Sagar Mega Drive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

By guest critic Jo Trainor

Sonic was always my go to when playing Sega, but Fiona Sagar has got a slightly different cast of characters to choose from in her show Sagar Mega Drive

They come fast and furiously, Sagar throwing on costumes in seconds to squeeze all six of them in within her hour. There doesn’t appear to be any link between them, ranging from an Australian nursery teacher to a chihuahua. Although they all fit within the premise of being from Sega, some sort of connection would have helped shape the piece. There’s a lot of interaction in the show, and Sagar creates a great rapport with her audience throughout. This People are so open to coming on stage with her, and everyone gives it their all rather than having awkward silences. 

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Three Shows Inspired by Shakespeare, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In a festival that worships the new and the innovative, Shakespeare adaptations are surprisingly ten a penny at the fringe. Many are school groups, though there are some from professional companies in the mix. These are often adaptations or new work inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, characters or themes. Though more likely to be of higher quality, theatremakers often struggle to find a balance between innovation and the original source material. 

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The Class Project, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Rebecca Atkinson-Lord speaks with an accent that she stole. Her family all have Wolverhampton accents, but her parents’ decision to send to private school meant that she adopted a voice that endowed her with a social status above the rest of her family. It allowed her to ‘pass’ as part of the elite and has benefited her career, her relationships and numerous other areas of her life.

Her reflection on her voice and tribute to the rich history of the West Midlands and Black Country is a moving acknowledgement of the deep-seated bias and associations between accent and social class in Britain. Though not confrontational, it asks the audience to reflect on their own attitudes towards people and the way they speak.

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Submission and Sarah, Sky and Seven Other Guys, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A British Pakistani Muslim tries to reconcile his faith and family with his love of men and clubbing.

A gay guy and his straight female bff share a flat, a mutual adoration for classic films and the occasional man.

Liver & Lung Productions’ two new plays, whilst needing further development, look at two issues that queer men of colour face. Submission is the stronger of the two works, though Sarah, Sky and Seven Other Guys includes a mix of serious and light-hearted material.

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