was 12, one boy told all the other boys that my head reminded him of the fire that Shumacher had been in the week before. So I was called Shumacher, every single day for at least a year.

You may be laughing, but it was hurtful. Being the new girl was hard enough, without a nickname that spread pretty quickly on your first day.

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You get hardened to it and it stops annoying you. But unfortunately the self doubt that years of negative name calling gives you, stays with you.

I am known to most people as one of the most confident people they know, but sometimes I still refuse to get my photo taken and I can occasionally hate the thought of people looking at me. Why? Because when confidence is low then it doesn’t take long to be haunted by the taunts when you look in the mirror. Martin Reid and Barry Small shouting through the window at me in second year at High School: “Schumacher! No matter how much make-up you put on you’ll always be an ugly ginger!”

After around the age of fifteen, it mostly stopped. Things did get better. But still in adulthood you can still get the odd comment shot at you. My ex boyfriend told me that you “had to be a certain type of guy to go out with a ginger”. Then my old flatmate who was 31 told me that once he went out with a girl who was ginger. She was absolutely perfect, but he had to dump her as he would never see himself with a ginger and that he was self-conscious in public with her. I was absolutely shocked that adults thought like this and it did bring back a lot of hurtful memories.

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As an adult the comments are mostly all in good humour and would be best described as affectionate banter. But today at Ginger Pride it did make me remember being a wee ginger kid thinking that no one would ever fancy me in my whole life.

Shawn Hitchins made a little speech today as we all assembled on The Royal Mile. He mentioned a young boy who had been forced to move schools because of bullying due to his hair colour. Everyone chanted together ‘it gets redder!’ – and it does. But is that an excuse to allow more children feel horrific because of verbal abusers? Is it OK to be picked on for having red hair, a speech impediment, a funny walk, big ears or an accent? Is that all OK because a group of arseholes without any obvious ‘different’ features find it amusing? No.

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5 August 2013 – More Weird Reviews and Stuff…

The Sky Show, Banshee Labyrinth, 16:00 4****

Monkey Poet, Banshee Labyrinth, 17:10 4**** (reviewed by @libertinejay)

Airnadette, Underbelly, 20:50 4****

On the AM of day 5 of the Fringe we had tickets booked for around 9pm and that was it. @libertinejay announced he had a show he wanted to see. I announced I had a show I wanted to see. Where and when was his? Banshee Labyrinth at 17:10. Where and when was mine? Banshee Labyrinth at 16:00. BOOM.

My Show was The Sky Show, by Rob Auton (4****). I wanted to go and see this because basically – I love the sky. I am obsessed with sunsets and I am a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society. This sounded like my kind of show. A show all about the sky.

The Sky Show was under ‘poetry’. Listening to poems about the sky. How else would you want to spend a Monday afternoon? Really?

Prior to the show I passed Rob Auton flyering on The Royal Mile. He was crouched down in a little sky tent feeding flyers out of a flap from a big blue noodle to passers-by.

The cave like venue was really busy, we had to squeeze in and get people to shift seats. Promising start. Rob was on-stage moving things around and placing blue plastic bags over the two microphones. I assumed this would prove important.

The Sky Show then began. Rob was wearing an anorak and his persona was that of a vulnerable, bumbling little boy. At times he reminded me of a more spaced out version of Ben from ‘Outnumbered’. He was softly spoken and had the audience captivated from the very start. Rob spoke about things you see in the sky; the birds, the bees, the stars and the sun. He took the blue plastic bags off the microphones with no explanation. He read out someone’s horoscope. He treated his audience with the up-most respect, he was kind to them.  I felt safe in under his command. He had an an aura of warmth, compassion and understanding. What has this got to do with his show? Well if you feel comfortable and safe as part of an audience then you warm to the performer and this makes enjoying the show all the more enjoyable. It was like Rob had used his child-like eyes to cast a spell on his audience, a spell which would transfix us and take us on an outer-body experience into Rob’s magical and imaginative world.

