It’s a bit quiet out there. Where is everybody? If it’s theatre you’re looking for, your favourites have probably made the trek up to the Edinburgh Fringe. Head up to Scotland and you never know who you’ll run into…
Tales from the MP3
WHO: Liverpool young people’s theatre company 20 Stories High.
WHAT: Telling each other’s true stories straight from their MP3 players, as they hear the words in headphones, the performers deliver line for line to the audience what they are hearing – live. Verbatim with a twist and delivered with unflinching honesty, they discuss religion, sex, race, friendship and family. Plus, live music, poetry and beatboxing.
WHERE?: Summerhall, until August 24.
The Art of Falling Apart
WHO: Matt Rutter, Tim Lynskey and Bob Farquar – AKA Big Wow.
WHAT: This is an Edinburgh Fringe debut for their superb comic adventure, a manic romp through a night out in one man’s life that has far deeper implications than he at first realises…
WHO: Another Bob Farquar play, this time performed by Everyman panto dame superstar Francis Tucker (pictured, top).
WHAT: The one-man show previously known as Di is Dead was performed at the Playhouse Studio in April last year and straight away looked destined for the Fringe (review here).
Grace and the Sea
WHO: Halewood-based community group MATE Productions.
WHAT: A new play written especially for the intergenerational group by Rob Brannen, inspired by stories from the Crosby coastline, told in around the Antony Gormley statues Another Place. (Review here)
WHERE: The group just finished a successful week at the Sweet Grassmarket.
WHO: Pirate-themed musical comedy brothers (above).
WHAT: As we’ve now lost Ed and Tommy Croft to the big smoke, Liverpool’s claim to Jollyboat is on the wane. But let’s call them ours for a little bit longer. Regular visitors to the Fringe, the buzz around their latest show 5 Stars – F*******k Yeah has already had principal festival critic Kate Copstick dropping in and crowds around the block. Could this be their year?
WHERE: Beat, until August 23 (Free Fringe)
Moments of Instant Regret
WHO: West Derby comic Laurence Clark.
WHAT: Ever bitten a policeman? Made a waiter cry? Called an esteemed colleague a c*nt? Laurence has. Watch him squirm as he attempts to justify these and other despicable deeds… This show recently previewed at LEAF.
Legion of Doom
WHO: Comedy sketch fans Rob Bond, Oli Bond and Lee Hithersay.
WHAT: Fear and Laughter is an hour long show of the trio’s established Fringe silliness, spanning comedy of all genres from slapstick to the cerebral and crammed with pop culture references galore (here’s a review).
WHERE: The Wee Red Bar, until August 24 (Free Fringe)
WHO: Lights Up Entertainment – a company of LIPA students.
WHAT: Three. Two. F*ck and SPUNK are a double bill of plays that the company describe as “an exploration of male relationships in today’s society – expect comedy, drama, strong language and lots of testosterone”.
WHERE: C, until August 25.
WHO: Stand up (and playwright) Joe Munrow.
WHAT: Joe’s one hour show that tells the story of how he found his voice in comedy. He issues the disclaimer that it contains neither jazz nor monkeys.
WHERE: The Free Sisters, until August 25. (Free Fringe)
Scotty Road: The Musical
WHO: Gillian Hardie and Keddy Sutton – AKA Caz and Britney.
WHAT: Their show, a musical pastiche that takes showtunes and gives them an irresistible Scouse twist, has been a favourite on the Liverpool theatre scene for a couple of years now, and early indications show they are already making waves up in Edinburgh.
WHERE: Laughing Horse@ the Free Sisters, until August 24. (Free Fringe)
WHAT: The Crosby-raised, Leeds-based musical comedian heads to the Fringe for his second Edinburgh show.
Vote Russell Brand
WHO: Alastair Clark (pictured below).
WHAT: Famous comedian Russell Brand thinks you shouldn’t vote. Far less successful comedian Alastair Clark thinks he’s wrong. Who’s right? Explored through the subtly surreal story of a dream centred around Nick Clegg, Alastair explores his emotional and intellectual relationship with politics. A show about political apathy, come… or don’t… Whatever.
WHO: A new production of an acclaimed play from young Liverpool playwright Luke Barnes.
WHAT: Liverpool, 1989: Greg is thirteen and has just started secondary school. He earns pocket money sweeping up hair in a barbers. Girls are aliens. Liverpool FC are everything. Liverpool, 2014: Greg has an extraordinary story to tell you. HighTide Festival Theatre – who premiered the piece at the Fringe in 2012 – return to the festival with this one hour performance.
The Tommy Cooper Show
WHO: City actor Daniel Taylor and writer Ian Carroll.
WHAT: Telling the tale of one of comedy’s greats in a show that debuted at the Liverpool Actors Studio last Christmas and has the thumbs up of Cooper’s family and estate.
Rock ‘n’ Dole
WHO: Stand up Sam Avery.
WHAT: Taking his hour-long show about his time in a metal band to the Fringe for the second time.
The Road to Skibbereen
WHO: One of six scripts selected as finalists in Liverpool’s one act Write Now Festival back in 2013. The debut play by city actress Angela Walsh (Brookside, Distant Voices, Still Lives) and directed by Sarah Van Parys, who has just completed the first year of post-graduate training as a young director at the Everyman & Playhouse.
WHAT: “A bittersweet comedy/drama about learning to sing and get on a bus; about Shakespeare and real chips; about the enduring love between a mother and her daughter and about how that changes when they find their roles reversed.” Website and blog here.
WHERE: C Venues, until August 25.
Play With Myself: The Trials and Tribulations of Gregory Bike
WHO: Written and directed by Liam Hale.
WHAT: Play With Myself ‘s plot revolves around ‘drama practitioner’ Gregory Bike being tasked with putting on a play. Not only must he write, direct, and act in his masterpiece but Greg also has to find love, avoid seeing his son’s presumably awful performances and avoid an early death at the hands of fairground attractions.
WHERE: Dragonfly, until August 24. (Free Fringe)
SHOUT! The Mod Musical
WHO: Created and performed by a company from LIPA.
WHAT: A one-hour revue show tracking five groovy gals as they come of age during the swinging sixties. Including hits such as To Sir With Love, Downtown, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Son of A Preacher Man and Goldfinger.