The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is huge and as usual navigating your way through the thousands of shows, the hundreds of leaflets vendors, and the inevitable downpour is a trial in itself. If this is your first time, then good luck. You will find mountains of dross, tons of tat, but there are real gems to be found.
This Evil Thing written and performed by Michael Mears on at Venue 7 the Freemasons Hall on George Street may well be the best £11 quid you could spend in Edinburgh. It is a searing, heartfelt investigation into how conscientious objectors were treated by the authorities during the First World War. Using a mixture of historical documentation and some testimonies from the time Mears plays a host of characters with the passion and truth that would put many a more lauded actor to shame. For this 75 minutes he is simply a force of nature. Playing all the characters ranging from Bertrand Russell and Henry Asquith PM, to the soldiers and many of the Objectors Mears performance would bring a tear to a glass eye. Powerful, compelling and with a minimum of setting and fuss this one man play is simply staggering. 5 stars!
But on a lighter note, if you fancy some comedy here are few thoughts.
Jo Caulfield is at her acerbic best in her one-hour show Pretending to Care. On at the Stand in York Place. Well worth the effort. Without appearing to break sweat this show will keep you giggling for hours.
One not to miss for me at least Harry Baker, slam poet extraordinaire along with Chris Read. The pair will regal you with delightful life affirming poetry and music. Although this is part of the Free Fringe you won’t regret leaving a fiver. 5 Stars no doubt.
Less successful but still fun, 4 Minute Warning is a sketch show by Sasha Ellen and Daniel Collard. A simple format and fun is to be had. Though I think it is more a work in progress than the finished article.
Whatever you go and see it the Fringe have fun, be prepared to be enthralled and entertained but be ready for disappointment as well.
Favourite joke so far;
My dad had given up his job to deliver babies. He’s having a mid-wife crisis.
Giggle, or groan it’s up to you.