Towards the end Rob played some beautiful music and began to recite a poem. A poem which was beautiful and moving. The poem was so descriptive that I could almost see what he was saying being drawn around his head. I looked around at the audience. We looked like a group of nursery children, entranced in story-time. The poem was full of emotion and full of heart. As a single tear ran down Rob Auton’s face near the end of the poem, the audience collectively held their breath as they listened to its conclusion.

I came out of this show and didn’t quite understand it. I had no interest in understanding it. It was a wonderful experience; fun, enjoyable, safe and moving.

Thanks Rob.

Then it was nearly time for @libertinejay’s show. ‘Monkey Poet’ by Matt Panesh. Another poet. Until very recently I was very skeptical about ‘the spoken word’ – I thought it was all hippy dippy types reading out words like ‘commotion’ then stopping for a minute for effect while looking all dramatic and affected. This is now my third visit to a spoken word event and I have been firmly put in my place. I find it very much like stand-up comedy but without the bullying. That, is a very good thing.

Read the full 4**** review for ‘Monkey Poet’ written by @libertinejay here.

After that we chilled out at The Pleasance Dome for a bit. Phill Jupitus was standing beside us in the bar as we heard the five minute audience call for his show. Would he go on or would he stay hiding out in the bar? We didn’t know or really care as we were off to see something spectacular (we hoped).

The last show of the day was later on at the Underbelly. Airnadette! (4****) What an experience that was! We were first in the queue so ended up sitting right on the front row of this massive Fringe venue. The place was packed out. Craig Hill swanned up the aisle from some back-stage door like a proper diva. As everyone knows, a show cannot truly begin until Craig Hill has swished his tartan skirt around and squashed it between his bum and a seat. Craig Hill then stood up on his seat, ripped off his sporran, swung it above his head like a lasoo and shouted “Lights doon and let’s get this pairty stertit”*

Airnadette then burst onto the stage, six of the most energetic performers you could ask for, each with their own distinct personalities they were like the Fringe’s answer to The Spice Girls or The Seven Dwarves. There was boobs’n’crotch-nadette; boygirl-nadette; scary-nadette; pubeyhair-nadette; Freddie-nadette and anotherguy-nadette.

Boobs’n’crotch-nadette was a bubbly little lady with a perky set. In the front row I got more than an eyeful of her pants but they seemed to fit well so thankfully that was all I saw. Boygirl-nadette was a girl who looked like a boy. Scary-nadette was pure scary. Pubeyhair-nadette had hair like Brian May/a merkin. Freddie-nadette was practically Freddie Mercury and anotherguy-nadette was another guy.

The six-nadettes were serioulsy skilled in dubbing. Whether they could speak or not I have no idea, but they didn’t need to as the backing track of literally hundreds of perfectly woven lines from film, music, theatre and TV, provided the soundtrack to which the performers perfectly moved their mouths along to.

This show is a must-see of The Fringe. It’s loud, in your face, they spit on you,  get you to snort talcum powder and make you swear with your fingers. An absolutely electrifying experience.

The show stopped when Craig Hill swanned back down the aisle to the back-stage area with his palms out while screaming “Why were you all looking at them that whole time and not at ME?!”**

*Not really

** Not really

August 3 2013. The Unplanned Fringe Day Continues…

Tommy Rowson, 16:20 The Banshee Labyrinth, 3***

Songs for Cynics, 18:30, The Counting House, 4****

Ban This Filth, 21:00, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 5***** (reviewed by @libertinejay)

I follow on from writing about my zero star start to the third day of the Edinburgh Fringe. If you missed it – here it is.

Thankfully things perked up after that. We made our way to the Banshee Labyrinth through the crowded Royal Mile, seeing weird, interesting and disturbing things along the way. We were going to see So You Think You’re Funny winner 2011, Tommy Rowson (3***).

Tommy had a warm up act which was very show-biz for the Fringe I thought. The warm up comedian was great and I cannot remember who he was. I shall try and find out. Fire me. Tommy was clearly a really good stand-up comedian. He had great delivery and got loads of laughs from his material and endearing Welsh accent. I could understand him, but the Spanish woman behind me said to the French lady beside her: I cannot understand what he saying. The reply was: No, I cannot.

