Skip to main content

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 - Theatre Reviews Six - Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story - King's Hall - Five Stars / Lilith: The Jungle Girl - Traverse Theatre - Four Stars - Foley Explosion - Cameo Cinema - Four stars

A steel shipping container stands at the back of the stage at the opening of Old Stock, Hannah Moscovitch's moving personal history of how her descendants left Romania for Canada and carved out a life for themselves. When the container opens, it reveals a cluttered world occupied, not just by Chaya and Chaim, the couple who form the play's heart, but on a four-piece junkyard orchestra, who punctuate the play with the songs of Ben Caplan. Caplan narrates proceedings as The Wanderer, a top-hatted master of ceremonies who represents an entire Jewish community's sense of exile, as well as providing levity and a driving live score.

Christian Barry's production for the Nova Scotia based 2b Theatre Company is a joy. Moving between a comic courtship and the everyday hardships that shape Chaya and Chaim's future, both Mary Fay Coady as Chaya and Chris Weatherstone as Chaim play instruments inbetween conjuring up a much bigger picture of how the world was built on immigration. The fact that they and the band do this in an entertaining and heart-warming fashion makes for a thing of raw and unmissable beauty.
Until August 27.

It's a jungle sometimes in Lilith: The Jungle Girl, the Melbourne-based Sisters Grimm's wild forage into issues of identity and the animal mentality within us all that can't be tamed beyond surface civilised behaviour. The show opens in nineteenth century Holland, where wilfully phallocentric scientist Charles Penworth and his hopelessly devoted colleague Helen Travers are delivered a box from Borneo containing a feral orphan captured in the wild. Despite all appearances to the contrary, Penworth christens his new project Lilith, and, Henry Higgins-like, attempts to civilise his new charge, while Travers regales Lilith in girly finery.

Rooted in the broad strokes of queer cabaret, Declan Greene's gender bending production is a glorious mess of comic variations on identity politics. Candy Bowers, Ash Flanders and Genevieve Giuffre make a mockery of the patriarchal gate-keepers of what constitutes everyday normality. There are even rapping lions who tell it like it is before a night at the opera looks very much like Eden.
Until August 27.

“History is a cacophony” says Rasputin in Foley Explosion, Julie Rose Bower's one-woman travelogue, the second show in the Cameo Live season of film-inspired or related performances. As the title suggests, Bower's piece is a sound based journey drawn from real life events from what sounds like a gap year full of incident and colour. As she sets out for Russia, interning on newspapers just as several stories with Russia at their centre are breaking, her encounters include cameos from Guy Fawkes and other insurgents.

While such a scenario resembles the labyrinthine twists and turns of a Cold War spy thriller, it is in the telling that makes Bower's show so special. Amplified heels, slamming doors and metronomic toys are looped in such a way as to create a found sound symphony that conjures up a very noisy world.
Run ended.

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug