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Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Daniel Cainer: More Gefilte Fish and Chips

Daniel Cainer

Genre: Cabaret, Solo Performance

Venue: Underbelly


Low Down

“Master songwriter and Fringe favourite returns with more of his trademark smart and funny story songs (plus new gems). “


As the title suggests, there are a few new songs in Daniel Cainer’s cabaret show at the Underbelly this year at the Edinburgh Fringe. Cainer is back. I’ve seen him  few times before and, though this is more of the same, there’s a fresh feel to this show as well. Cainer is on top form, rattling easily through songs that range from story-based epics to very funny shorter tales of this family that also manage to touch the heart in the process. This is done through original music and clever, witty lyrics.

Daniel Cainer is looking ahead and has no idea what will happen to his Jewish Soul. To make sense of that mystery he looks back into his history, most importantly, his family, for clues. There’s plenty of comedy and serious song material to be  found among uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents and even ancestors way back when.

We live, we laugh and we lose those we love. Cainer’s stories delight the audience, the banter is witty and confident, aided by a few well-chosen and evocative slides, as well as a bit of film. There’s an ending that is an act of genius I won’t spoil for you – but it melted the hearts of the audience and had people whooping with surprise and delight.

Musical style is still based primarily in the last decades of the 20th Century and, given his creative talent, I’d personally like to see Cainer have a go at a bit of hip-hop or something post-millennial, just for the experimental risk and fun of it.

This is a heart-warming hour that ranges the emotions from reflective and nostalgic, to bagel-funny and playful. Family is the source material alongside big life questions, as well as the quirks of being alive in the world today. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this hour (a cut down Fringe-friendly-version of a longer show) – this is entertainment about life and we’ll all recognise the questions he asks and the lessons to be garnered from the tales, vignettes and bits of wry observation. I particularly like the way Cainer changes musical style mid-song before coming back to the original form, as a means of delivering stories that, despite much humour, also pack an emotional punch. It’s very skillful and the audience wanted more.

Cainer is back on the Fringe with another success. Highly recommended.