Tommy was brave to be using film in his set. Brave when you need to dive into a venue before you start your show and don’t have the usual time to set up. There was one big screen projector in the centre and two small screens on either side. The film clips played on all three simultaneously. For some reason, the lights were shining on the large projector screen so you couldn’t see the film. Switching the light out during the film clips would have fixed this but I am imaging that for whatever reason that was not possible.

There were numerous technical difficulties with the film clips, the sound didn’t work at one point and then the place was lost. It must be really difficult to keep up a routine that relies on technology when technology isn’t cooperating but Tommy did a brilliant job.

There were five of us in our party and everyone was raving about Tommy as we left. I had noticed that he was looking a bit down-hearted at the end as he held out his bucket – as you obviously would be; but really the technical stuff didn’t take away from the fact that Tommy is a very watchable and entertaining stand-up act. I’m sure as the run goes on and the technical issue are ironed out that this show will be a belter.

I then announced that I fancied some comedy singing. Apparently Tim Minchin is not here for this Fringe, so we took out the app and hoped it would work this time. The first thing that came up was ‘Songs for Cynics’ (4****) at The Counting House. Sounded perfect, so after stuffing our faces with wraps and pizzas, off we went.

From the second that seasoned cabaret diva Sarah-Louise Young flounced onto the stage you knew you were in the hands of a true professional. With her pitch perfect, effortless voice, she is the definition of cabaret, before, as she put it: edgy cabaret shows came along being all outrageous and presenting things like vomiting on the stage. Sarah-Louise Young is the epitome of the cabaret diva. Slicked back hair, fitted black suit, more comfortable on the stage than she probably is on the sofa in a onesie; and she proves that cabaret can be old school and still be fabulous.

Loyaly by her side is her musical partner of six years, Michael Rowlston. Michael and Sarah-Louise bounce off of each other with such ease that I am a little suspicious that they may be psychic and can read each other’s minds.

As the title suggests, the songs stem from a cynical look at life and love but as Sarah-Louise put it: they are happy cynics, understanding that if you always fear the worst you will be constantly impressed with anything more.

The show was amazing. The performances were entertaining, funny, faultless and at times, touching. There were a couple of times that Sarah-Louise forgot her words. She didn’t care. The audience didn’t care and Michael read her mind and filled in for her before she had even forgot them anyway.

Go along if you want a funny, feel good show with a west-end vibe.

I had one show left to see. That was ‘Ban This Filth’ by Alan Bisset. Stunning performance by Bisset who I had only seen previously reading his poetry. I was completely blown away by his 100% natural stage presence and his ability to completely captivate an audience. This show left me completely baffled and as we left The Scottish Storytelling Centre, fellow reviewer @libertinejay and I got into, at points, a pretty heated discussion about what we had just witnessed. This conversation went on for well over an hour. We were unsure if we had just seen an excellent piece of theatre or a work of utter genius. About two hours later we had settled 100% on work of utter genius. Here is the full 5***** review from fellow @acrossthearts reviewer @libertinejay.

August 2 2013 – A Free Day to Start

‘ANTIGRAHAM’ Pleasance Bunker 4****

‘BLAM’ Pleasance Grand 5*****

My first full day in and about the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 was to be spent soaking up the atmosphere and showing fellow reviewer @libertinejay where everything was. If we heard about something worth seeing we might go, we might not. This was a day for just taking it all in.

As we were walking past the Pleasance Dome we were approached and offered comps for a show. We had nothing planned so took the tickets. About half an hour later, we were sitting in the Pleasance Courtyard and were offered tickets again for another show. It was just before the other one and in the same venue so we took them too. Why not?

In situations like this you have absolutely no expectations of what you are about to go and see. I had never heard of either of the shows and as the tickets were free, and because I was not obliged to write about either as I was not attending as ‘press’ then I wasn’t thinking too much about it.

