Every year at Edinburgh Fringe the programme contains “stables” of shows. This phenomenon offers the chance for theatre-goers to see more than one show by the same producing company.
This year, perhaps the most acclaimed stable is absent from the Fringe. Jethro Compton Productions are taking time out to develop new work and to tour their current and past acclaimed trilogies, such as the Frontier Trilogy.
But other stables are well and truly present at this year’s Fringe. It can be a unique experience seeing all of the shows on offer by one campy. Here are a few highlights.
Fringe legend, Guy Masterson (Theatre Tours International) is here with three very different shows, two of which star the man himself. A solo stand-up show marks something of a creative departure for Masterson. Guy Masterson: Love and Canine Integration offers “uproarious tales of woe, a dog and transcontinental wedlock. The dog came with a package… it could not be abandoned in Paris, and the next eight years tested everything: marriage, career and sanity. A tormented, often hysterical life of poo, piss and pooches”.
Masterson also brings back the now perennial Shylock: “Gareth Armstrong’s Shylock explores the tragic, tempestuous, often unbelievable life of fiction’s most famous Jew. Villain? Victim? Or is Shylock someone even more intriguing? Guy Masterson’s award-nominated, gloriously comedic yet moving performance, gets to the core of Shylock’s issues, rekindling his extraordinarily divisive role in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock confronts and confounds the stereotypes. For students, Shakespeare aficionados or lovers of theatre in general, Shylock brings Shakespeare to life, history to the forefront and magic to the stage.”
Thirdly, a solo piece rooted in storytelling, Chopping Chillies is performed by Clair Whitefield who takes us “from Kerala to Camden” in “an epic, mystical tale of love, loss and soul-food. A cobbler and a cook concoct a delicious transcontinental enchantment as tragedy and chance entwine. As Katie dreams of curries and chapattis; Ajna, of holy souls and reincarnation… A delightful, poetic, magical story that conjoins the spirit of India with the heart of London.”
Fourth Monkey take on a Fringe of biblical proportions
Fourth Monkey Theatre are an influential part of the London fringe theatre scene. They bring shows to the Fringe that tap into the young talent they nurture at their home base.
Drawing their inspiration from the books of Genesis and Revelation, you could really immerse yourself in their unique portfolio of shows this Fringe…
The Whale is a magical, graphic ensemble reimagining of Jonah’s sentence of solitude in the belly of the whale. An exploration of juvenile solitary confinement in the modern prison system seen through the eyes of a female Jonah as she battles the demons of solitude and institutional abuse.
Noah is a coastguard patrolling the coast of a fractured Libyan state bound and compromised by duty to both his God and his fellow man. The Ark is a physical and ensemble re-imagining of the Bible story, exploring man’s humanity, savagery and bigotry paralleling the contemporary refugee crisis with that of the biblical story of the ark.
Sodom is a city of unparalleled sin to which Lot offers his own daughters as sacrificial lambs to save himself. A tale of vengeance, justice and incest from multi award-winning Fringe regulars Fourth Monkey. Told with their renowned ensemble signature style Fourth Monkey uncompromisingly re-imagine the story of Sodom for a contemporary audience.
Following the sell-out success of the immersive late-night Alice in 2014, Fourth Monkey return to the Fringe with another late-night offering. In two digestible and complimentary parts Ascension explores man’s relationship and perception of our world as we know it today. Ascension is a midnight exploration of the apocalypse. Uncompromisingly delivered by a company renowned for its bold and unflinching work, Ascension Parts 1 and 2 offer a late-night experience like no other on the Fringe. ‘The four horsemen are coming for all of us, it’s just a question of when.’
We’ll also be covering the work of Spotlites Theatre and Aireborne Theatre in the next few days