Monday, 5 August 2013

The Chocolate Ocelot’s 2013 Fringe - Day Three

Today was long and busy. And the first hour and a half was foolishly spent on writing up the previous day’s events. So this will be a short bulleted summary of Day Three. Feel free to expand with Ocelot-appropriate digressions, geekery, self-hating diatribes, other-hating diatribes and kindly but constructive show reviews.

Avenue Q
Assembly Hall, Mound Place

How cool and spooky does Mound Place sound? Like somewhere a slithery wyrm might lair. Not like some sort of gothic legislative building at all. Oh well.

(Crap, am digressing already. Back on to the bullet points)

Avenue Q – bargain at £6.50 for 2-hour+ show. Unlike musicals full of real people you can return to this one some 10 years later and still see the exact same actors, kinda. Still freaky that the puppets have no legs. Trekkie Monster was voiced by female performer, so he sounded whispery and creepy, not croaky and Frank Ozzy as he did with a male operator. Internet and College songs my favourite. Try to get a seat near the centre or you may be watching the back of puppeteers’ heads for some of the show. Trekkie Monster had silly Groundskeeper Willie attempt at Scottish accent. Took me hour and a half to realise that. Am told they are not professional performers, in which case extra well done.

The Alleycats: Contemporary a Cappella

This music really means something to me, just as Steve Martin said in The Jerk. Sexier than madrigals, Gregorian chant and folk, more relevant than gospel, this is the sort of singing a godless whitey like the Ocelot can really get into. Put that down to a childhood raised on the Flying Pickets. Six male singers, six female, very well choreographed with an especially loose-limbed performance from lanky redhead leader Brendan. Bought their CD. Very jolly and cheery-uppy (that’s a word). Am unable to come out of a good a Cappella without fantasising about being in one. Probably imagining myself as sexy lead vocalist when would probably actually be on the boom-tishes at the back.

The Play That Goes Wrong

Incredibly funny play about a crap murder mystery that goes increasingly off the rails. Excellent Cleese like performance from the director/inspector. Lots of great physical acting, props falling off walls, walls falling off frames, like a Buster Keaton classic. Herself got roped in to help gaffer tape props to walls. A transfer from the West End. Inoffensive but violent, hilarious, tightly scripted. Definitely our favourite show of the day. Well done, the Mischief Theatre. Try to see this or their Lights! Camera! Improvise! Show at the Underbelly. Must take the parents to this.

Barry Brennan’s Bi-Monthly Dungeons and Dragons Sessions
Spotlites @ Merchants Hall

Walked all the way south from flat to Pleasance Dome for this, only to realise that The Timetable Was Wrong. Marched/trotted/taxied north across city to Hanover Street just in time. Some confusion about queuing from frustrated woman on front desk having strained relationship with bloke on venue door. One of them shows where we all sit around the edge of a large room. D&D table in middle with screen, books, dice etc. Story of variously socially challenged thirty-forty year olds playing a final session of D&D before one of their number is Yoko’d away by dimbo girlfriend. Nice armour props for Shona/Selina. Accurate knowledge of old style D&D, lots of increasingly manic character acting. League of Gentlemen style black ending. 

I think they also managed to slip in a topical Peter Capaldi/Who reference (this was within an hour of the new Doctor being announced), so props for that even though it did spoil my Likely lads attempts to not hear the news until I got back home later.

Worryingly close to the Ocelot’s own life.

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: In Space
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Last show of day. Smallish audience. Many have not seen the Socks before. Sci- Fi theme of show means much of audience do not get geeky references to fillums and comics. Enjoyed the frenetic Superhero Song to the tune of Tom Lehrer’s elements song. Some bits fell flat due partially to bemused audience. God knows what they were expecting, as you can’t blame performer Kev Sutherland for not laying it all out in the show title. Doubtless will improve with larger, more enthusiastic audiences.

Remainder of evening spent with Dr Foot and Mitchell in Gilded Garden, variously drinking Bulmer’s purple cider (Herself and Mitchell), swapping show reviews (which is why we’re squeezing in their recommended Death Ship 666 tomorrow morning) and getting attacked by a giant bloody beetle that crawled down my t-shirt and into my bra. I could feel it rooting around. Squealed. Flung self about. Eventually dislodged said invading arthropod. Left boob somewhat traumatised. Suspect have been bitten. Anticipating beetle powers by morning.

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