fringe_2014_thumbIn the six days that I spent at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I saw 37 shows. I have already rated the first 19. Below are my combined ratings for all 37 shows.

 

I gave a full five stars to three shows:

The Object Lesson, an original work of theater in an interactive space full of  junk and boxes of stuff.  A one man show conceived and performed by Geoff Sobelle, it is illusion, stunt and comedy that makes us think about all those objects we surround ourselves with.

Cuckooed, also a one man show, was written and performed by Mark Thomas, an English comedian, TV personality and political activist.  He describes being deceived by a fellow member of the Campaign Against Arms Trade, who turned out to be spying for Europe’s largest arms company.  The show deals with surveillance and deception as well as friendship and trust.  It is funny, personal and clever.  Apparently, Cuckooed has been in the works for a while–a 2007 article that Thomas wrote in The Guardian in 2007 provides the outline.

Forgotten Voices is a reading by five actors based on the words of people who lived through World War I.  I saw the show on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the U.K.’s entry into the war.  The show ended just before the strike of midnight and was followed by a bagpipe tribute.  It was a very moving evening.

Some facts:

14 of the 37 shows had a single performer.

9 of the 37 shows involved some sort of audience participation

8 involved mourning the death of a parent, sibling or child

I gave 23 out of 37 a rating of at least 3 stars.  In other words, I liked 60% of the shows I saw.  If you add in the shows with 2.5 stars, an additional 10% of the shows at least held my interest.

Picking up tickets for the Fringe Festival

Picking up tickets for the Fringe Festival

MY SCOREBOARD:

5 Stars (excellent, mesmerizing, original)
Cuckooed
The Object Lesson
Forgotten Voices

4 Stars (I really enjoyed it)
Last Christmas
Crazy Glue
Shame
The Carousel
Hannah Gadsby
Kraken
Circa Beyond
White Rabbit Red Rabbit
Every Brilliant Thing
SmallWar

3.5 stars
Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho
Title and Deed
Klip

3 stars (I enjoyed it)
The Big Bite-Sized Breakfast Show–Menu 1
The Big Bite-Sized Breakfast Show–Menu 2
Chef
Café Ruse
Freak
Light
Initiate

2.5 stars (held my interest but can’t say I enjoyed it)
The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland
Pioneer
Notoriously Yours

2 stars (didn’t like)
Theatre on a Long Thin Wire
Show 6

1.5 stars
Re: Fujisan
Anatomy of the piano
Near Gone
Leaving Home Party
Elephant Room

1 star (Disliked, found annoying, hated)
Lexicon lady
Confirmation

0 stars (I walked out)
Silent Voice
Glen Cosby: Food Junkie

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