This wasn’t on the Fringe, but was rather a proper play from the Festival at the Kings Theatre, with red velvet and staircases and the like. Very swish. K got the last two tickets, seated at opposite ends of the theatre. K got one almost within knicker-throwing distance of the stage, whereas I was content to skulk around at the back.
Curtain. The first thing that we saw was Alan Cumming’s arse. He was lowered onto the stage by his ankles, with his backside to us, wearing a gold number with a short skirt and no knickers. The lowering mechanism wasn’t used for the rest of the production, so it was obviously included because they wanted to start with a bang, or at least with a bum, to get the audience giggling and goggling. It reminds me of a production of Romeo and Juliet I went to see on a school trip. It was set in the 1950’s or 60’s or something and so the party sequence had lots of rock’n’roll dancing (but not ceroc thank feck – I cannot stand that shit. “Try it Matthew! You’d enjoy it!”. No, I won’t.) and it ended with a splash as the star-crossed lovers jumped into a little pool that had been created at the side of the stage. The pool had no purpose. It was used once, just for spectacle. Then the poor dears had a bitch of a costume change before they were on again. I suppose what I’m saying is if you’re going to have spectacular effects, don’t make them look so obviously tacked on.
The rest of the play was fine – very stylish, lots of bloody murder and bacchic excess. One Scotsman got another Scotsman to dress up as a women, who was then decapitated, that sort of thing. But as a whole the production annoyed me.
I don’t have a problem with Alan Cumming – in fact he was excellent in The High Life, which was like Father Ted but Scottish and on a plane. That Cabaret he did was by all accounts awesome, and I’m sure his perfume smells nice. No, my problem is with people’s reaction to him. In this case, it was the fact that the majority of the crowd were hero-worshipping middle-aged women who couldn’t resist squawking at his every utterance. Mainstream naughtiness to cause cheap blushes.
I’m not mad keen on gospel music either.
Lunch – David Banns
Dee-licious, and pricey with it. But K did her sommelier bit and picked out a lovely bottle, which turned into 3 bottles in the end. Can’t remember if it was red or white, or much else about the meal.
Guide to German Humour
I liked this a lot, with the two hosts and their different styles, one grinning wildly as his performing garden gnomes performed, and the other (with an accent like Stavros, strangely enough) deconstructing what is and isn’t funny to a German. Failure is not funny, for one thing. Also, an excellent use of the phrase, “Prince William and his half-brother Harry”.
This was rather spectacular, and I enjoyed it very much. Google it. See if Youtube has any videos. Big black tent in the rain, bottles of beer in my pockets, amazing sounds, lights, and sets, framing some wonderful dance and physical theatre. Huge choreography. Even the fact that it was a promenade performance didn’t detract.
Best Of The Fest
Then a rush through, and standing in, the rain to catch the Best of the Fest, which was debatable, but fun. A large auditorium, lots of late-night drunk people, various comedy and cabaret acts. I enjoyed the Japanese double-act – can’t remember what they were called.
We tried to get home on Sunday. We did make it, but after GNER kindly left off one of their carriages, and threw out all the reservations, we were lucky to get seats. Bloody morons. I played Lego Star Wars or whatever its called on the way back, on K’s PSP. Good fun. Tired, hung over, but we had leg room and seats, so snoozing was also possible.