Posts Tagged ‘Gilded Balloon Teviot’

Review – Fascinating Aïda: Cheap Flights, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe

Thursday 1 September 2011

[Yes, yes. Still Edinburgh. Sorry. Nearly over.]

A very late entry for this as the Whingers saw it on different nights.

We also have to declare something in our extensive (presumably surcharged) baggage: an interest.

Adèle Anderson has been saddled with an association with the Whingers for some time and has become quite adept at drawing raffles tickets at various West End Whingers’ parties. And unbeknownst to us at the time, we have also shared a stage with Sarah-Louise Young.

We can now add poor Dillie Keane to the mix as she too has also recently – and most patiently –  been on the receiving end of our bar room ramblings. Compassion, nay, pity must therefore be extended to all three of these talented songstresses.

So you can take what we say with a pinch of salt if you please. Their show Fascinating Aïda: Cheap Flights needs no assistance from us anyway, as despite the huge choice of entertainments (and playing in one of the larger venues) here, “house full” signs appeared outside every night. Quite rightly too.

“Cheap Flights” has made them an internet sensation having gone “fungal” as they describe it. If you’ve seen that YouTube video and appreciated it, then you will love this show as it indeed the tip of a very large entertainment iceberg. It jostles against stiff competition from “Dogging”and their Bulgarian song cycle which, updated regularly, still reigns supreme. Too say much more would spoil the cabaret trio’s box of delights which just seems to go from strength to strength.

An extended version of the show is arriving in London this December. Look out for it at the prosaically monikered Charing Cross Theatre, a venue that is almost far enough off the beaten track enough to be a suitable venue for Cheap Flights to land. Does Bishop’s Stortford have a theatre?


Rating score 5-5 our cups overfloweth

In the unlikely event you’ve not heard Cheap Flights:

Review – Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still, Gilded Balloon Teviot

Tuesday 30 August 2011

[Yes, Edinburgh is over but we’re all behind so just pretend.]

It is an all too too easy task to mess with the Whingers’ minds.

A stranger had managed it successfully only the night before when, much to Andrew’s amusement, he genuinely mistook Phil for Gok Wan. Which means Phil has been swiftly downgraded from being a Michael Grandage doppelgänger. Edinburgh just gets curiouser and curiouser.

But that particular head-f*** is nothing compared with those created in Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Barry Cryer: Innit, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe

Monday 15 August 2011

In Innit, the awesome septuagenarian gag writer Barry Cryer sits upon a throne and works through the alphabet as an excuse (as if any were needed) to spend an hour telling some of the best jokes he has heard over the decades.

Less stand-up than sit-down, it may not be the most innovative show on the Fringe but it’s unlikely that one will find more belly-laughs-per-hour anywhere in Edinburgh.

(SPOILER ALERT) Here’s Y for Yachting…

A man whose wife is quite troublesome goes to a party and plays a game in which the participants draw a piece of paper at random and have to entertain the other guests  by talking about the subject written on it.

He draws the subject “sex” and manages to present quite a humorous riff on the topic.

On arriving home his wife interrogates him about his evening and he explains the game. “What subject did you get?” she asks.

Fearing she will disapprove, he lies. “Yachting,” he tells her.

The next day the wife is out shopping when she bumps into a woman who was at the party.

“Your husband gave us a very entertaining talk yesterday,” the woman enthuses.

The wife looks puzzled. “That’s strange,” she says.

“He’s only done it twice. The first time he was sick and the second time his hat blew off.”

Jokes don’t get much better.


Rating score 5-5 our cups overfloweth

Review – Black Slap, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe

Saturday 13 August 2011

No, Black Slap isn’t about specialist chat rooms. 

This is 1964, Harold Wilson has just won the election and we find ourselvs in a dressing room at the Victoria Palace Theatre where the cast are putting on makeup for a performance of The Black and White Minstrel Show.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe it ever existed? Andrew actually possesses proof: a Black & White Minstrels TV Show Annual which he occasionally browses through in wonder and disbelief. Phil remembers disliking it, not because it was racist (he grew up in Wiltshire where race had yet to be invented), but because he was bored by the musical numbers. How times have changed.

But there’s nothing at all dull about Paul Haley’s backstage tale (director, Robert McWhir) of dressing room bitching and arguments over who will be in the line up for that year’s Royal Variety Performance which included The Beatles and Marlene Dietrich in its line up. Ah those were the days.

This could almost have been written with the Whingers in mind: a neatly-crafted theatre story with social history (didn’t underpants fit badly in those days?), a bit of dancing, a terrific cast, on stage urination into a sink – plus maracas! It’s frequently laugh-out-loud stuff and one woman in the audience even called out “Boom, Boom!” after one of the gags. Bizarre.

The racism card isn’t overplayed but handled neatly by having a black dresser, Pyrex (Marc Small, excellent), who is working to pay for his studies (and of course he’s the smartest of the lot). Peter Whitfield makes a marvellously curmudgeonly old minstrel and there’s even the real life drag queen Dave Lynne as a flouncingly camp minstrel with a penchant for well, what else, cross dressing.

Right up the Whinger’s alley. Splendid and uplifting.


Rating score 4-5 full-bodied