Dublin Fringe Festival

One of the things we unfortunately missed out on in our move to Ireland was the Edmonton Fringe Festival -- an event that we've faithfully attended at least a couple of shows every year for the past couple of years. We've had some good memories of watching shows like the One Man Star Wars Trilogy, The Great Pretenors, and Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge. So we were rather enthused to find that Dublin had its very own fringe festival soon after our arrival. On Saturday, we checked out a show called All in the Timing which was playing in the theatre in Bewleys. This restaurant was the first place we ate on our first night in Dublin. We shared that meal with Darse, Xan, Mike and Marja.

All in the Timing was a fun show. They did about five short-ish sketches of varying amusement. The first of which was probably my favourite where they did a sketch similar in style to the improv game "new choice". The scene started with a woman sitting at a table in a restaurant reading a book and is approached by a man who asks if the seat is taken. He makes several missteps and gets several bad responses before finally getting to sit in the seat across from the woman. After each misstep, a bell rings and they go back in time to redo some part of the scene. It was quite humorous throughout the sketch.

The did a couple other neat sketches including one where a woman comes in to be taught a new universal language. The man she sees talks in a weirdly bastardized version of English, using other english or nonsense words in place of other english words. As the scene progressed the woman becomes fluent in this new language and the two spout several joyous sentences of this new language that sounded remarkably like ridiculous lyrics to some well known musicals. It was quite a fun scene.

In another scene, the actors did a very short skit involving people meeting by random chance at a bakery. They then did a several song musical using just the words used in that skit repeated in a musical way. It made a weird sort of sense, and I think was quite a bit more enjoyable in experience but a bit hard to explain.

So that was our first Dublin fringe show. Tonight we saw our second show which was a circus/burlesque show called La Clique. It was a bit on the racy side, but definitely a thoroughly enjoyable show.

Highlights from the show included:

  • Two British men in suits who did several feats of strength including holding each other up. One man stood on the other's head, one man used the other's legs like they were gymnastic rings, you know, simple stuff like that.
  • A woman gets four hula hoops going around her body at once in various forms.
  • A double-jointed rubber man calling himself "Captain Frodo" contorts himself through 2 tennis racquets: a 12 inch one and a 10 inch one.
  • A man in a bathtub full of water whirls himself in the air using two long straps suspended from the ceiling. This was probably my favourite -- the guy did the whole thing choreographed to music, and included a jaw dropping manoeuver where he spun the straps around his arms and legs to ascend to near the ceiling, but stopping at intervals to flash a pose timed perfectly with the music. The manoeuver was incredible for strength and flashiness to begin with, but timed with the music it was absolutely amazing.
  • Ursula Martinez performed this little magic trick (warning: nudity, NSFW).
  • The rubber man returned after the intermission to stack a series of buckets on top of a piano while balancing on top of them. Each bucket was smaller than the previous one until he was down to a small coffee can which he proceeded to sit on and then tuck his feet behind his head. I don't want to know how many times he's attempted this trick in practice and fallen.

In between these, there were several fun bits in between. A guy calling himself the Queen of the show (because he's a big Queen fan) juggled and rode a unicycle to some Queen songs and provided a bunch of entertaining banter. "Captain Frodo" used a saw as a musical instrument in a song that also involved a piano, an accordian and some little bells.

All in all, an enjoyable show! The fringe continues for the next few days, but we might not make it out again since the upcoming weekend looks a bit busy.

One last thing before I head for bed here. I finally caught up with photos from our recent treks. Have a look if you are so inclined!