Dispatches from the Fringe – #7
Things have been a little quiet on the critical Fringe front in the past few days, but today were setting all that to rights. Today’s Arts page is a feast for the reviewing senses, and you might not find all of it agreeable.
Peter Crawley has been hard at work in the past few days. World’s End Lane left him stunned and earned every one of its five stars (I’ve also written about it previously here). Sex, Lies and the KKK sees Abie Philbin Bowman in stand-up mode and focusing on racial and sexual stereotypes. It’s comedy with a purpose, but Crawley feels it doesn’t go far enough. I Love Guns, meanwhile, contains “dark, elliptical meditations about control, gender and the power of words” but he also reckons it is tedious and rootless, if maybe worth a shot.
Sara Keating reckons Little Iliad is a tiny treat with a powerful punch, combining lost elements of the Iliad with thoughts on the US’s involvement in Afghanistan. The bittersweet monologue of Greenstick Boy contains some very promising material in its Thatcherite British setting. Meanwhile, Delicious O’Grady has been attracting a lot of interest with its oddball comedic source material of potatoes and famine. Keating reckons it is “cheap, offensive Paddywhackery” and “if that is your thing, you are welcome to it”. Ouch.
Michael Seaver finds the personal statement in The Work The Work is far more powerful than any political arguments, while Christine Madden gets a shot of The Cappuccino Culture’s gameshow, but finds it a little weak. Meanwhile, I took in Polarbear’s strong storytelling show Return, which brings a little bit of gritty Brum to the Fringe. Well worth a late afternoon’s viewing.
You can read all these reviews here, and let us know below if you think we are wide of the critical mark or telling it like it is.