ISLE OF EDNA: G STREET: When / Where: The Mash House, Just The Tonic 4th-28th August; 19:00
New comedy duo Isle Of Edna bring their show G Street to Just The Tonic's Caves. It is a clever, witty, multi-sensorial character comedy show that explores the effects of gentrification on a community through recurring, all-too-familiar archetypal characters, such as the Working Mum versus the Stay At Home Mum, the Spoken Word Poet spouting his fury at the changing neighbourhood through questionable rhyme, and, of course, the Hipsters with their increasingly absurd beards searching for the trendiest new spot to hang out in only to ridicule it immediately in order to maintain their street cred. Mention must also be made of the middle class woman who converts a public toilet into an artisan bakery and the pensioner, depicted in puppet form, who is on a heartbreaking quest to buy a rivet only to find that every local shop has been transformed into a DIY-themed club with no actual rivets to be bought. The puppetry, music, colour and audience participation give the piece a Sesame Street feel which cleverly invokes a sense of nostalgia and makes the message underlying this comedy piece all the more poignant - how many local communities, familiar faces and safe spaces have been priced out by gentrification and how long before Sesame Street itself really does become G Street? A beautifully envisioned, energetically performed piece by a fresh comedy.
COLIN HOULT / ANNA MANN: A SKETCH SHOW FOR DEPRESSIVES When / Where: Pleasance Courtyard, 3rd-28th August; 1900
Colin Hoult plays depressed, narcistic, over 25 Actress Anna Mann who giudes us through a series of characters inspired (or rather stolen) from her group therapy sessions. Accompanied by her dishy male dancers dressed in skin-tight body suits, Anna depicts each character with a tenuous change of costume, an amateur set and questionable scene changes. And it is brilliant. Beneath the faux-amateurishness, are some well-observed and nuanced characters, performed with effortlessly witty and often surreal asides to the audience. Anna messes up the big finale by cueing it in at the beginning instead so that the end is a rather muddled mess with no clear conclusion about depression or how to over come it. And of course under all the silliness and mess is a more serious message that peeps through in moments like whne Anna describes how every doctor and health professional seems to prescribe the same thing for depression: Running. Complete with disastrous forum theatre, terrible make up and bad rapping, Anna's show is a messy delight.