Daniel Kitson, Paul Merton - Edinburgh Fringe 08 Blog and Video Diary:Part Five

Alex Skinner 08/09/2008

Day 5

The last day was the metaphorical comedy cherry on top of my metaphorical festival blancmange.Plus watch my two part video diary from the Edinburgh Fringe.

Paul Merton's Impro Chums

A synchronisation of skilled actors who pack an impromptu amount of punch. Paul orchestrated the set up in the way he does best, he made sure everything flowed through him and by doing so, conducted well. Ringmaster Paul had his friends to work with allowing crowd participation for the improvised situational comedy we have seen in strong past shows, such as Whose Line is it Anyway?'.

The sold out, pleasant middle aged, middle class crowd instantly warmed to the improv team. At points it sometimes didn't work out fully, the crowd are forgiving of this as it is a pressured skill and means the show is a win situation either way. This happens in a few areas, this time it was the Hedgehog Volleyball.

You can't knock Merton's concept, every sketch is a winner. A lovely afternoon show for an hour of fun with his friends, making crowds laugh at his spontaneous wit and creativity. It is a lovely little disposable show for pure entertainment value without thinking at all.

3/5 or 6/10

Capoeira Knights: Warriors of Brazil

I assumed this would be about of the art of war and battles with a steely eye for fighting the show starts. Noticing in the crowd there are many young, vivacious women, 'Hmm', I think.

After the rhythmic drums and soulful music there are chiselled figures approaching in a thrusting format. It throws me as they continually thrust and gyrate as if they're in a Brazilian brothel. They are trained acrobats, who are fully toned and all have excelled at Capoeira, even the midget one who could fit in a spare jean pocket.

The compere tells a story of where Capoira originated and how prisoners would learn and teach to escape after
training hard. There are a number of musical interludes where many songs are sung to a samba beat. Too many rubbish songs for my liking but still a good show nonetheless.

Deep regret hits home after ditching comedy for this dance and physical theatre. Feeling like a fool, the show turns again.
It is worse, as the several Capoira boys shake their proverbial money makers once again...with revenge. Their horned Brazilian eyes caress the crowd and view the female beauties. Even more gyration was thrust in the crowd's face as they worked the stage like poor Brazilian rent boys. I really hope my subconscious forgets this experience. I'm now scared of things that are "a bit different" and this is exactly why. From here on in my comedy eggs are in one basket where there is no room for Brazilian thrusters.

2/5 or 4/10

A fitting end to my reign of the 2008 festival, it closes with
perfection in viewing.

66a Church Road - A Lament, Made of Memories and Kept in Suitcases, by Daniel Kitson

Daniel Kitson performs the greatest gift any performer has ever performed to me. It is something that makes you tingle, and sends emotions to dizzy levels. Making a connection is vital and he does this by choosing an issue everyone goes through, yet, fail to mention - the feeling of memories lost within the walls of a house. It is the analysis of when
a house becomes a home with all of its imperfections adding to the soul of the home.

Theatrical perfection encased in bittersweet comedy, it means so much to me and I don't know why. No-one can touch Daniel Kitson. Not only is he in his own league, it is his game.

5/5 or 9.5/10

This concludes my working comedy week.

Here is the two part video blog to give a better idea of the Fringe Festival for this year:

Part 1 of 2.

Part 2 of 2.

Produced by Ryan Owen and Alex Skinner