Last night I caught 2 Absolut Fringe shows at Filmbase, one theatre and one variety. Here’s my thoughts on both:
Broken Croí – Heart Briste
“Manchán Magan is a disillusioned Gaeilge fanatic seeking revenge for the death of the language on his star pupil, a lonely 18 year old dancer. He offers the audience an opportunity to redeem the situation by answering some simple questions.”
Sitting before Gaeilgóir agus múinteor Manchán Maga while the cúpla focail were being thrown at the audience took me right back to my schooldays, back to the dreaded Gaeilge lessons in the seomra ranga. Manchán is fanatical and obsessed with the Irish language which proves to be both a little scary and funny at the same time, much like the teanga Gaeilge itself.
Enter “Cailín” – star pupil, moody teenager & troubled daughter all in one Max Factor-ed package. The Irish class descends into a series of arguments and exchanges between the two characters with Manchán desperately trying to understand the “trína chéile” mind of his teenage daughter.
Eva O’Connor who plays “Cailín” gave a superb performance in what was overall a good show but some aspects of it just didn’t appeal to me. While it posed interesting questions around language, communication and relationships I felt it suffered from what I call the “Tommy Tiernan effect” – just a bit too much unecessary swearing and vulgarity.
“From the glitz of a glitterball to the grain of a security tape, comedy and zeitgeist culture collide in this shiny cabaret lucky-dip. Seasoned performers and virgin talents collaborate to create something you’ve never seen before.”
Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with Crash Test Cabaret. The promise of random cabaret acts, audience participation and on-the-spot creativity somehow made me expect a lot more than I got for my few bucks last night.
The highlight of the show was the act “Red Wine” who came from the audience and provided some light relief in the form of a song set to some rather lovely guitar picking. Two of the lowest points for me included seeing an audience member being made topless and left on stage while a “feminist” treated us to some less than entertaining rap while one of the cast spent the entire show moving around the audience taking photos with his large, annoying and downright painful flash (we were sitting in darkness for crying out loud!!!).
Some seemed to love it, I sadly was not one of those. Crash Test Cabaret = crash and burn.
If you fancy a go, it’s at Filmbase at 9 until the 17th.
Despite being someone who has barely dipped her toe in the Fringe waters before this year, the name “La Clique” was familiar to me from hearing people rave about it and talking about booking their tickets weeks in advance to ensure they didn’t miss a performance.
So what’s all the fuss about? I went along to the opening night last night and I can safely say I have not seen a show as spectacularly entertaining or breathtaking in my life. And I can’t wait to go back for more.
To me, La Clique is a marvellous mixture of traditional and contemporary circus performance, music and comedy with a sexy, energetic twist. With the gorgeous velvety surroundings of the Spiegeltent, it felt at times like I was caught up in a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge
I don’t want to give anything away as the surprise and (at times) shock factor is all part of what makes the show so entertaining. At the very least it’s a showcase of some truly amazing talents and a visual feast.
I laughed till I cried, I squirmed, I gasped, I sang, I danced, I whooped and hollered and left the Speigeltent simply buzzing. If you only go to one Fringe show this year, go and see La Clique. I’m going back for more before it ends on Sunday 20th. If you go tonight, you’ll get a lovely 20% off. And if I haven’t convinced you then maybe Darragh will.
I had the pleasure of seeing two fantastic shows on Saturday night as part of the opening weekend of Absolut Fringe 09 – Point Blank at the Project Arts Centre and Red Hot & Brass at the ever lovely Spiegeltent. The two shows were poles apart in pretty much every way but that’s the beauty of Fringe!
A remarkable show centred around 19 year old Nada and her quest to find the path in life she wants to take. She travels taking photos of complete strangers observing them often for days to see what they do and if this might be the life for her. I’ve put a review up on Culch.ie and highly recommend you go check this out if you can.
Red Hot & Brass
Well it pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin – they were hot, sassy and very much brassy! I haven’t danced as much in a long time and they had everyone in the Speigeltent on their feet on Saturday night – a fantastic start to fortnight of some hopefully equally brilliant performances.
Check out www.fringefest.com for a look at what’s on over the next 2 weeks. See you out there!