Saturday, 7 August 2010

Festival Highlights

1. Poetry Unbound

Ten poets undergo horrible experiences onstage – sodomy, stabbings, burnings, skinnings, and so on, then have ten minutes to compose a poem about their experiences. The audience votes the best poem and the winner gets a slot in the Slam Tent at the Ham-on-Rye Festival. Includes David Thirstburn, Alan Keswit, Shona McIlkley.

£19 Adult, £18.99 Student. Seating: 50. Expected: 200.

2. Bob Hacklaff + Jason Justinson

Bob Hacklaff, acid-tongued funnyman from Channel 4’s panel show All Politicians Are C**ts, is back with an outrageous new show: Fuck You, You Fucking Fuckface Motherfucking Fuck. In this rowdy and side-splitting show, Bob sets out to use the word ‘fuck’ five times in every sentence as a sociological analysis of the parameters of contemporary language. The Guardian: “A Rabelaisian romp that sets new boundaries of bad taste, then breaks them.”

Support from Jason Justinson, the most recent twentysomething cheeky Irishman who does jokes about relationships and the fact that there are actually differences between the sexes.

£7 Adult, £7 Student. Seating: 4. Expected: 900.

3. Brecht vs. Beckett

In a first for Edinburgh, The University of Chester’s drama graduates present Theatre of the Absurdly Tuneful. Beckett’s Waiting For Godot and Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera meet for the first time to form Waiting For Opera: an existential musical interposing the plot and characters from both plays to devastatingly original effect. The Herald: “Like being in the head of a schizophrenic Nazi janitor.” Original score by Katy Perry.

£40 Adult, £60 Student. Seating: 500. Expected: 3.

4. Madagascan Toe Orchestra

For the first time in Edinburgh, come and see the marvellous quintet from Antananarivo! This outstanding group perform tribal music on entirely on their toes, using their toenails as the driving instrument, with the rubbing sounds providing a support, or rhythm section. This is a one-off opportunity to see this incredible group – tickets are selling fast! They are performing hourly at the Hooterfooter Tent for the duration of the festival.

50p Adult, 35p Student. Seating: 30. Expected: 0.

5. The Critic Strikes Back

Five critics who have spent the duration of the festival in a loft in Morningside are invited to review, onstage, the shows they haven’t seen. Watch them as they reach for pithy quotes that kill dreams stone dead, insult performers they’ve never heard of, and undermine every idea by comparing it to something that has gone before. This is a must-see show, though the critics maintain it will be disappointing and not as good as Live Jenga.

10p Adult, 1p Student. Seating: 0. Expected: -5.

6. Live Jenga

For years, performers, actors and directors have wondered: could you make Jenga into an event? Usually, the answer is no, but Bob Holm isn’t so sure. Using dramatic lighting techniques, tense music and two moody competitors, Bob sets out to prove Jenga can be as entertaining as Shakespearean tragedy, and a lot less wordy. No coughing or heckling permitted.

£400 adult, £399.85 student. Seating: 10,000. Expected: 50,000.


  1. As I live in Edinburgh too my comment to this post has to be 'If Only'. I would love to see these shows. Great stuff, cheers.

  2. I think I saw the Madagascan Toe Orchestra on Princes Street yesterday. Chancers.

    Can you be a reverend and a doctor at the same time? You must be rushed off your feet!