The first show was a sketch show. I wasn’t too excited at the prospect of a sketch show. In my head I had an image of some annoying drama students trying to be outrageous and wacky and failing miserably. However – this was not the case in the slightest. I was delighted that I had wound up in the audience of a show that was consistently laugh out loud funny with comedy performers of the highest calibre. We were at ‘AntiGraham’ (4****) performed by comedy group ‘Graham’. The four performers were brilliant and the material was fast-paced, hilarious and perfectly slick. The characterisation was immense and there were many little details and quirks to each character which showcased the acting abilities of these four lively performers. The group were clearly gelled firmly together and their on-stage chemistry was sparky and uplifting. From start to finish this was an enjoyable and belly laughter inducing experience and I urge you to get yourself a ticket.

The group happily posed with my real human hair weird fringe from eBay too.

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‘ANTIGRAHAM’ rock the weird fringe

Before we knew it we were in a massive queue at the Pleasance Grand. Our second set of tickets were for what looked like a massive show. I was very impressed that we had somehow been handed tickets to what must be a huge and popular show. Again – no idea what to expect. OH MY GOD. We were at ‘Blam’ (5*****) – one of the best things I have ever seen and coming second only to the almighty ‘Fuerzabruta’ of 2007.

Set in a boring looking bog standard office, four outstandingly talented performers begin an outrageous journey of the imagination. Using office items for anything other than what they were intended for – this piece of outstanding physical theatre had the audience gasping, laughing and spontaneously clapping throughout. The choreography and timing were impeccable and in many of the stunts it did look like if any of these guys were a second out of time, the whole show could go disastrously wrong; but they weren’t. The set was amazing and unrecognisable at the end of the show as it had been completely wrecked with broken computers, smashed up tables and blood splatted on the floor.

This show is outrageous, ridiculous, awe-inspiring and it has to be THE MUST-SEE of 2013. Get your ticket NOW.

BLAM! »

Category Theatre
Genres comedy, physical theatre
Group Kristján Ingimarsson//Neander
Venue Pleasance Courtyard
Times 17:55
Suitability U
Duration 1 hour 15 minutes

FRINGE PROGRAMME BLURB: Die-Hard meets The Office. To escape their painfully dull 9-to-5 jobs, four ingenious office workers invent BLAM! – an imaginary game where ordinary life is put through the shredder. In this hilarious and explosive show, the mundane workplace is transformed into a world populated by aliens, superheroes and classic blockbuster movie villains. With neck-breaking stunts, breathtaking physical feats, exhilarating parkour and heaps of attitude, BLAM! takes you on an extraordinary riotous adventure. ‘BLAM! is bazooka-balm for the soul’ (Information), ‘A party bomb of a show that detonates into an orgy of insanity’ ***** (Politiken).

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August 1 2013 – A 6.30am Weird Fringe Start

I decided that the best way to start off the Fringe on August 1st 2013 would be to jump out of bed at 6.30am, pull on running clothes Fireman Sam style, drive up Easter Road, dump my car in Holyrood and run up and down The Royal Mile with Vicki Weitz who is running 26 marathons in 26 days. Why there was not hundreds of people there doing the same thing I do not know.

I arrived at 6.59am for Vicki’s 7am start. I had had about 3 hours of sleep and I felt like I was in a weird dream but I could not let on. Vicki was about to embark on an epic journey. She will be running the length of the Royal mile 676 times. That is 26 marathons in 26 days. This is unbelievable. Vicki is an energetic and positive person – you can tell that straight away. She was happy to chat away as she ran and I found our chat to be really inspiring.

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I can be a bit skeptical when it comes to performance art. I can often get inappropriate laughter at the sheer pointlessness of some of it and I think the idea of something like a woman lying in a roped off bed for 30 hours is utterly ridiculous. After reading about Vicki and running with her, her ‘performance’ is anything but pointless or ridiculous. It is inspiring and thought-provoking and the experience left me asking myself lots of questions; so surely this is the mark of a great performance? No inverted commas this time.

Vicki comes across as a true artist. She is uninterested in gimmicks, sob stories or sensationalising her performance. It is a real and true experience about a woman who is doing something very difficult and challenging. She told me that it is about motivation. How can she keep up the motivation for such a mammoth task? How can others motivate her by running with her? How can she motivate others who are running with her if they are finding it difficult? When faced with a task that most people would deem impossible, how can you just keep reminding yourself that all you need to do is put one foot in front of the other?

After half a mile I was ready for giving up. I was tired and really not in the mood for running. However, as I listened to Vicki talk about her task ahead, that in itself motivated me not to stop 0.5 miles in. I just kept telling myself I would stop and part ways after the first mile when we reached the Castle. We reached the Castle and she turned around and started to run back and before I knew it we were back at Holyrood and I had completed two miles with her.

To me, this performance is about camaraderie, endurance, motivation, positivity, true experience and emotion. I think that Vicki is providing a canvas for others to discover and contemplate their own mental limitations and barriers not just in physical exercise but in any task where you are faced with the option to give up.

I would urge you to go and run with Vicki. Allow her to inspire you with her energy and in turn motivate her just by joining her. If you do it will certainly be a performance you will remember for a long time.

FRINGE PROGRAMME BLURB: vickiweitz will be running 26.2 miles every day for 26 days along the crowded Royal Mile. Starting at 7am each day outside Holyrood Palace and finishing after completing 26.2 miles. vickiweitz has never done this before (has anyone?) and would love it if you could come along: watch, cheer, help, join and follow her. vickiweitz is an artist interested in the idea of domestic performance, taking something quite day-to-day and using repetition and magnification to transform it into something else. How does our external / internal world affect our performance? How do we motivate ourselves?

BLOG: http://www.vickiweitz.co.uk/

 

My Top 10 Weird Edinburgh Fringe Shows (PRE-FRINGE)

From weeks of studying the Fringe Programme and Twitter, I have now compiled my top ten WEIRD FRINGE shows. I was sent numerous links to look at performances that were ‘weird’ that were actually pretty standard for The Fringe. This shows just how weird something needs to be to make this list. I have not seen any of these shows yet but will be very soon. I will add links to all my reviews as I do them, and I will also compile a POST-FRINGE list which will very possibly be completely different after the month of madness.

Any weird Fringe shows or stories tweet me on @weirdfringe

Enjoy the list weirdos! X

  1. Gusset Grippers »

gusset

BLOG: http://gussetgrippers.weebly.com/

So from what I gather this is a show about how not to wet yourself. So if you are getting to that age where you laugh so much you pee your pants or if you sneeze and don’t just need a tissue for your nose – this is for you. Mixing stand-up with an expertise with kegel exercises – this sounds more than weird. (I have not yet seen this show)

Category Comedy
Genres stand-up, talk
Group Gusset Grippers / Free Festival
Venue Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom
Times 12:00
Suitability PG
Duration 1 hour

Fringe Programme Blurb: Laughing is no laughing matter for one third of women. This show, written and presented by a physiotherapist, is bursting with clenching comedy which teaches you all about your pelvic floor. PS: Relax, there’s no show-and-tell involved! ‘A refreshing look at what is usually a one-liner in a male comedian’s set … in an open and hilarious manner’ (ThreeWeeks). ‘…calm, easy going style … certainly had a few twists and turns along the way … happy to see more of [her] in the future’ (one4review.wordpress.com). ‘…plenty of nice comedic ideas to keep it all frothing along’ (Scotsman).

2. Holes by Tom Basden »

A secret destination with transport laid on – YES PLEASE! (I have not yet seen this show)

Category Theatre
Genres comedy
Group Invisible Dot Ltd.
Venue Assembly George Square
Times 15:00, 18:30
Suitability 14+
Duration 3 hours 45 minutes

Fringe Programme Blurb: Three conference organisers and a teenage girl are the sole survivors of a fatal plane crash on a remote tropical island. With Daniel Rigby, Katy Wix, Mathew Baynton, and Bebe Cave. A world premiere from the Fringe First winning team behind 2009 smash, Party. Written by Tom Basden and directed by Phillip Breen. Secret location. Transport provided. NB: Show running time will vary between 2 hrs 55 mins and 3 hrs 45 mins.

