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Brig at the Fringe – 3 rapid reviews

3 mins read

Murder She Didn’t Write

A pair of golden breeches, a love triangle and the demonic presence of former rugby union player Johnny Wilkinson – all audience suggestions in this improvised murder mystery. Like a massive game of Cluedo, audiences choose the setting, weapon, murderer and victim whilst the quick witted performers incorporate them into an constantly evolving plot. How they untangle themselves from the increasingly absurd audience suggestions to create a satisfying story line shows there is method in the mess. With actors as adaptive as these it’s easy to see how Murder She Didn’t Write became one of the fringe festival’s most acclaimed shows.

Stewart Lee: Wok in Progress

‘You’re not really my crowd’, he says, as he begins to berate the crowd for not laughing enough at his indecipherable joke about echidnas. The unrelenting contempt Stewart Lee shows his audience as he powers through a sixty minute set about a Sharknado in Yorkshire and Dave Chapell’s rotisserie chicken obsession is uncomfortable in the most entertaining way. This comedian and self proclaimed ‘prophet’ has created a character so sure in his own intelligence that even if the material bombs you’re not sure its a purposeful set up for another rant. The more obviously pre-prepared content would be funny enough on its own but the real fun in Lee’s act is watching him play the room as it’s dealt.

Who‘s Line is it Anyway? – Live

image taken from timeout.com

The most expensive of the shows I attended but also the most lackluster. The revered improvisational panel show Who’s Line is it Anyway played sell out shows with a rotating cast almost every day of the festival with the original members Clive Lewis, Greg Proops and Stephen Frost returning. For whatever reason, perhaps tonight they just didn’t have their usual mojo, many of the skits fell flat and were met with silence. Surprisingly, it was special guests Phil Jupitus and Kirsty Newton that stole the show, displaying the most entertaining and outside-the-box improvisations. If they were the only contestants, the night would have been a success. It was the veterans who’s performance was often confusing or poorly judged. There was times I felt like I was watching an awkward drama exercise from high school rather than a paid show. Maybe if the ticket pricing hadn’t of been so steep I wouldn’t have been as disappointed.

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