Yesterday’s (almost) complete abstinence meant an early rise today, so off we trotted to C Venue for our traditional Shakespeare For Breakfast. This year’s was titled ‘The Reclaiming of the Shrew’. A talented and energetic young cast brought the play to life, setting it around Will & Kate’s courtship, marriage, and new baby. Some very clever bits and pieces in there, and some brave performances. Shake for Break has, over the years, been a bit hit and miss. This year is definitely more hit than miss, and is well worth a look. Oh, and the C Venue staff seem to have got their act together this year and are actually opening the doors early enough to get everyone in on time.
After that I popped up to Espionage for a free show. Knight of the Box Near the Station is a storytelling piece by Dan Cardwell, a guy who usually does stand up and so “isn’t really very good at this acting stuff”. He did himself a disservice with that weak apology at the start of the show, because the story – a fantasy fable about a Knight on a Quest to save a damsel, quite reminiscent of Gilliam’s The Fisher King – was sweet, quite enthralling, and Caldwell’s delivery of it very engaging. He should have more faith in himself, because his not having learnt his script and therefore having to constantly read from and refer to it turned this potentially 4-star show into a 1. Shame.
Some American student bollox next, in C. Something about Alice in Wonderland, before she got to Wonderland. Kids from America trying to do British accents, talking far too quickly and enjoying their own performances too much. Kak.
The Boy Who Kicked Pigs has been getting rave reviews and great word of mouth this year, so I was really looking forward to seeing it. Perhaps it was because I was a bit tired, but I nearly fell asleep during it I’m afraid. This is not to say it isn’t “clever, inventive and gruesome” because it definitely is. It just didn’t quite grab me the way it obviously has many others at the fringe.
After going home for a quick grandad nap, I went back out and joined my friends for dinner. Then we finished off our Fringe with another night at the Ali McGregor variety night, before a few beers at the real ale bar in the Teviot. Apparently I was heard in my bedroom, at 3am, having another bizarre conversation with myself (“It’s ganna be proper mental man!”), but I’ve got absolutely no recollection of this so I can’t tell you what it was all about…