Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2000

I stayed for two weeks and saw more than 80 different productions (Thank God For Free tickets!).. but overall amazing the festival is I was disappointed this year performers seem to have forgotten that it is all about entertaining the public...

My top 4 ..
  • Act Of Will Michael McEvoy
  • Dream Date The Old Spontaneity Shop
  • Chaucer in the Sky with Diamonds LA Productions
  • Big Word Performance Poetry
  • At first it was so confusing so much going on...hundreds of productions, street performers ..expensive accomodation if you could find it, but then this buzz made it exciting . After a day I was getting more organised and starting to get free tickets. I was getting back from shows at 1, 2 or 3am then getting out before 9.30 am to get the free tickets.



    What is the point in paying money for a show if when you come out you realise you haven't enjoyed yourself ? Well it's OK if you have learnt something. Then you can say that you paid for the lesson. In the 2000 Edinburgh Festival Fringe very little really impressed. Performers failed to realise they were there to entertain the audience, not just to show off to drama teachers or passing TV execs. So often I found myself looking at my watch. £10 to see one comic is far too much ! I felt robbed of my money and my time.

    Overall I seem to have the same opinion as last time ..in future I think reading books is much better value. If the book is bad you can always put it down.

    You're Performing , but you're not saying anything

    Performance does two things ..entertains and informs .. I saw plenty of performers demonstrating their skills ., which was usually entertaining , but people didn't seem to be motivated to make political points ...they had nothing to say ! Do we know everything now ?

    Why did they stop the Fringe Club ?.. I used to join for the whole 3 weeks, it was great everynight there were lots of shows and previews ..this year the building was used only for techno discos, every time I went the music was crap.


    Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2000 LINKS

    the fringe festival, Independent, The Scotsman etc

    BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/edfest good background no listings or revues

    good search and reviews : http://britishtheatre.about.com

    good personal background http://www.aboutscotland.com/edin/articles/alicesfringe.html

