Archive for August 14th, 2015

BALLETRONIC

Balletronic
Balletronic1_0

I had high hopes for this show advertising itself as the traditional meets the modern. The thought of the likes of Daft Punk, Sam Smith, Afrojack and Paloma Faith songs-not to mention a little Chopin- accompanying ballet appealed to me and I was curious as to how this juxtaposition was going to work. However I must admit to being a little disappointed in the overall conservative approach of this production.
Starting with a slow evocative piece before moving into Giorgio Moroder territory the show starts off well enough. However after this interesting start things lapse into mainstream territory pretty quickly and whilst it might work in a normal environment it doesn’t quite cut it during the Edinburgh Fringe when there is such a high standard of interesting, bold and innovative works such as ‘Idiot Syncrasy’ at Summerhall which really does push boundaries and raise expectations.
There is nothing ostensibly wrong with this show as the dancing is exquisite and the music more than competent it is just that it never really goes anywhere and the narrative-if there is one- not clearly defined thus making it hard to follow.Definitely a show that has not realised its potential and it is unfortunate as the premise promised so much more!
***
Balletronic is on at The Pleasance Grand until August 31st(not the 18th) at 9.30pm

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TINA C-HER STORY

Tina C- Her Story
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Returning to the Fringe after several years sabbatical Christopher Green returns with his alter ego the exquisitely attired and supremely talented country and western star, Tina C.
A great creation Tina C makes it clear from the outset that this is not a normal show and it is in fact a book launch for her life story, ‘Total and Utter Country’ but as she is such a kind-hearted, altruistic soul she will do a few numbers for her expectant public anyway.
Thus we are entreated to such musical delights as ‘I Made Your Bed’, ‘I Am America’, ‘Tick My Box’ and the universally prophetic ‘I’d Rather be Thin and Unhappy than Fat and in Love’. There was also a false start with another number ‘Shock and Awe’ after a technical hitch which will probably mean that particular technical team will never work in Eh 14 ever again. Meanwhile along the way there was just enough o Yee Ha’s and Hell Yeah’s to remind us that Tina C is the Post Feminist Queen of Nashville. Whatever that means!
‘ Tina C- Her Story’ is only here for a limited run at this years Fringe and if you want to catch it –And I very much suggest you do- then best get in there this weekend. If nothing else it is worth it for the line dancing alone!
Tina C –Her Story is at The Underbelly Topside at 7,30pm until August 17th
****

Raz

Raz
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The weekend starts with a spray tan! Or so we are led to believe by Shane, wearing nothing other than a pair of underpants and an impressive six-pack, the protagonist of this one man play by Jim Cartwright and played by his son James Cartwright. Funny and observational in equal measure this wry critique of the weekend millionaires who still live with their parents but even more for the weekend when they can abandon all thoughts of their mundane jobs-Shane is a stacker trucker- and abandon their selves to full on hedonism , sex drugs, alcohol, as a means of blotting it all out. It is also a highly political work with barbed comments aimed at a government and system which keeps people firmly in their place as dictated by those in power.
Cartwright has captured perfectly a generation of male thirty somethings and their frustration at being unable to progress in the world in the way their parents did in this drama. The fact their ambition has been replaced by a desire to incorporate as many of life’s experiences into their weekend routines is testament to this.
Thus we see Shane finish work on a Friday then after the obligatory spray tan there are the many calls and texts to be answered from his usual sources, the women lined up, the speed drinking to be embarked on, the clubs to frequent and the drugs to be consumed. It is a hollow existence which is only exacerbated by the feeling something is missing and when he spots his ex at a late point in the evening this is hammered home even more as he realises he loves her and this is something that can’t be replaced by any amount of stimulants, alcohol or random sex acts.
James Cartwright does an exceptional job here of portraying Shane. At a time of year when one man shows are rife ‘Raz’ stands head and shoulders above the rest and is definitely an incisive and insightful performance of exceptionally clever and thought-provoking material. Just don’t forget the spray tan!
Raz is at Assembly Studio George Square at 4pm until August 31st(not 24th)
*****

TRAINSPOTTING

Trainspotting
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This high-octane, immersive and no holds barred adaptation brings Irvine Welsh’s defining novel Trainspotting back to its home city of Edinburgh. Stripped of its more familiar cinematic sheen it is a gutsy, highly visceral production from the aptly named In Your Face Theatre group who more than live up to their moniker from the outset.
Starting with a rave scene complete with glow sticks and fluorescent arm bands the action is pretty full on from the start. The familiar characters are all there: Sick Boy, Allie, Spud, Tommy, Begbie and a tour de force performance from Gavin Ross as Renton. Never holding back whether it is shit smeared sheets and bodies or full on nudity, this show is definitely not one for the faint hearted.
More compelling than the film version the squalid surroundings-a specially constructed venue- captures the desperation which defines the protagonists and their various habits. Familiar scenes are still there however including the speed induced interview and let us not forget the retrieval of an opium suppository from the world’s filthiest toilet bowl which is even more disgusting without the film version’s Brian Eno ambient track to sweeten the pill.
The cast are all extremely confident and weave in and out of the audience popping up and even exchanging insults whenever and wherever you least expect them to. It is like some beautiful form of chaos at some points.
Definitely a major player at this year’s Fringe Trainspotting is hard to beat in its sheer verve, adrenaline and chutzpah. Irvine Welsh would be more than proud with what they have done here!
*****
Trainspotting is on at 6.00 and 8.30 August 14-17, 19-24, 26-31

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