3. Peep

Weird set, weird idea, brilliantly weird. (I have not seen this show yet)

Category Theatre
Genres cabaret, installation
Group Natural Shocks
Venue Assembly George Square
Event Website www.peep-play.com
Duration 20 minutes
Suitability 14+
Country of Origin England

Fringe Programme Blurb: Pick a booth and peep in… Peep is back with a full experience running from 11am – 11pm during the Festival. Find Edinburgh’s most intimate destination in George Square Gardens, and remember, look, don’t touch. Tickets bought in advance or on the door. See http://www.AssemblyFestival.com/PEEP for booking and full show information.

4. Funeral Replacement Service »

You drive around on a bus for this one. Hopefully the windows will work and the usual Fringe show suffocation will not occur. (I have not seen this show yet)

Category Theatre
Genres comedy, interactive
Group Ghost Bus Tours
Venue Necrobus
Times 00:30, 23:00
Suitability 14+
Duration 1 hour

Fringe Programme Blurb: Roger Cocksweets is dead. In his will he asked that his funeral take place on the very bus he was driving when he died. Now you are invited to take part in Roger’s funeral. Step onboard a fantastic classic 1960s Routemaster bus for a hilarious comedy show while travelling around the city. From the makers of The Ghost Bus Tours comes this unique comedy experience like no other at the Fringe – see the city while watching the funniest show in town.

5. Gardening: For the Unfulfilled and Alienated »

Two audience members at a time in a wee shed. Sounds weird enough! (I have not yet seen this show)

Category Theatre
Genres new writing, site-specific
Group Undeb Theatre
Venue Pleasance Courtyard
Times 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
Suitability PG
Duration 30 minutes

Fringe Programme Blurb: A man struggling under the weight of the modern world finds a self-help book that inspires him into gardening. And he’s good at it. Really good. But there’s a dark and violent secret to his success. Step inside Owain’s very own shed to hear about one man and the lengths he’ll go to for a beautiful garden. From fast-rising writer Brad Birch (Soho Theatre, Royal Court Supergroup) comes the world premiere of a bittersweet play about obsession, death and horticulture. Undeb Theatre present an intimate storytelling experience, two audience members at a time.

6. Drum Struck »

Everybody in the audience gets their own drum and you play along with the show. Looks amazing! (I have not seen this show yet)

Category Music
Genres dance, interactive
Group Drum Cafe, Drumstruck CC and Assembly
Venue Assembly Hall
Times 18:00
Suitability U
Duration 1 hour

Fringe Programme Blurb: The world’s first interactive drum-theatre experience. Direct from sold-out engagements in Japan, Johannesburg and off-Broadway. There is a drum on every seat for the audience to play along with the world’s finest drummers, dancers and singers. Learn to play an African drum, and meet the Ubuntu Queen. This show is guaranteed to enchant, enthral, lift your spirits and send you off on a high. A great experience for the whole family.

7. Dance Pad Flash Mob »

You learn the dance online then get emailed a secret location and go and join in a flash mob! How good?!! (I have not yet experienced this performance)

Category Dance and Physical Theatre
Genres event, family
Group Dance Pad
Venue www.thedancepad.com.au
Times 10:30
Suitability U
Duration 4 hours

Fringe Programme Blurb: Sold out event at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe! The Dance Pad Flash Mob is back this year at the Edinburgh Fringe. Don’t miss out on this awesome event! Have you ever wanted to be involved in a flash mob? Well now is your chance. Once you have purchased your ticket be sure to register your details at thedancepad.com.au. You will then receive a link of the online choreography to learn in the comfort of your own home. The choreography will be tailored to suit all ages and skill levels with the focus on just having fun.

