Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Shit-Faced Shakespeare, Improvabunga, Guru Dudu | #EdFringe2016 Round Up

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Edinburgh last week for the beginning of the 2016 Fringe Festival. It was purely coincidental that I was there at that time but it meant that I was able to take in a couple of shows while enjoying the lively atmosphere. It’s likely that many of you will be heading there at some point this month so I thought I’d share a couple of mini reviews and recommendations with you!

The first show I saw was Shit-Faced Shakespeare. Although it’s a format that’s been doing the rounds for a while, both at the Fringe and in London at times, it’s not a show I’ve seen before although I’d heard great things. The premise is simple: a small cast performed an abridged version of a Shakespeare play (in this case the play was Measure for Measure) with the crucial difference being that one cast member is drunk during the performance. It makes for an hour full of unexpected shenanigans and almost non-stop laughter from the heckling audience. I’ve never seen such an insane performance of a Shakespeare play and I imagine the man himself would adore it. The show runs every night at 10.15pm until the 29th August at the Udderbelly and the cast member that is drunk changes every night so the show is always going to be different. They also have a sister production which is a drunk version of one of my favourite operettas, The Pirates of Penzance, which I think would be equally hilarious. You can book tickets for both shows on the Edinburgh Fringe website.

I feel like it would be wrong to visit the Fringe Festival without seeing some kind of improvisation/sketch comedy so I saw Birmingham University’s Improv Troupe’s Improvabunga! It’s your classic improv format: the audience shout out genre suggestions which the six actors, one musician and one technician use to put on a fifty-minute show. Our show was a fairytale set underwater titled ‘Boy It’s Moist’ which provided the audience with a very entertaining show. The intimate venue (Upper Thrust at theSpace on Niddry Street) really added to the hilarity as even the smallest twitch of an actor’s lips was seen. There are nine actors in total who rotate for each performance so I would have loved the opportunity to attend multiple shows to see all the different performers in action. Tickets for this show are very reasonably priced (£7 full price, £6 for concessions) and you can see the show every night at 8.05 until the 27th August. It’s great to support young actors and comedians especially when they have as much talent as these guys so definitely check them out if you get chance!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see any more shows as I was only in Edinburgh for a limited time but just from walking along the Royal Mile and being handed leaflets I can say that there are so many exciting shows out there this year. My other recommendation is not a show as such but is still part of the festival: Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour. You’re given a pair of headphones as you dance your way through Edinburgh accompanied by dance moves and witty commentary from Guru Dudu himself. I lost all of my inhibitions. It was incredibly freeing and genuinely one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Even better, it cost only £10 but it’s filling up quickly so book well in advance if you want to give it a go!

The whole Fringe atmosphere was so overwhelming to me. As a huge theatre lover it was so exciting to walk down the Royal Mile and see and chat to so many actors and comedians who perform essentially for the love of it and I would’ve stayed for the entire month if possible! There’s always next year of course…

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