Lockdown-schmockdown, the show must go on! While live shows and immediate feedback are usually at the heart of stand-up, comedians have had great successes through DVD sales and streaming services such as Netflix or YouTube. Edinburgh’s The Stand Comedy Club is still standing even without a live audience, as yesterday’s broadcast has shown, one of the first of its kind. Live comedy in the time of COVID-19. Can it work?
It’s the 1980s. Big hair, shoulder pads and synth-pop provide a backdrop for Margaret Thatcher’s advocacy of the individual instead of a collective society. This results in a country that loves to go out dancing, but when crisis hits, people find themselves isolated and overwhelmed. Denise’s journey from cheerful disco queen to depressed carer unfolds through a fragmented monologue of nostalgia, song lyrics and sound-bites.
Trigger warnings have been the subject of some debate in theatre circles, but if ever there was a perfect example of the right time to use one, it is in A Wake in Progress. Not only because it is easily and deftly woven into the piece by master of ceremonies Amy Fleming without spoilers or awkward interjections, but also because the point of this show is absolutely not to make anyone feel uncomfortable or unhappy about death. Quite the opposite.
Does the world need a musical version of 1999 American teen flick Cruel Intentions? Probably not, but by God it’s entertaining.
Packing out the Underbelly’s Palais du Variete, this is closer to rock concert than musical. The mainly millennial audience is practically word perfect on both the script, which has been cut for length but otherwise largely unaltered from the screenplay, and the ‘00s hits that are peppered through the plot, often with the flimsiest justification.
Would life really be better if it were a musical? Alexander S. Bermange’s revue show suggests it’s not all lipstick grins and audience adulation. Featuring four performers and Bermange himself on piano, the show tells their story as struggling artists, going from drama school dreams to the disappointing reality of auditions, understudying, second jobs, debilitating dance routines, low pay and backstage backstabbing.
An earnest entreaty to save our planet, How to Save a Rock is a hugely well-intentioned and charming play which just slightly runs out of steam. It’s packed full of other forms of energy, however, as the whole show claims to be carbon neutral, powered by an on-stage bike and solar power.
A mixture of confessional monologues, recorded interviews, dance, music, and a hefty smattering of hardcore porn, Harry Clayton-Wright’s deliberately shocking, no-holds-barred, one-man show attempts to address how we learn about sex and how that education informs our wants, needs and desires for the rest of our lives.
Structured around the story of his attempts to buy his 84-year-old father a posh new watch as a birthday present, Neil Delamere: End of Watch is a well-observed and warmly funny hour of razor-sharp comedy.