Friday, July 20, 2007


Something Blue and Russell Howard

Sounds like a comedy stand-up with lots of swearing, doesn't it? Actually "Something Blue" was the first half of the show - five women performing a series of funny and/or sad theatrical pieces - followed by Russell Howard, the young blond off "Mock the week" in traditional comedian role.

Around The Fringes put on two independent turns who were warming up for their Edinburgh runs. Or Edingburgh as reported by the venue's website. {Sigh}.

Jammy Voo Theatre isn't something I would normally go out of my way to see - usually I would bump into this sort of comic cabaret at a festival or here at 21 South Street because it was on with something else.
The content, though - a mix of clowning, puppetry, absurd characters, physical theatre and songs to explore love - was very good and well put together.
There was a lot aimed at laughs but some of it is quite sad and thoughtful. For example, one piece was of a woman grown old with long white hair to the floor walking across the stage; by kneeling down with her back to us, her hair became the sea and two puppets told of her younger life being courted by her boyfriend on the beach who was soon lost to a watery death; and so she mourned his passing for the rest of her life.
Which contrasted with a wife at the breakfast table making herself more like the pictures in the glossy magazines to try and (fail to) get more attention from her husband. Being at the breakfast table, the only items to hand were marmite and chocolate spread for a fake tan, ketchup for lipstick and toothpaste for eyeliner.
Being a cast of women, they wisely used a disguise to represent male characters although I think a wolf's head was putting us a rather worse light than we needed.
If you are in Edinburgh then I recommend you check them out.

Russell Howard looks like a blond member of a boy band and not someone you expect to be standing behind a mike relating amusing anecdotes and observations. But we had seen him regularly on "Mock The Week" so Sue decided that we should see him live.
His act was good with some funny content but I found it so full of positive energy and life that it sometimes felt I was being preached at. Maybe I'm just too unhealthily cynical for such outpourings of youthful enthusiasm.

He was worried the photo from Sue's speed camera would have him looking a bit Hitleresque with his right arm raised but he seems to have got away with it.


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