Edinburgh Fringe Guide Dog
Everyone’s favourite dramatic canine has got a punning and questionable haircut and is here to teach you what Cambridge has to offer the Edinbrugh Festival Fringe.
The best thing about trains is that Guide Dogs ride for free. So by Network Rail’s benevolent glory I find myself in Edinburgh – and half of Cambridge’s theatre has only gone and followed me.
The good people of the festival fringe (not fringe festival like the plebs say) have put them all in the programme. But I know how you are with reading so I’m going to herd them into neat little pens for you, barking all the way.
And the Award Goes To 21st-27th August
I’m sure I won’t be the only one who’s surprised to discover that Cambridge has an improvised comedy troupe. But we do, and here they are. Given that it’s, well, improv, it’s pretty hard to predict what it’ll be like, but it does have the distinct advantage of being free.
Base Nightclub at 5pm Free
A Jazz Education 25th-27th August
An easy-going and unpretentiously varied offering from the Cambridge Big Band. They recently battered Oxford (as much as you can with music) to their great credit, so deserve all the support going.
City Edinburgh at 3pm £5.50-7.50
Armageddapocalypse: The Explosioning 4th-28th August (except 17th)
Despite being peopled by ingrates, this action-movie-parody retains the ability to throw a joke-grenade down your throat and pull out the pin. Near-perfection in its most recent review mutated into a Golden Prig and Platinum Tab come award time, so let’s hope Scottish audiences are as smart and perceptive as we are.
Just The Tonic at the Caves at 10pm £7.50-9.50
Babushka 4th-26th August
The most-lauded show of Lent 2011 and the only instance of a show taking home two Golden Prigs. These are direct consequences of its being really fucking good. Spellbinding in a way that has its eye firmly on what makes theatre theatre.
C Venues – C Aquila at 9.40pm £6.50-£9.50
Bonesong/Unknown Position 3rd-13th August
The next pair of operas from the terrifyingly competent Carmen Elektra. Half of it premièred way back in Michaelmas and won five stars for itself and the more recent Terrible Lips gyrated its way to a Golden Prig for best musical show of Easter 2011. Proof that opera is not dead, even if it’s fixated on things that are.
C Venues – C at 9.30pm £7.50-£11.50
The Curse of Macbeth 3rd-29th August
Describes itself as ‘A Macbeth like no other’ – which is probably how most productions of Macbeth would describe themselves. To be fair, the well-tuned house of horrors aesthetic combined with creepy nursery-rhyme music does rather a lot more to back up that claim than most. Known in Edinburgh as ‘the local play’. By idiots.
The Playhouse at Hawke and Hunter Green Room at 4pm £5.50-£10.50
Fantasmagoriana 4th-29th (except 16th)
Byronical chronicle of how Frankenstein sort of happened. Defies expectation in unexpected places.
C Venues – C Aquila at 3.40pm £7.50-£10.50
The Footlights Present 5th-28th (except 16th)
Most easily conceived as Now! That’s What I Call Smokers 2011. “Catch them now, before they’re on television, film or radio,” they say about themselves. An interesting boast – and it won’t cost you anything to act on it.
Ciao Roma at 3.20pm Free
Jet Set Go 15th-27th August (except 21st)
Judging by its ‘Best Show of Lent 2011‘ award, you all love it. Not that your acclaim counts for anything – far more importantly we loved it first. The fringe is home territory for this show, and its kitsch musicality is sure to resonate with fringe-goers – especially those who’ve recently emerged from budget flights far more prosaic than the ones equally camped and sexed up here.
theSpace @ Niddry St (V9) at 7pm £6-10
The Life Doctor 4th-28th August (except 17th)
If Jeremy Kyle and the Footlights were ever to walk into a bar, this would be the punchline. Perfect for anybody who’s ever described something as ‘lolkward’ without suffering immediate physical repercussion. Featuring Phil Wang, winner of Comedy Central’s ‘funniest student’ award and a ginger man holding a globe.
Underbelly, Cowgate at 8.10pm £6-£10.50
Pretty Little Panic 3rd-29th August (except 17th)
The Footlights’ flagship fringe feature. It’s likely to have changed a bit from its Cambridge preview run and will change a bit more before it goes to America. At its core the idea is to do the very best of Cambridge comedy in order to elicit complimentary soundbites from national papers to use in publicity for years and years to come.
Pleasance Dome at 5.20pm £5-10
Sheeps 3rd-28th August (except 16th)
It took a cheeky little tip-off to alert me to the fact that this is a Cambridge-related show at all, but it was here last year so it counts – though it will probably have evolved some. They’ll do jokes and stuff.
Pleasance Courtyard at 4.45pm £5-9.50
SODOM 14th-29th August
S&M meets PMQs in The Earl of Rochester’s filthiest play, bent suggestively into a satire of modern-day politics. Featuring dildos, daggering, and rhyming cusswords from 300 years ago. The Movement as they’ve never moved before.
Zoo at 11.15pm £7-9
To Have and To Hold 6th-29th August
A new comedy by Joey Batey about a wedding that goes horribly wrong. See above comment on lolkwardness. If the very word ‘vlog’ doesn’t make you want to vomit an ocean you can find three of them (and counting!) here.
Paradise in Augustine’s at 5.45pm £3.50-£7
Truly Medley Deeply 5th-20th August
If you’ve ever been to a May Ball before, chances are you’ve seen these guys do their cheesy pop medleys at 3am – here’s the chance to see it without being dogged by fatigue. Nor are they strangers to the fringe – winning a definite thumbs-up from us last year.
Space Cabaret @ 54 at 6pm £5.50-9.50
The Way Through The Woods 16th-21st August
Their lateshow debut in Lent had some pretty evident flaws, but more than outweighed them with some really good ideas which should bring it fringey success. Luckily, the bad things were the sort that can easily be fixed, while the strengths are there to stay.
Paradise in Augustine’s at 5.10pm £7.50-9.50
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