My first show wasn’t until 12.45pm, so after a lie-in and some leisurely food shopping I set off to see Safe by Ego Actus at the Space on North Bridge.
While I was in the queue I got talking to a lady who was going to see another show at the same venue, The Librarians, which was very nearly sold out. There weren’t many people in the queue for Safe which led me to think I might have chosen the wrong show to review.
“Nina Foster’s mom is in rehab for alcoholism,” begin the notes to accompany Safe. “Her father goes on endless business trips, she hates high school and Liz, her anorexic best friend, wants to kidnap her baby niece. What else can she do but go to meet a dangerous man?
“Safe is about trying to find your way in a scary world.”
The problem with Safe is that the world it creates is completely unbelievable and not scary. There is a lot of SHOUTING for dramatic effect, far too many scene changes with the poor actors having to carry props on and off stage for no reason until the penny drops and it is needed for a following scene.
It all feels a bit am dram, and when it tries to be shocking and edgy it just fails (the discussion about blow jobs and the taste of semen between the two school girls is distasteful and unnecessary and adds nothing to the story). This company need to go and watch the Paper Birds show to see how to create real dramatic tension.
Who’s Afraid Of Rachel Roberts
My next show was a request that hadn’t been confirmed, so I headed off to the press office to find out what was happening. When I got there two of the four shows I’d requested had been agreed (one of them was Rob Deering’s Beat This, but that was for day one of my visit but nobody from the press office informed me).
The other was for Who’s Afraid Of Rachel Roberts at the Assembly Roxy at 3pm. In fact I’d been given two tickets, one if which I tried to give away but handed back to the box office just before the show started.
Rachel marriage the love of her life, superstar Rex Harrison, which allowed her to live the Hollywood lifestyle only for her to become increasingly drunk, foul-mouthed and shockingly behaved in public. Helen Griffin plays Rachel in this amazing one woman show.
By turns, it was funny, sad, poignant, moving and shocking (apparently according to Rachel Peter Ustinov was a c***).
This is a difficult show to pull off but Helen Griffin does it in such a way that she takes us on a journey into the sad life of Rachel Roberts. Go see this show it is brilliant.
Voices in Your Head – The Phill Jupitus Experiment
I had a short walk to pick up my ticket for the next show Circa: Wunderkammer, only to be told that the circus troupe had decided that they didn’t want YorkMix to review their show which was disappointing. But at least I had plenty of time before my next show at 8.30pm.
To give its full title, Phill Jupitus & Deborah Frances-White: Voices in Your Head – The Phill Jupitus Experiment, this show was invented by Deborah Frances-White who is the disembodied voice on the microphone (and very funny in her own right).
She normally performs it with several comedians but for this show its just Phill. The audience are asked to contribute ideas that Deborah drops into improvised sketches. We were also asked to participate as a baying crowd and to become the paparazzi. This was really good fun and well worth seeing.
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre – In Space
Warning: bad language in the above video
The last show of the evening was a complete indulgence of mine as I reviewed last year’s show by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (I’m such a fan of the Eric and Ernie of the sock world).
In fact I saw Kev F Sutherland (the man who is socks) flyering while I was waiting to see Phill Jupitus He’s one of the hardest working comedians on the Fringe and he doesn’t take his success for granted.
Last year it was a socky horror show. This year the title is In Space (Gilded Balloon Teviot 10.15pm). There was a fantastic song about Fireball XL5 and re-enactment of Aliens, Star Wars, Blakes 7 (sort of) and a brilliant improvised impersonation of the new Doctor Who (Peter Capaldi – a very bad choice for the Doctor in my opinion).
Everyone was cheering and joining in, loving every minute of it except the girl sat next to me who clearly didn’t get the joke, didn’t laugh and even got her mobile phone out at one point – it just prove you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But a must see show yet again.
Show of the Day: Who’s Afraid of Rachel Roberts
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