Thursday, August 11, 2011

more Fringe stuff

So anyway, I went to see American comic W. Kamau Bell, good , entertaining, thought-provoking stand-up.
I didn't agree with everything he said, but I don't ever really expect to agree with everything a comedian says.
It's interesting watching an American comedian get to grips with a typical Fringe audience though.
I suspect they're generally quieter than your typical US club audience, and you could see it was taking him a little while to get used to our slightly more passive nature.
Edward Aczel's pre-show music included "South American Getaway" from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", so he had me onside well before he made his shambling entry on to the stage.
This is anti-comedy at its most inaccessible, and I love it.
It was a pretty tough gig for him though, as the majority of the audience didn't seem to know what was going on and watched in bemused silence, whereas I was reaching for my inhaler.
I then went to see a play about a comedy double act.
Again, I realised within 30 seconds that I wasn't going to enjoy it.
Of the double act itself, one of the actors was very good, but the other one wasn't.
To successfully portray a top comedy double act, you have to capture the magical chemistry between the two comedians which makes the act work.
There's not a second in this play where you feel that, so the whole piece is torpedoed below the water line.
I've done a fair bit of shit acting in my life, so feel qualified to notice it.
It mainly involves thinking about your next line and when you're going to say it, rather than giving the impression of "listening" and then reacting naturally to your feed line.
I was notorious for this, and it produces that distinctive wooden acting, which we all know and love.
A pity, because I find the dynamics of double-acts fascinating, and was looking forward to this play.
Next it was on to Michael Legge's hilarious one man show on Sir Walter Raleigh.
Top notch stuff, and even though I was familiar with most of the material through reading his blog, he performs with such great gusto that I'm roaring with laughter anyway.
Just before his show I walked past a group of obvious Fringe performers having an impromptu pavement meeting.
I heard one say "Yes, that TOTALLY changes the whole dynamic of the scene."
Now, what I reckon has happened here is that the first few performances of their play have been absolutely disastrous, but they've now agreed that by getting one of the characters to wear a hat in a scene, and also drop one of his lines ; the play will be saved!

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