September 02, 2011
With Jane and Sarah still recovering from their Edinburgh adventure last week, we've managed to probe them for a couple of other shorter reviews from the festival before they collapse back into a weeping heap on the floor.
The Boy with Tape on His Face
Unarguably one of the best shows we saw at the Fringe, The Boy With Tape on His Face is slapstick/silent comedy with a contemporary edge. Using props and costumes, incredible physicality, audience participation/humiliation and a clever use of eclectic music (from French accordion music to "Blame it on the Boogie to a sing-a-long rendition of Enya's "Return to innocence”!) the show is back to basics clowning, simple yet inventive and contained within a beautifully executed sketch format. The thing that struck me was how much of his personality and charisma comes through without any words and how he manages effortlessly to transcend all - language barriers, cultures and age ranges.
Matt Forde was once employed to be a Alan partridge impersonator in a Nottingham club, handing out shots in his pringle jumper and no doubt exclaiming 'Ah-Ha!' at the request of drunken revelers, so it's not an understatement to say he's come a long way in the intervening years. That being said, his combination of laddish Football banter and New Labour Politics received a somewhat muted reception from the Edinburgh crowd. The deluded Labour Party Member discusses the fantasies of having a Britain where Blair is back as PM and Liam Gallagher walks a bulldog with spitfires flying overhead. Cool Britannia, that kind of thing. A crowd's enjoyment of Forde would hinge on their willingness to travel back to 1997 and/or an unquestioning love of Tony Blair - talk about a niche audience.
Tim Key loves baths - so much so that he decided to centre a lot of his new show around the bath even having one on stage that he got into occasionally. It’s not easily put into words how the show works but it includes dips in the bath, diagrams, well-produced videos and mini poems written on the back of pornographic playing cards - one of which was nominated for joke of the fringe “"Drive-Thru McDonalds was more expensive than I thought... once you've hired the car..." it’s lo-fi, intelligent and well-timed comedy at its best.
That's nearly it for the Edinburgh Festival this year, stay tuned for one last review and get in touch if you'd like more info on any of the acts we've featured here.