posted 05 August 2003
The fringe continues to entertain. So far we've seen:
- Everyone loves me, a musical comedy. The songs were okay, the singing was strictly second rate, the jokes were good, the plot was very good, and the lead was extremely cute. Rating: *** out of 5
- McCloud and Black - The hook was sketch comedy, which we saw for free at the last minute. There were some very funny characterizations, if a trifle bizarre at times. We laughed a lot, but the last 10 minutes were unnecessary and not very funny. Rating: **
- Twelfth Premise caught us by surprise by being full of Americans. The show itself was rather pretentious, the plot was okay if a trifle pointless, the acting was surprisingly good in places and everyone was startlingly attractive, and spent a lot of the time half-naked and involved in same-sex snogging. Rating: ***, one of which comes from the phwoooar-factor of the Heath Ledger lookalike in the cast.
- Terry Pratchett's Guards, Guards! was an unexpected discovery in the listings, and I'm glad we went. I'd heard about TP's books being turned into plays, mainly by small local companies, but I'd never expected to see one, and it was very very good indeed. The jokes and plot are Terry's and good as such, but the translation was well-done (though it probably helps to know the book). The acting was very good, with the exception of the man who played Lupin Wonse, who rather over-acted and drowned out the others some of the time. Lady Ramkin, Carrot and Vimes were all played by actors who clearly knew and loved the book. Vetinari and a few other "peripheral" characters were all played by the same guy who was also very good, and extremely attractive, which was confirmed later when we bumped into him coming out of the venue where we saw Twelfth Premise. It was livened up further by the addition of numerous more recent pop-culture references including the Matrix and Charlie's Angels and a completely OTT song-and-dance number at the end. Rating: *****, but less if you aren't fairly familiar with the books.
- Finally, last night we caught Jason John Whitehead -- Serious Dude, which was stand-up comedy. It was quite a few good jokes on a wide range of topics, stitched together rather badly and performed by a clearly inebriated stoner who forgot what he was about to say more than a few times. Rating: ***, because of the Ian McKellan joke.