Edfringe 2017

And we are back:

Amy Conway's Super Awesome World: This was genuinely moving and lovely. A one woman show putatively defending video games but actually about her fight with depression. The wrestling was never simplistic, even if the insights weren't perhaps searing. Full of wonderful moments.

Zach & Viggo:  See earlier blog post.

Locked in the Small Animal Hospital. If you have never played the locked-in games, it involves being locked in a room and having to solve a series of increasingly complex puzzles in order to eventually unlock the door. You play against time. This was not strictly speaking a play but it was a blast and it was a great workout for my brain. We did it first thing in the morning so we would be fresh, which may explain our record time.

How To Be A Kid Again. This was a threehander at Summerhall that was not about how to be a kid again at all, but was rather a story of a 12 yo taken into care. The 12 yo was very odd, played by a woman in her 20s. I looked at my watch a lot.

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Again at Summerhall, this two person play was the sell-out darling last year and I missed it so I was glad to catch up. It was a rich piece, fantastically aided by two mesmerizing performers. It's a love story against the backdrop of a law limiting people to 140 spoken words a day. I was really engrossed in the way the actions of the state bore upon this relationship, and the spoken word limit law was really a stand-in for a number of other constraining factors.

Who, Me.  This is a lovely one hour for Dr. Who fanatics. Rob Lloyd, an Australian comic, tells of his huge love of Dr. Who. This one man show may have been my favourite. Lloyd examines fandom, obsession, friendship and has an incredible modern dance capturing the death of every doctor.  His jokes are funny and his insights worth hearing. I saw him sweat. He seemed sort of old fashioned and that made me love him more.

Birth! The Traverse has commissioned a series of short plays about birth from female playwrights from Syria, the US, the UK and I think one other place. I saw the UK one, which was billed at 45 minutes but ran for a hot mess of an hour and five. The basic idea was ok:  two stories - one of a woman in London who tries through IVF to have a baby, and one who flies to London from Northern Ireland for an abortion.  It needed editing, and it needed to find out what it was really about. I always rely on Traverse for great writing. This was a misstep.

Riverview Studio's Virtual Reality - Outside the Assembly Rooms (hallelujah, the Assembly Rooms and Assembly are reunited!), you can spend £12 to spend an hour playing virtual reality games or just having a VR experience. You can't really interact with anyone which is a bit sad. There was a game called Intern where you got to rummage around the Oval Office looking for evidence to support the impeachment of Trump. The thing I liked the best was a series of 360 VR videos of various Cirque du Soleil magic. But you sit by yourself with a huge mask on, and you don't do it with someone else, and it's creepy how all the performers are staring at you because of course they are not staring at you. My mom reflexes kept kicking in too when people got too close with fire. The saddest moment of the Fringe was when I took off my headset and the nice boy said that someday all movies would be VR. It's hard enough trying to raise a family who has common experiences, who do the same thing sometimes and even watch the same thing on TV. God help those who come after me.

It was ok.  I was sad to miss David Calvitto's play Enterprise (he read Kerching in London) and Joanne Hartstone's The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign (she managed Bill Clinton Hercules at Edinburgh) and Michael Brandon's Off Ramps.


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