Archive for the ‘ TWO STAR REVIEWS ’ Category

DOUBLE EDGE’S ALMOST NOTHING TO DO WITH FROGS

Double Edge’s Almost Nothing To Do With Frogs- Underbelly 2.50pm

 

I must admit at the beginning of this review that perhaps I am not perhaps the ideal person to be reviewing this show. Being over twenty five I felt more than a little bewildered by the youthful exuberance and dynamic of over excitement on display which lent it the feel of a student revue. There was such an enthusiasm and desire to be liked it was like a litter of puppies all wanting to be chosen for the family home and I kept looking down and expecting one of these over excited youngsters to be humping away at my leg.

Putting these thoughts into perspective however- I have in the past reviewed children’s theatre objectively and found it pleasurable despite being anathema to my sensibilities- I tried to locate my inner youthful being and settled into watch the show.

What followed was about fifty minutes of various short sketches which seemed to centre on finding a modern day writer in the vein of the classic ones we are all familiar with. Thus scenes involving Shakespeare and Marlowe followed as well as electro raps, blustery rock interludes and an incongruous-if amusing- appearance by Alan Sugar. The jokes were fast paced and the dialogue well constructed but somehow it all just seemed to miss the mark.

Perhaps one reason for this is that whilst other shows are midway through their run and have settled into their acts, this one is just beginning and the lack of familiarity with the venue and audience reactions was apparent compared to the more seasoned veterans of this Fringe I have seen over the last few days. I am hoping that the act will settle down into something more coherent as the run continues but must admit that on the day I attended I was slightly disappointed and after about twenty minutes kept checking my watch-never a good sign- to see when it would be over. One for the teenagers and twenty somethings then –and they do deserve something of their own at this time of year- but unfortunately for everyone else, a bit of a miss.

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CONFESSIONS OF A GRINDR ADDICT

Confessions of a Grindr Addict- Assembly on the Mound 9pm

 

I must admit to being initially intrigued by this one man show about the gay ‘dating’ site Grindr-which crashed through over-use when the Olympic athletes arrived in London- by Australian Gavin Roach and his stage doppelganger, the sexually promiscuous, Felix. The audience was easily spotted amongst the many groups forming queues on the Mound; the check shirts, shaved heads and facial hair- that was just the women don’t even start me on the men- were the giveaway here. Although I know several people who use these very sites –and for reasons unknown mistakenly assume that anyone would actually want to hear about their exploits- I don’t quite understand how it is any way a step forward for gay people or others perceptions of them.

In many ways it seems like a throwback to the days of anonymous sex with strangers in parks and public toilets- I have been out with someone who has excitedly boasted about having had sex with someone he has studiously ignored, and been ignored by, in the street- with no emotional commitment. Whilst I don’t condemn such sites I have no need for them myself as I do not wish to feel the disconnection and subsequent emotional void which must surely arise from such encounters.

The idea of this show is to draw attention to the emotional and societal dislocation of such a lifestyle and whilst Roach makes a convincing argument for the advantages of pursuing a promiscuous, detached lifestyle he also acknowledges that it is no substitute for real emotional connections and that a fear of this is what usually forces gay men into this alternative lifestyle.

Deep down what Felix really hankers after is a deep emotional attachment which will dispel the feelings of self loathing and loneliness which are an unavoidable side effect of such non-relationships. He draws attention to the delusional beliefs of those who use Grindr-and the other similar sites- that they are perhaps sexually attractive rather than just an available convenience for someone who hurriedly wants to get rid of their erection. They also convince themselves they are in some sort of relationship whilst simultaneously stating they use the sites as a way of not having to get into a relationship. Then when-for Felix-the chance of a something more real arises he finds himself so divorced from being able to communicate in a traditional fashion that he does not know how to incorporate it-or himself- into such a situation.

Unfortunately there is not a lot about this show which would allow me to recommend it to anyone. It is nothing to do with the subject matter; which I feel is worthy of a good script but unfortunately this is not it. It felt too contrived and Roach did not seem as if he was convinced by his own material and this prevented the show from being convincing. It is akin to listening to one of your gay friends talk about their sexual exploits and really there is nothing more boring in this day and age. It is not particularly funny, outrageous, interesting or in anyway remotely impressive, merely tiresome and cringe-worthy. A bit like this show then ;which was often a grind but very rarely addictive.

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