    Home of Edinburgh http://www.edinburghguide.com/



    Show- Artist
    77 Act Of Will - Portrait Productions, It was a good interesting story , The acting was completely convincing , he was able to be serious and give laughs ... so it was entertaining and informative ..though it could never be as entertaining as Shakespeare itself done well and good energetic stuff like Bob Carlton's Return to The Forbidden Planet - Michael McEvoy bases his ‘bard biography’ around ‘The Story the Sonnets Tell’ by AD Wraight
    72 Dream Date by The Old Spontaneity Shop - The actors were able to create very believable characters and situations , and they were very funny as well ..in this variation of an improvisation game they pick a boy and girl off the street who have never met, the actors adopt their personalities and create situations where they could meet and get together. Then at the end of the show they send the real couple on a date; it would be fascinating to find out what really happened provided a good. The format gave a very good framework to show there quick improvisation skills ..others hated it
    70 Chaucer in the Sky with Diamonds LA Productions - Funny and meaningful, I thought the caricatured characters were brilliantly acted, though they didn't carry off the full meanings of Chaucer's thoughtful writing .. though it hit me later ..they had kept the original stories..brilliantlyupdated ..with characters like Tony Blair and the national lottery
    69 Big Word Performance Poetry, Jem Rolls Of "We Won, We Won We Won " , Francesca Beard and Paul Mex ? I liked it and I'm not a poetry person ..again Funny and meaningful
    64 The God Show by Paul Wagner - great acting and showmanship, and use of video .. little meaning
    63 Shakespeare Workshop- good to participate
    60 Loveplay - The Weird Sisters (Alison Goldie and Kath Burlinson), brilliant acting ability and show-womanship, but not earth shattering storyline
    60 The High St performers - no spectacular shows this year , but still good value for free
    55 Food Chain - Runamuck Productions good acting , but not quite believable ..a major fault to me it says that America's meddling screw up the world, they are so far divorced from the rest of the world they just don't understand and the corporate machine stops us being human
    52 Tesla's Letters - explores the fascinating mystery of Tesla , but the true issue of the play is the issue of race in the former Yugoslavia ...how crazy points build up into real human deaths
    53 Circo Teatro Udi Grudi - good showmanship from the Brazilian Clowns
    52 Les Bubb - The master of Mime ..funny
    50 Blue Grassy Knoll - Bluegrass Music to accompany a silent Buster Keaton classic - good fun !
    50 Twelfth Night - Over The Edge (from Zimbabwe) : Well done and funny , but not quite conveying the full meaning of Shakespeare. The flip over cloaks allowing each actor to switch character very quickly wwas a neat idea
    49 The Bongo Club Cabaret/ None Of The Above - hang out for the more sophisticated crowd
    46 Bus with the Bard - Alright ..not brilliant .. good actors
    45 The Japanese Beatles - a bit of a laugh not as good as the real Japanese Beatles ..these guys are just country boys from some village in Japan
    44 The Tempest - AandBC Theatre Company, outdoor promenade production you sit on small oil drums as the performance takes place around you. Certainly striking and well done , but again not conveying the full meaning of Shakespeare.
    42 Marat/Sade - A very striking production you are actually a lunatic asylum and I understand the meaning of the play the peasants the French revolution brings change , but it didn't really
    41 Yllana’s 666 - Again very good acting by this Spanish mime group - agressive and sordid giant penises coming all over you ...but a bit boring to me
    40 Raspyni Brothers - Very good, very professional juggling ..but not saying anything
    40 Hamlet Guild Theatre (Birmingham University) - A reworking of the Hamlet story , but not as deep and profound as Shakespeare can be
    39 The Drama School Farce - Free Flow Theatre , Again a good demonstration of Acting abilities , addresses the issue of business taking over artistic ideals , but not quite a smooth story
    38 Mad Mack and Alfie Joey - crap story but the impression guy was really brilliant
    37 The Universal Language - Little Viking Productions, good writing by David Ives , but not earth shattering
    36 Exotic Siam - good example of Thai dancing if you like that kind of thing
    35 Boom Chicago Is Watching - not so good improvisation "over hyped "
    35 Hey Gringo ! A Chile Christmas by Peter Searles , a good story reading , but not amazing
    34 Sex + Chocolate - Rona Munro tells a story well, but you don't learn anything
    34 Midsummer Nights Dreanm - The Children's Theatre Of MaineGreat story Of course , but it needs a more mature cast to carry it off
    33 Gentlemen Volunteers - promenade style makes it more interesting - but nowhere near as good as 3 Men and a Boat
    33 Fly Me To The Moon - shallow ,story but good acting
    32 The Donkey Show - Midsummer Nights dream set and performed in a disco - overrated (maybe cos of the bare breasted actress in thigh length boots) Bob Carlton's Return to the Forbidden Planet is much better
    31 Gorilla Theatre - (Keith Johnstone's students) Impro game - not that funny I saw it
    30 Maybellene - interesting idea ; crap story
    30 How Tall The Giraffe - a show to show off to the drama teacher , not that good for the public
    30 Bruce Mathiske - The Guitarist's Guitarist , but I prefer Rock and Roll
    30 Sonnie Mann's Chapel of Karaoke - not the best , but they try..kinda fun
    30 The Lapse Of The Gods - not very grown up story, so not that believable
    30 Off Broadway - EDT Theatre Company ..again a demonstration of acting ability rather than entertainment
    30 It Was Henry Fondas Fault, Owen O'Neil ..you can moan about yoiur life , but it has to entertain or say something. Boring , though I guess his characterization are good
    30 BBA and Proud - Wiseart productions .. Again the actors show how good they are ,but it's boring for the audience the story is incomprehensible.
    29 Arthur Smith's Alternative Tour of The High Street , Venue The High Street
    A Drunken Smith led a crowd down the High St with a commetry insulting the Scots ..with a number of staged events ..Handing joints to the castle guards, the woman who farts through her fanny, Smith paying a guy to take his clothes off and stand on a pillar box singing Scotland the brave, a planted German tourist who was really a comedian "You English also killed Jews. You are just jealous that we did it more efficiently " , Singoing to his brilliant guitarist friend "Let's fuck now and I'll love you later" ..the slow pace drove me away .. you also need to be drunk to appreciate it
    28 Karen Loftus knew 2 jokes and was crude ..and Lynn Ferguson - just crude
    27 Medea XX th Century - Sylvia Vargova A one woman show from Bulgaria , may have been better done in Bulgarian, this show left the audience confused
    25 Bob Goody's Bite of the Dog, A little sad self depreciating poetry; Goody is much more talented than this
    25 Comic Fringes -BBC Radio 4 , short story readings, but the readings were too complex for radio
    25 Imagine That .. just OK for a kids show
    25 MacHomer Venue: Rick Miller ..Macbeth in the voices of the Simpsons .hyped up and he got a standing ovation .. I fell asleep ..after all it's only one joke ..it would be good on radio it's not very visual
    25 Zin Zin -ex Archaos - good trapeze if you like that kind of thing
    24 Rhymes, Reasons and Bomb Ass Beatz- boring another drama student shows off for his teacher .. and uncomfortablely rascist ( He only does black characters )
    24 Earl Okin - Old Horny Mouth Says Goodbye!, The Bongo Club.. OK but not my taste
    23 Priorité à Gauché - ex uni students can impersonate french Rappers ..it doesn't say anything new and it's not funny
    22 The Boothby Graffoe Show - he wasn't funny, he should learn some jokes
    21 Peter Buckley - he's a nice man promoting other comics, but his one man show is pretty naff
    20 Front Row - The BBC Radio 4 arts show, contrived
    20 Antonio Forcione -OK if you like classical guitar
    20 Cyderdelic - overhyped piss take of Road protesters and Hippies - it's frankly a load of insulting crap .. it' got nothing to do with the real characters of these people ..though the stupid public will believe it's true to life
    20 Ezekial Falling - I got the impression they hadn't rehearsed this enough- not entertaining
    20 Changeling Rooms - Again drama students show off for their teacher, but not very entertaining for the public
    19 Bliss by Paul Sellar - tedious + irritating whitesnakelike music , but story could be done better
    18 It Was Henry Fondas Fault, Owen O'Neil ..you can moan about yoiur life , but it has to entertain or say something boring though I guess his characterizations are good
    17 A Slacker's Opera, The RSC, Venue The Pleasance (Venue 33) - I didn't think it was very good then I found out that the guy is only the RSC's doorkeeper ..false pretences surely ?
    16 Tomorrow's Hits Today - The BBC Radio 4, not that funny, contrived ..false spontaneity !
    15 The Midnight Show (Gilded Balloon) - none funny comedians
    15 Festival Fever (Gilded Balloon) - none funny comedians again
    15 Cell G159 - It got rave reviews , I walked out The characters were not believable they couldn't seem to decide if they were playing for laughs or being serious
    14 The Road To Dundee - tedious
    10 Dr Palfri - shudderingly awful
    9 Bill Bailey in the Monk Show : BBC Radio 4 good acting , horrible story with horrible puns ..awful
    5 Female Comedians (Gilded Balloon) - it's insulting to the audience to ask them to give their time when the comics don't know any jokes

