Monday, June 11, 2007

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007 Preview

We've trawled our way through the newly launched paper version of the Fringe Programme which is also available online at We've already got a few things booked, and can comment on some returning productions we saw last year, and we'll also add more shows as we book tickets.

Nonsenseroom's premiere of "James II" by Douglas Maxwell looks like being a popular one - already highlighted by Lyn Gardener of the Guardian (several days after we'd booked tickets mind!). The setting at Rosslyn Chapel is a magnificent addition to the production but make no mistake, it's the quality of their previous productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Canterville Ghost" which we makes this top of our list of things to see. In particular we recommend paying the extra to attend a Special performance which includes a light buffet, post show Q&A and a tour of the chapel. Review now posted

Last year Richard Thomson's "Rebus McTaggart" was our only show that we picked after reading it's reviews and we weren't disappointed. After the plaudits and awards from 2006 he's back again, both with a limited run of his original show and also with a follow up - "Rebus McTaggart: Crimewarrior". We'll be making sure we book early for this one as demand is certain to be high. Review now posted

"The Bacchae" is technically part of the EIF rather than the Fringe, and we won't be attending the Edinburgh run anyway, but an NTS production starring Alan Cumming was always going to get our attention, so we booked months ago to see the Glasgow run at the end of August.

David Greig's "Yellow Moon" is being brought to the Festival by TAG following their production last year which we caught at the Citizens. It's currently been nominated for 2 CATs awards - Best New Play and Best Play for Young People. I had some issues with its "issues" but loved it's pace, direction and style.

Waldorf has been keen to see the play version of "Blood Brothers" for some time, so we were pleased a while ago to discover on the STF Forum that Lauder Studio Theatre were putting it on at the Festival. Review now posted

"Venus as a Boy"
made it into our plans based largely on the NTS involvement and its timeslot fitting nicely in our schedule. (Review now posted)

The concept of Rogue Shakespeare Company's "Love's Labour Won" and the promise of free chocolate was more than sufficient to get our attention, and the reviews from 2006 seem impressive. (Review now posted)

"Pit" is a bit of a punt that caught our interest but staged at the Traverse and put on by The Arches Theatre Co we should be on fairly safe ground here. (Review now posted.)

"Emergence-See" with it's tale of a slave ship arriving ghostlike in present day New York is the show that has intrigued me the most so far. But with such promise comes expectations - a dangerous thing to have at Festival time. (Review now posted)

The idea of the four horsemen of the apocalypse mellowing and having second thoughts about bringing on the end of the world also has a strong appeal for me. However an 11:30am start time may prove to be a little of a handicap for Touch Wood Theatre's "Armageddon and Fishcakes" Review now posted.

While the thought behind "45 Minutes" isn't groundbreaking there's a lot to be said to making the most of a basic concept, and tying "what would you do if the world was about to end?" with the Iraq WMD 45 minute claim is a nice touch.
Review now posted

"The Psychic Detective" had our interest anyway, but staging it in a "theatre truck" and name-dropping the involvement of "Black Watch" designer Laura Hopkins clinched our attendance at this one. Review now posted.

Feltonfleet school return with their production of "Lord of the Flies" that impressed us in 2006. A fairly straight version of the tale but with a remarkable young cast.

There are of course other shows that we hope to catch but don't fit in with our current schedules. We are keen to see them but at the moment due to limited runs and time restraints we can't arrange other shows around them to make an additional trip through to Edinburgh practical. If things were different these shows would definitely have featured in our plans - Fin Kennedy's "Mehndi Night" and Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Company's production of "Tiny Dynamite"

Just added "Kirsten O'Brien: Confessions of a Children's TV Presenter" to our plans. We're sadly old enough that we are only familiar with Kirsten's work in passing, but we're hoping she's going to confirm what we always thought about kids TV presenters. Review now posted

Update - 20th June: We've now managed to pick out another 5 shows to attend and given a bit of info in our Edinburgh Fringe Preview - Part 2