Friday, 7 August 2009

Ed Fringe: Day 1 - List Party

Greetings people who don't read this!

It is my intention to blog every day to keep you up to date on Fringe shenanigans as they happen. Today marks the official launch of the festival with the infamous List Magazine Festival Launch Party. Held in what is normally the Spiegelgarden but as it is on hiatus this year we enjoyed complimentary Sagres & Bulmers in the very similar surroundings of Hullabaloo, replacement venueness from Fringe leviathan's, Smirnoff Underbelly.

Par for the course stuff; too many crew, strict door management with secret wristbands and far too little drinks tickets.

Obligatory first free pint goes down quickly as the place starts to fill up with large creepy guy with Promoter pass dangling in a "look, look now!" fashion........and then some more press. The Fringe has officially begun. Don't get me wrong, this is how it goes and I wouldn't change it for the world.

First pint has gone down like your mother in law at a wedding and you are ready to brace this throng of potentials and credentials with your own relevance.

The idea is to flit and dart around the crowd, pick out the people who are least likely to tell you to fuck off and give them the chat! The chat being, "living breathing Fringe guide...showcases the best acts from across the festival...incredible unpredictable line-up...surprise until 5am...only £8!" That part I enjoy saying because to me that's a fucking proper, in the true sense of the word, Fringe price!

With that part of the evening complete and feeling satisfied I had talked enough pish to earn my meagre free drink it was time for the centre piece of the evening, the List Magazine's Fringe highlight, well, cabaret!

Excellence was found in The Dirty Brothers Side Show, who you can see at The Bongo Club Cabaret on the 18th. Quite possibly the best angle-grinding and self-mutilation freak show act I have EVER seen and believe you me that's saying something!

There was also the Pyjama Boys (I think that's what they were called!) who had this amazing dry, new-American comedy going on mixed with an amazing ability for sketch theatre. They reminded me of a cross between Napolean Dynamite & Flight of the Conchords, from what I managed to gather they are on at Assembly...look them up, they made me laugh so hard I nearly peed! Sourcing them for Bongo, I will be!

Another gem was a Japanese trio called the Tights Men (I think, it's getting late and I have had one too many free Sagres!) Frankly, all that needs said is that they are a sort of weird version of Puppetry of the Penis...except they have replaced the penis with....full body leotard tight things... I know that doesn't sound like it should work but it does...they were on first so I can't remember where to tell you to see them...look up weird/japanese/tights. You won't find what I saw tonight but you are probably guaranteed a decent night in!

And so it was that the List Magazine Festival launch party happened once again, non-deterred were they by the lack of the Spiegelgarden and nor should they be as Hullabaloo looks to be a pretty awesome substitute. Not least because of the atmospheric, 100 year old Bosco Theatre that comprises its main venue. A mix of big top and studio theatre gives it a proper Fringe feel and the thought that it could truly be a blank canvas.

Bongo opens tomorrow night (Venue 143, 22.15 ) and I am very excited, if tonight is anything to go by then we are set for a pretty exciting Fringe. I hope to document it better than I have this evening. I will add to this if I think of something interesting that I forgot.

I am up in 4 hours so I bid you goodnight....

x L

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