MRS BANG and EAT YOUR HEART OUT: Edinburgh Fringe to 29th August 2010

Edinburgh

MRS BANG: A Series of Seductions in 55 Minutes; Ines Wurth Presents; Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14): 04 – 29 Aug 2010: 2300 hrs
0131 622 6552

Running time: 55 minutes no interval
Review: Mark Courtice 24th August 2010

EAT YOUR HEART OUT: Eat Your Heart Out; C Aquila (Venue 21): 9 – 22 August 2010
0845 260 1234

Running time: 2 hours one interval
Review: Mark Courtice 22nd August 2010

Cabaret meets Theatre
Although these two shows could not be more different, they do exemplify work that sits at the junction between cabaret and theatre, and therefore earn their place on a theatre web-site.

MRS BANG

Cabaret artist Mrs Bang has ended up in Edinburgh with high ambitions of taking the fringe by storm. Unfortunately the band she was hoping to bring have not made it; her failure to quite understand the subtleties of the French phrase "Je te déteste" and her enthusiasm for picking a rhythm section from Cubans with revolutionary connections mean they are unlikely to show soon. After dragooning someone from the audience into “following the dots up and down”, Richard (or is it Robert – she not quite sure) steps in to accompany her with sensitivity and skill.

This show wears its cleverness lightly, Sheridan Harbridge‘s voice is powerful and rich, and as a genuine artist she can play with her talent; she’s pathetic, hectoring, funny, often wildly off the wall, but always sounds great, even when careering across the seats to get into the audience. She can also act; Mrs Bang’s backstory of a disastrous love life, her desperation, and her inability to listen to anyone else are consistent and delivered with flickering skill.

Aside from the inevitable ukulele this is an original and entertaining cabaret cross-over take on the “tears of a clown” story, but genuinely funny with it.

Mrs Bang Sheridan Harbridge
Pianist Richard Anderson

EAT YOUR HEART OUT

There are no ukes at Eat Your Heart Out. Apparently this riposte to cabaret failed to interest the Arts Council enough to get a research and development grant. It’s a shame really, because in this artfully chaotic show there are some splendid moments of just the sort of stuff that they should like to support.

As a riposte to cabaret it follows the conventions, there’s an MC (Scottee in outrageous costumes and a heavy hand with the glittery make-up) and a succession of acts, including some imports from other shows on the Fringe. However, here everybody wants to make it clear – this is self-consciously art and politics.

When it hits the spot, it works well; the La John Joseph, for instance, is terrific in his sharply written and performed description of a visit from a lady from the St Vincent de Paul Society to his childhood home. When Miss Annabel Sings goes for a party political broadcast it’s spiky and properly angry.

There are long moments, sometimes the anger and the politics seem simple when a bit of complexity would not come amiss, and sometimes the lack of time and resources shows in clunky bits, but with energy, glitter and a fine disregard for the niceties of conventional cabaret this crackling show cheerfully jettisons good taste and restraint for something far more important.

Cast from
Scottee, Masumi Tipsy, Miss Annabel Sings, Myra Dubois, La John Joseph, Daniel Somerville, Spencer Wood, Owen Parry, Helen Noir, Bryony Kimmings, Raymond Tait, Dorian Black, H Plewis, James Unsworth.

2010-08-26 09:30:59

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