Stripped Back Theater
Not every play at the Fringe is the product of a large cast & company. The Mumble went out & about investigating solo & duo plays
Aug 1st – 27th: Underbelly Med Quad – Clover (12.10)
If you see a young lassie frolicking about the Fringe with a pair of angel wings, its highly likely to be Liz McMullen, who has flown over the Atlantic with her one woman show, the essence of which is this. A cherub is just about to take her/his (I think they’re androgynous) cupid exams, when an arrow is shot into her/his leg by mistake. Liz then becomes a lustful, amorous creature interacting with both a plethora of pink props & the audience. Erotic & playful, as McMullen flutters about the stage delivering her well-thought-out studies of love & sex, it all rather feels as if one is eating a creamy trifle by osmosis. Stupid Cupid is on early in the day – at noon – & seeing a horny cherub at that time of high sobriety was a real mind startler. This play is best, I think, for someone who wants a spot of theater; but nothing too high-brow, nothing too serious, just something fluffy & informative & fun.
Me Talking, Mostly
Aug 4-18: Paradise in The Vault (20.10)
Hailing from Paris by way of Chicago (which might explain the shiny suit and onion-johnny t-shirt), Mick peddles an absurdist set to get you thinking and give your chuckle muscles a full workout. From the get-go, he deconstructs the comedy entrance – just how many ways are there for a performer to come on stage? Then he tans the ass out of audience participation: masochists to the front row here. Mick pares down his comedy to find some moments of real comic gold where you find yourself laughing along with the rest of the audience without really knowing why – and then he throws that moment right back at you so you can laugh some more. He’s a gentle, charming, head-trip of an act. Prepare yourself for 2,700 seconds of physical comedy, absurdly twisted improv, song and dance and full-on audience participation that will leave you wanting more of this fresh, intelligent and beguiling act.
You Down There & Me Up Here
Aug 3-11 (16.05)
We Talk of Horses are a theater company consisting of two fine young thespian gentlemen, Pip Williams & Sam Rees. I was lucky to catch them just before the end of their run & found myself immersed in the drug rehab of a certain famous singer called Nick Cave. Sam was Nick, & Pip played the doctor, & together they passionately romp’d thro’ an enjoyable & abstract, arty, intellectual script. It is perhaps one of the strangest subjects I’ve ever seen treated at the Fringe, but its presentation was completely believable, so energetic are the two lads in their interchanges. This is stripp’d back theater at its very best; no props, no set, just two talented & daring actors whipping up a storm of illusion.