Culture Critic Holly Reaney reviews the must see touring show 'Shrek: The Musical' at The New Alexandra TheatreWritten by Holly Reaney on 16th February 2018
Preview: Edinburgh Fringe Must Sees
Sport Editor Olli Meek and Culture Editor Olivia Boyce highlight a few of the 'Must-sees' amongst this year's Edinburgh Fringe lineup.
This year's Edinburgh Fringe festival is now underway, with this year marking the 70th offering of its eclectic and hugely entertaining programme of performances, comedy and other experiences.
Max & Ivan: "The Reunion"
They are without question my favourite thing that I have seen at the Fringe. With a new show every year, they are a comedy powerhouse whose writing is bold, original, and downright hilarious. The beauty of their act is that they always, without fail, catch you off guard; you can never second guess what is going to come next and this sense of perpetual anticipation leaves the audience wholly disappointed that their show ever needs to end. Previous successes at the Fringe have included a retelling of their childhoods and how they first met, through to a sketch-based narrative of a seaside village hit by Armageddon, all packed with the most weird and wonderful sketch comedy. They recently released a succession of Channel 4 "Blaps" online, that didn't really live up to their previous live material, but I wouldn't judge them by this standard, I would put that partially down to the online format and being limited by the distribution being out of their hands. Those who catch this show will have been lucky indeed.
The Amorous Prawn: "Four Go Off On One"
This is a must for everyone from those who merely know what the Famous Five is, through to the seasoned followers of the popular Enid Blyton classics. Personally, I subscribe to an audience closer to the latter, and the performance was perfect. The beauty of this show is the balance between being packed with witticisms faithful to the essence of their source material, but also appropriate to the older audience that it attracts. Many would have used the concept to crudely rip Blyton to shreds at every turn- not this one; it's good nature and charm ensure that the jollity and good humour conveyed on stage are soaked up fully by the audience. Unperturbed by a recent copyright threat from Hachette, they return to the Fringe this year with material that they know works - and trust me, it does.
“An eclectic and hugely entertaining programme of performances...
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Although not strictly part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the tattoo is placed as part of the collective Edinburgh Festival and is definitely worth seeing if one has the chance. Maybe a little pricier than other available options, you are certainly not being short-changed. You are paying for the spectacle: the sounds, the lighting displays, massed bands, costumes et al - it becomes clear all too quickly how much planning and organisation getting each group to the right place at the right time would take, and to have them all out on the show ground at the performances conclusion is another thing entirely. One of the resounding impressions that I took from the tattoo was its pride in diversity. There is a range of music and dance performances, from military bands and civilian groups alike, spanning continents and celebrating cultures around the world. The backdrop for the whole event is Edinburgh Castle, and it's utility is certainly underlined by the technical team; from the colourful projections to hosting the eerie "Lone Piper", the imposing battlements make for a memorable setting to a truly memorable evening.
This one is a little bit cheeky, given it's a performance devised and performed by University of Birmingham students. However, 12 offers an entertaining hour for anybody looking for an alternate take on Shakespeare. Performed by 3Bugs Fringe Theatre and UoB's LGBTQ Association, 12 promises an exploration of Shakespeare's iconic Twelfth Night, via the medium of drag. The reimagined classic, brought forward into the 21st Century, is daringly good fun, and an impressive offering by any means. For Rosie Solomon's review of the original run, where she describes the show as 'an impressive mixture of song, dance and Shakespeare...truly magnificent to witness', click here.
Buzz: The New Musical
Having enjoyed successful previous runs, Buzz returns to the Fringe this year, having scooped the coveted 2016 Eddies Award already. It promises a frank musical exploration of one singleton's attempt to fall back in love with herself. Having been likened to Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, it provides a refreshing and entertaining introspective look at sexuality and sensuality.
More information on this year's festival can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/