Monday, 21 September 2015

Fringe Memories 2015: Daggers and Jesus and That

Of course you have missed me... I've been ill. It's always good to have a complete physical breakdown after the Fringe. Apart from being a nice change from the mental breakdown during, I get to lie in bed and wonder where it all went wrong. 

Here's what I was thinking about while I was bleeding from parts of my body I'd rather didn't weep all over the bedsheets.

Daggers MacKenzie
It's not often that I go to the magic of the musicals, but when there is the promise of a knife-welding cowgirl, I'm in. Daggers is a solo show, and there really are scenes of juggling really sharp objects and singing in tune. Frankly, that's enough right there to impress me, but Daggers seems to be the kind of work that the Fringe ought to exist to encourage: an individual artist showing off her range of skills, getting an audience and feedback on where to go next.

Melissa Kaplan writes songs that recall the classic musicals (like Oklahoma and that), with a rocking edge and a contemporary sensibility. She has a voice that can do sweet and angry by turns, and a sly sense of humour. 

If I were Lyn Gardner evaluation*: one to watch.

Christ on a Bike
Chris JS Wilson might be best known as the dancer-choreographer for The Kitsch Kats, but he also devised a routine that took advantage of his flowing locks and beard and similarity to a Renaissance painting of Jesus. Christ on a Bike expanded the character, mashing up Biblical allusions, social media speak and ironic humour: at just under an hour, it represents Wilson as more than just a pretty face and a hot body.

His choreography, as always, is tight and funky, while his chatty interludes reveal a charismatic entertainer who, somehow, manages to stay on the right side of blasphemy. It's a sterling example of how longer form cabaret routines - Wilson is a frequent show-stopper at variety nights - can encourage performers to expand their characters and dig out new skills and collaborations.

If I were Lyn Gardner evaluation*: There are few things more pleasurable than a cracking version of Jesus and a good scab.

*Please note: I am not Lyn Gardner. It is just that she uses more useful phrases for posters and that.

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