Last week, Contrary Life spent a bit of time in Edinburgh, to take in an eclectic array of Festival Fringe shows. Being fans of the unusual and quirky, we decided to watch a good mix of puppetry, geek and nerd stuff, circus and comedy.
On the whole, we managed to see a good selection of well-thought out and entertaining shows, with only a few disappointing ones to mar the experience. The best of the shows really are worth writing about, so below are a few last minute tips for those of you who are spending this week at the festival, beginning with puppets…
Top of our recommendations has to be Puppet Fiction, a wonderful take on Pulp Fiction by three New Zealand puppeteers. It’s funny, has awesome puppet characters, and it’s free (although if you are like us, you’ll be happy to donate some dosh at the end of the show). Puppet Fiction is on until 28th August.
Our second puppet recommendation is Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema, which takes shadow puppetry to a whole new cinematic level. It features a live music score, some skilled work with overhead projectors, and a beautifully told story. Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema is on until 29th August.
Our final puppet recommendation is a slightly sillier, but no less charming show, Sticks Stones Broken Bones. It again uses shadow puppetry, along with some comic clowning, and some sage advice to adults about making time to play.
If aerial theatre is more your thing, we can whole-heartily recommend catching the last few days of Ockham’s Razor: Tipping Point. After watching all their well-choreographed acrobatics, we can guarantee you’ll come out feeling totally unfit.
For those who like their comedy to contain a bit of geekery, then Foxdog Studios‘ free show is worth a look. It will give you a legitimate excuse to play with your smartphone, test your artistic skills, and bring out mild competitiveness. Foxdog Studios is on until 29th August.
More of a nerd? Then you can always head to The MMORPG Show. In all honesty, this was way too nerdy for us, but the host did introduce us to the ‘Am I a Pie?’ game, which we played for the rest of the week. The MMORPG Show is on until 28th August.
Want your comedy to come with a bit of magic? Mr Swallow – Houdini has the right balance of comedy, characters, magic and music. The show features Nick Mohammed as Mr Swallow, backed by the brilliant David Elms and Kieran Hodgson. Mr Swallow is on until 28th August.
For some late night silliness, and much more entertaining sports than the Olympics, head to Mark Watson’s Edinborolympics. There are different comedians competing each night, and as far as we can gather the show usually ends in chaos. The Edinborolympics are on until 27th August.
Our final pick is the darkly comic Teatro Delusio, which uses actors in special masks, and has a script which relies on mime. Teatro Delusio is on until 29th August.
More info: www.edfringe.com