    However after reading the reviews it seems I have missed out on seeing a lot of good stuff. But but but when I look at the reviews of the stuff I have seen aswell I find that they rarely agree with me ..they slag off shows I liked and rave about stuff I think was average.

    When I went to shows they raved about I found they were not as good as shows I had seen in the past. There is no easy way to find good shows ..Form a consensus of other peoples recommendations , ask why, go and see a lot of shows and prepare to find the the odd gem in the slag heap of shows.


    Americana Absurdum: Vomit and Roses By Brian Parks Guy Masterson Productions Assembly ***** How does this Masterson guy (unintentional pun!) do it? This is the third of his shows I've seen this Fringe, and the third to which I have no choice but to award five stars! Incredible.

    Graft - Tales of an Actor By Steven Berkoff Directed and performed by George Dillon Vital Theatre in association with Komedia Komedia@Southside (Website) ***** George Dillon, Steven Berkoff's "disciple" for more than twenty years, tells the story of Harry, an actor, from his first audition for a local authority grant, through the highs and lows of a long career, to its end. And a fine performance it is, an object lesson to Harry who never had Dillon's talents or skills. He doesn't hold the stage for an hour and a quarter: he is the stage on which Harry's life unfolds, sweeping the audience along with irresistable force. The text is Berkoff at his best: insightful and tightly written. It is good to see him getting back to where we are used to seeing him, after the dire Massageof '97. In Graft we see the real Berkoff.
    likes Freebird

    Further than the Furthest Thing By Zinnie Harris A co-production between the Tron Theatre Company, Galsgow, and the Royal National Theatre Traverse ***** - Unmissable!

    William Sutcliffe's New Boy, Drams Non, Venue Pleasance Festival of Theatre 2000 (Venue 23) New Boy was new to me, adapted by Russell Labey, from the book of the same name written by William Sutcliffe

    Ever After, Venue Rocket @ St John's Hall (Venue 126) Finding a brilliant new play by new writer at the festival does happen, finding one that is written by two writers Nick Harrop and Matt Morrison together is more surprising.

    Further Than the Furthest Thing , the show is beautifully hypnotic,
    Venue Theatre Traverse Plays can transport you to places impossible to visit, and to feelings you hide inside. This is a superbly, fine production of a marvellous new play by Zinnie Harris. The direction by Irina Brown of these five wonderful actors,

    Living in Exile, Drams None, Venue C too (Venue 4),
    A staggeringly intense retelling of Homer’s Iliad
    in two hours (with short break) in ‘studio style’ with two actors and a musician. Extraordinary performances from Richard McElvain (Patroklos, Achilles and Agamemnon) and Kathleen Donohue (Briseis), show the effects of war across the sexual divide as well as between armies.


    The Shakespeare Revue - A1 Theatre Productions, Habeas Corpus - Bablake (by Alan Bennet), Healthy Humour -Clowning Around, Adam Hills, The Hollow Men, Colin Murphy, Stiff -Spymonkey, Newsrevue, Blind Mirth - cheap impro, Jackie Clune - cabaret singer, Scottish Poetry Library - free readings, Fires in The Mirror, Rowing To America, Valentine 1980, Life The Consumer's Guide, Tales Of The predictable, Subject to Angels, Decky Does a Bronco, Liny Hop - swing band, Cinderella- anarchic style -Turbozone, I know What You Want by Jim Madden, The King Of The Schnorreres - Labrinth Theatre, Undone - N/A Productions, Eternal Peace Asylum - Over The Edge, The Second Amendment Club, The Ballad of Bobby François - Shunt, Theater Clipa - wanted, White Men With Weapons, Four Little Plays Called Rape, Beyond Therapy - Theatre Fusion, Greenvoe, The Shakespeare Company Japan, Spendour ( and outside a crowd is listening ) : Paines Plough , Venus and Adonis, Birdbath by Leonardo Melfi : Stones In Their Pockets From Eire

    Future... probably walk from the historic route from France to Gaelic Spain El Camino Del Campostmestela

    <-- PREVIOUS ** INDEX ** NEW HOME ** MY Drama page ** mail me  * NEXT-->

    {Q}Quality Control, Problems and Copyright