Archive for August 7th, 2016

CONFESSIONS OF A RED HEADED COFFEE SHOP GIRL

Confessions of a Red Headed Coffee Shop Girl
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Back at The Gilded Balloon again after last year’s successful run of the show- I unfortunately missed it due to time constraints so was glad to hear it was back in an updated version this year- is Confessions of a Red Headed Coffee Shop Girl written and directed by Rebecca Perry.
However unfortunately my enthusiasm was dampened within the first five minutes when I realised that the show was going to be on the ‘zany’ side. This is just personal taste but it is a form of theatre which palls very quickly for me and no amount of enthusiasm emanating from the stage ever manages to grip me quite as much as maybe it should.
This is not to decry the production outright though as Perry is obviously an extremely talented young lady who puts her all into her performance and the musical numbers are all brilliantly executed and stunningly delivered. However these stray into musical theatre territory and again this is something I am not to partial to although versions of Joni Mitchell’s ‘California’ –adapted as Caledonia for a Scottish theme- and Judy’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ were faultless.
The storyline revolves around the recently graduated anthropology student Joanie Little leaving her dead-end job at a coffee shop intending to follow her dreams by travelling to Tanzania to work with her anthropological heroine Jane Goodall at her renowned institute. The adventures which follow are all delivered at a quite relentless pace which allow little time for contemplation but are all well crafted.
Obviously a lot of work has gone into this show and Perry is an accomplished performer but the show just didn’t gel with me and often it lapsed into Gang Show Territory although no-one can deny Perry’s determined enthusiasm but I would prefer to see her in something a little less forced and frantic.
***
Adventures of a Red Headed Coffee Shop Girl is showing at The Gilded Balloon Aug 3-29 ( not 10th , 17th 20th) at 16.15

THE CLUB

The Club
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Always a Fringe highlight, Ruaraidh Murray returns to The Fringe with his fifth consecutive show and it is as compelling, dark, twisted, toxically humorous and thought-provoking as all the other works he has brought to the Gilded Balloon over the last four years.
Like last year’s offering which saw Murray moving on from the one-handed show this year he again enlists the help of another, Mark Farelly, to take his writing into new and even more impressive areas.
Focussing on one particularly trying day and night in the running of the Tardis club where a series of marauding underworld menaces, family members and girlfriends past and present are always lurking in the background although they are never actually seen.
George (Murray) and Nick (Farrelly) have managed to get themselves into financial straits; or at least George has, however even that becomes more tenuous as the play unfolds. Owing £100,000 plus to the ruthless gangster Dave Sharky desperate measures are required; being tied up with the threat of torture followed up by the likelihood of probable death is about as desperate as things can get.
Not that this stops George and Nick from bickering and revealing secrets they have never shared before including some interesting dialogue from Nick time serving in the Falklands War which he has never felt comfortable discussing before. Meanwhile George reveals a family secret which impacts on their relationship forever.
The impressive thing about this play is the speed in which the dialogue shifts creating different moods without you even noticing. It is something constant in Murray’s work and it is wholly effective in ensnaring an audience and keeping them gripped throughout.
The staging and direction are also faultless – effective and hilarious use is made of the dildo as award prop- and the performances nuanced and among the best you will see at this year’s Fringe.
Murray scores again and along with Farrelly has created yet another Fringe highlight not to be missed!
*****
The Club is showing at The Gilded Balloon <strongfrom August 3rd -29th at 17.00