Monday, 8 August 2016

The Chocolate Ocelot's 2016 Fringe - Day Four


Six-Sided Man
Downstairs @ Assembly Roxy
There are two rules: Never give the dice an option you're not prepared to follow, and never disobey the die! Darkly hilarious, seductive... from Luke Rhinehart's cult novel, The Dice Man. A disillusioned psychiatrist lives his life by giving options to a dice, and introduces a patient to the lifestyle.
The Ocelot says: I've been a fan of Gavin Robertson's physical shows for 20-odd years, since Thunderbirds FAB and Fantastical Voyage. This show with veteran actor Nicholas Collet is an interesting mixture of psychopathy and humour, though we did sometimes lose track of who was playing who (patient/psychiatrist/inner ego). I especially liked Robertson's tragically lonely, ordinary photocopier repairman, played with touches of Hancock and Gervais. 3/5

Intergalactic Nemesis: Twin Infinity – A Live Action Graphic Novel
Pleasance One @ Pleasance Courtyard
The year is 1942. Are you ready for the adventure? Live sound effects, voice acting, cinematic score, and over a thousand projected comic book panels combine in a one of a kind live extravaganza for the kid in everyone!
The Ocelot says: Not sure what I expected of this. I guess more of a super-heroic comic-booky experience, though it turns out to be a strange three-way hybrid of classic radio show, pulp adventure serial and (slightly too static) comic art. At 90 minutes, it's a good half hour too long, and also relies a little too much on the audience having seen the previous two or three shows in the Intergalactic Nemesis series. 3/5

Radio Active
Pleasance One @ Pleasance Courtyard
Angus Deayton, Helen Atkinson Wood, Michael Fenton Stevens and Philip Pope reunite to bring classic scripts from the award-winning BBC Radio 4 series back to its Edinburgh Festival Fringe birthplace.
The Ocelot says: One for the nostalgic, which includes me in this case. I think it was two classic radio shows from the 80s reprised on stage with the original cast, sadly minus the late Geoffrey Perkins (shockingly misspelled as Geoffery on the back screen at one point). The highlight for me was Deayton, Stevens and the musically talented Pope performing Status Quid's interminable spoof Boring Song. We saw them all hanging out in the Pleasance courtyard afterward. I wanted to go up and say hello to Michael Fenton Stevens and say that we were once on the same Thames river boat with him at Robert Rankin's party, but Herself - wisely in the cold light of retrospection - advised that this didn't sound so cool. 4/5 (mainly for the songs).

A Dame of Thrones
Frooty Goose @ The Lombard Project
A talented improv troupe insert a different classical British actress, reprising one of her most celebrated roles, into George RR Martin's acclaimed but bloody saga.
The Ocelot says: Today we saw Dame Judi Dench's put-upon spinster Laura from A Fine Romance attend a dinner with the Boltons, with unexpected results. Apparently tomorrow will be Dame Maggie Smith's Lady Violet paying a surprise visit to King Joffrey. 5/5

Mr Swallow – Houdini
Forth @ Pleasance Courtyard
Following his critically acclaimed portrayal of Dracula, Nick Mohammed's alter ego Mr Swallow is back with a magical, musical biopic of Houdini that he's definitely rehearsed this time. Definitely!
The Ocelot says: I feel a bit bad about not enjoying this as much as Herself and many of the audience. They were lapping up Nick Mohammed's clownish Mr Swallow and his put-upon assistants trying to stage a tribute to Harry Houdini. But I think I made the mistake of mentally stepping back early on and thinking his character in particular was just a bit too silly, and then couldn't go along with the conceit like everyone else. Probably the same reason that some people just didn't get Norman Wisdom or don't get Count Arthur Strong. But we did see Neil Pearson, Angus Deayton, Phil Pope and Ellie Taylor in the audience, so that was cool. Oh, and he did do some decent close-up magic and a fair Chinese Water Torture escape at the end. 3/5

Nosferatu's Shadow
Grassmarket 4 @ Sweet Grassmarket
Who was Max Schreck, the man behind the monster? Why is he solely remembered for the only horror film he made during a career encompassing 800 parts and 50 films? How did he continue working through the rise of Hitler and the Nazis?
The Ocelot says: A magnetic performance from writer/actor Michael Daviot as the character actor now known for a single monstrous role. Despite the utter lack of atmosphere that can only come from staging a show in a bright, modern hotel meeting room, his tall gaunt presence - reminiscent of John Carradine - rich voice and blazing eyes are, to quote Herself, 'spellbinding'. 5/5

Adrian Gray's The 007 Conspiracy: James Bond's Terrifying Truth, Exposed!
The Little Kirk @ Just the Tonic at The Community Project
A one-man conspiracy spy-thriller high-tech romp – with some PowerPoint gags as well. Adrian Gray, presents the story of self-appointed ‘truth theorist’ Adrian Gray (no relation) who claims to have uncovered the dark truth behind the James Bond franchise, and discovers that sometimes, the truth is kept hidden for a reason.
The Ocelot says: Though some folks may feel a little gypped for coming to a show that is not entirely as advertised, do go along with it and enjoy the ride. Reminds me a little of some of Johnny Sweet's solo efforts like Mostly About Arthur. Loved the ending; I don't want to spoil it, but it does involve a chicken coronation. Sorry, that probably does spoil it quite a bit. 4/5

Quirky Incident
Nothing quirky happened today. Sorry. I can't just force quirkiness to occur, ok? I mean, sure, some people did come up to me and asked for directions, as has happened previously. And yes, I did heroically chase after some chap who'd dropped his train ticket and he only said 'thanks' in the most desultory fashion, the ungrateful bastard. But that was kind of it. Not every day can be Quirkday. Sometimes it's just... Blahday. 

Oh, no, wait, something odd did actually happen today, although it mainly happened a couple of days ago. This bloke got in the queue for Intergalactic Nemesis behind us. I don't want to be horrible about him but he does look a bit like notorious Afrikaner white supremacist Eugene TerreBlanche, only wearing an oversized Bathory t-shirt stretched over his belly. Anyway, I recognised him from Saturday when he was in the same audience as us for three consecutive shows. In three different locations. THIS IS WEIRD. I think he might be following us. Not sure why, but it can't be good. If you don't hear from me again, call the number hidden in this blog (you'll know how to find it), and give the codephrase 'We all wanted to do the Paddington mum'.

I think this is Edinburgh's first cat brothel

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