The Last Man Cave
(One Starts in a Barber’s. One Starts in a Bar)Fern Studio,
Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209) Aug 2- 24 @ 11.40am
Last year, my partner and I frequented what I still believe to be the best café and takeaway in Edinburgh – ‘Thistles’ – run by chef, John, and his wife, Michelle, providing an extraordinary variety of homemade food at reasonable prices to match many a Michelin star restaurant. It so happens that the best-selling author and storyteller, Rohan Candappa, was also a regular at Thistles café, and was so inspired by its owners (and food) that he agreed to do a free performance of his new piece for them and their customers. What a treat it was too. Beginning with his true-life experience of attempted redundancy which he fought and upturned, before sticking two fingers up to the company, he then went on to perform his nostalgic tribute to our never-dying breed of local Barbers. From the old Tony Curtis-style-cut photographs that used to don the walls, to the young boy learning how to banter like a bloke, this is a microscopic view of the simple truths that reveal themselves whilst sitting in that Barber’s chair. It’s funny, moving, thought-provoking, and most of all, it’s storytelling at its best. Highly recommended.
Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Psychopath.
The Stand’s New Town Theatre (Venue 7) Aug 15-18 & 22-25 (10.30 & 9.10pm Check Dates for Times)
I’ve seen JS many times, from his early days at Malcolm Hardee’s Tunnel Club, to his reincarnation as master sleight-of-hand magician. Not to mention a show at London’s Criterion Theatre, where fights broke out and the police were called. On each occasion he has worn his customary black top hat with long straggling hair escaping from beneath – his locks maybe slightly greying now, but his humour is as black and seemingly hate-filled as ever. JS hates everybody and everything, his prejudices have no boundaries, they are set to shock, provoke, and challenge your own biased sensibilities. If you can’t take the mirror placed in front of you, you walk out, as some usually do. Shame on the ones who do, for the show is all it professes to be – an hour of Masterful and Magical quick-fire comedy, and a string of Psychopathic diatribes that leave you breathless. No sleight of hand on the night I saw it but the brilliance of saving his adoration for the one person we should all despise and detest could be called his Trump Card. Jerry Sadowitz for President? Hating the press is the only thing they may have in common.
Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) Until Aug 25 @ 18.40
I’ve never been a huge fan of Green Day, and always classed them as pop punk, but I must admit some of their anthem songs do lend themselves to the stage musical genre. This simple tale of a trio of young rebels who choose different paths to celebrate their coming of age contains some exciting and emotionally charged moments, largely due to the impact of the musical score. The three protagonists service their solos with veritable panache: Will’s ‘Give Me Novacaine’ Johnny’s ‘When it’s Time’ Tunny’s ‘Extraordinary Girl’ and their joint moving rendition of ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ all provide the show with flashes of genuine poignancy. The Edinburgh Little Theatre Company throw themselves into their roles with tremendous gusto, and although I felt the decision to give some of the ensemble black masks a strange one, they nevertheless sing and dance their hearts out. All in all, this is a production that deserves to be seen (if you can get a ticket) and it’s great to see a young company getting to grips with raw pop punk rock theatre. Something we could do with a lot more of.
REVIEWER: Kevin Short for International Times