This was our second year at the Fringe, but it’s our first time writing about it. We all know that the Fringe is on in Edinburgh every August, but a surprisingly few of us actually venture up to Scotland to check it out. When you think of the Fringe Festival, Comedy and Stand-up immediately spring to mind, but the truth is it’s actually a very small part of what happens at the Fringe. The real magical stuff is the contemporary dance, spoken word, art, theatre and play productions. From a weekend up at the Fringe, taking it all in both the good and bad, we’ve picked our two favourite shows you need to see.
The first show we saw was easily the most heart-breaking. Three actors tell the story of families being affected by the Credit Crisis in Britain. Focussing on one mother’s journey from just about scrimping by, going from week to week and the perilous position she’s in. She’s on the bread-line, just about making it through when her debt start to ebb away at her and before you know it she’s caught in a debt-repayment cycle where she can’t see a way out. As credit cards start to mount up, putting her home in jepodary she eventually finds herself at a charity foodbank getting hand-outs. It’s based on true experiences and had us in tears at the end.
Shame by John Berkavitch
A contemporary dance performance with a spoken word commentary throughout. Again, another powerful true-story of all the shameful things John Berkavitch has done in his life. Flanked by his three best-mates, graffiti artists and break-dancers they spin, twirl and pop across the stage. John’s a great raconteur, adding a colourful commentary to his life from his love of egg sandwiches as a kid to sitting at the back of the school bus as a teenager and the cathartic process of dealing with a family tragedy every night on stage. Go see this, as you won’t have seen anything like it.