8. Crying Out Loud presents Flown »

Since 2007 when I was left speechless by the awe-inspiring Fuerzabruta in the black tent in Leith, I have been longing for another piece of amazing physical theatre – can ‘Flown’ get my pulse racing? I wasn’t sure, but when I saw the flying drum-kit on the video I have put it on my list. (I have not seen this show yet)

Category Dance and Physical Theatre
Genres circus, contemporary
Group Pirates of the Carabina
Venue Underbelly, Bristo Square
Times 16:20
Suitability U
Duration 1 hour

Fringe Programme Blurb: Flying drum kits, levitating ironing boards and swinging divas. Welcome to the world of the unexpected! Irreverent and silly, bold and breathtaking, take flight with Flown for a captivating afternoon at the circus. A stunning troupe of masterful acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and stuntmen are putting on a show for you. The problem is, the show has already started and no one is prepared. Taking you to dizzying heights and beyond, Pirates of the Carabina invite you to share in the thrills, fear and physical feats that define the life of a 21st-century circus artist.

9. Twenty-Six Marathons in Twenty-Six Days »

What?!!!! Yes! Vicki will be running a full marathon for all 26 days of the Fringe. Mentalist? She must be. Will she make it? She wants people to go cheer her on and even run with her. I’ll def be popping along for two or three miles. (I HAVE SEEN THIS! AND HERE IS MY REVIEW!)

Link to an article from The List about this performance: http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/52485-performance-artist-set-to-run-26-marathons-in-26-days-at-2013-edinburgh-fringe/

Category Theatre
Genres performance art
Group vickiweitz / Escalator East to Edinburgh
Venue The Royal Mile
Times 08:00
Suitability U
Duration 8 hours

Fringe Programme Blurb: vickiweitz will be running 26.2 miles every day for 26 days along the crowded Royal Mile. Starting at 7am each day outside Holyrood Palace and finishing after completing 26.2 miles. vickiweitz has never done this before (has anyone?) and would love it if you could come along: watch, cheer, help, join and follow her. vickiweitz is an artist interested in the idea of domestic performance, taking something quite day-to-day and using repetition and magnification to transform it into something else. How does our external / internal world affect our performance? How do we motivate ourselves?

more »

10. The Hard Man »

I know nothing else about this show other than they have claimed that their show will “be one of the most unique experiences at this year’s festival” Bold statement… (I have not yet seen this show)

Category Theatre
Genres contemporary, event
Group In Your Face Theatre
Venue The Wee Red Bar
Times 19:00
Suitability 18+
Duration 2 hours

Fringe Programme Blurb: A modern day adaptation of the famous Jimmy Boyle message, in a heart-pulsating, site-specific production. This audience-incorporating theatre experience at The Wee Red Bar will prove to be one of the most unique experiences at this year’s festival, bringing the audience and cast together – laughing, crying and drinking as one at the bar. It stars New York film school graduate Stuart-Patrick Workman as the legendary Glaswegian, and with the drinks flowing, this highly emotional – and at times very comedic – violent cabaret drama will leave its audience with an unforgettable experience they may never remember.

more »

About Me and My Weird Fringe

I am a 31 year old ginger girl living by the sea in Edinburgh. Drama in Education Guru by Sept-July and Fringe Explorer by August.

All my reviews are written for and featured on http://www.acrossthearts.co.uk

My editor asked me to see if there was a theme emerging from the shows I wanted to see. It became clear pretty soon that I wanted to see everything out of the ordinary and nothing boring, on a stage with the audience sitting watching their watches more than the performance.

So I started to seek out the weird stuff. A performer running a marathon up and down the Royal Mile every day; a comedy show about how to not wet yourself; a play in a shed with only two audience members; a play where you get collected and have no idea where you are going. That kind of weird. Things that are quirky and different and that give you an unforgettable experience.

I had an idea to cut a ‘fringe for the Fringe’, but I knew I would look like a throwback from 1995, so I ordered one off of eBay and now have my own weird fringe. It clips on. It is orange. It is huge. It is made of real human hair.

So I am now set to seek out the weirdness of the Fringe. Performances, people, stories and all the weird goings on of the Edinburgh Fringe 2013.

Share the weird with me… @weirdfringe