Posts Tagged ‘ Fringe 2016 ’

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

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

A Streetcar Named Desire
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A Georgian version of an Tennessee Williams’ great American classic ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is an ambitious choice for Georgia’s iconic theatre group The Tumanishvili Film Actors Theatre to bring to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Taking on an iconic and well established play such as this was always going to be a tricky sell especially when up against such stiff competition around town. This fact didn’t seem to deter what was quite a well attended show however and although the subtitles may be a deterrent for many I must admit that once the production found its feet-despite a few problems with syncing but that is negligible on this only the third performance- this was negligible and although it may not to be to everyone’s taste ,the dialogue of the original is such a defining feature, it is still a commendable show.
The actors seemed comfortable in their roles and if you are familiar with the story then after a while the action unfolding in front of you can distract from the subtitles, thus achieving a different kind of theatre experience.
Obviously the roles of Stanley and Blanche Dubois are indelibly linked with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh and any comparisons with these legendary actors are as fruitless as they are inevitable. Safe to say the actors playing these two roles both performed more than admirably even if I didn’t understand a word of what they were saying, proving that expression is as important as dialogue in certain instances.
The lighting, stage sets and jazz soundtrack helped out in places that dialogue usually would and atmospherically it seldom missed the mark.
Personally I would say that a Georgian interpretation of such a recognisable work may not to be to everyone’s taste but if the idea of a theatre production which uses subtitles behind the stage performance is not off-putting then this capable production may well work for you.
***
A Streetcar Named Desire is showing at The Assembly Roxy from August 4th to 29th at 13.55 daily.