27 Jul Blog | EDLOG 2015 – Rich’s Top 10 Shows You May Not Have Spotted Yet
Rich Rusk, one of our associate directors, has been trying to put together a list of his Top 10 shows to see at the Fringe. We asked him a few questions about how it’s going.
Q. How did you get on with the list, Rich?
Rich: Not well. I was after 10 and now there are over 100 on my list.
Q. How are you going to narrow it down to 10?
Rich: I’m going to cheat. Shamelessly. I’m doing two lists – one of the 10 shows I am most looking forward to, and another list of 10 shows that have piqued my interest.
Q. How do you choose what to see?
Rich: I go pretty much entirely by word of mouth when I’m at the festival. I listen carefully to people chatting in queues for shows, or people waxing lyrical in bars about hidden gems. And I have trusted friends who I rely on for recommendations.
Q. And how do you choose from the Fringe programme?
Rich: I read every blurb in the sections I am interested in, usually Theatre, Physical Theatre and then some of blurbs from the Music and Comedy sections. My order of assessment is always image, then company, then venue, then blurb. After 15 years at the Fringe I’ve found this order to produce the most interesting results. But that’s just one system.
Q. Anything you want to say about this list?
Rich: This is my SHOWS YOU MAY NOT HAVE SPOTTED YET list. It’s partly made up of shows that have caught my eye over the last few months, along with shows from people I know a bit who tend to make interesting stuff. I am not guaranteeing anything from this list; I have pretty weird taste. But I hope it might encourage people to dive into the festival and check out some ‘riskier’ options… My best Fringe experiences have always been years when I see a huge range of work from companies big and small. Veterans like Greyscale and Stopgap have been making brilliant work for a while, but the likes of People You May Know and Temper are just starting out and look to be full of promise. It’s great to mix it up.
Gecko are going to hit the festival hard this year. We aim to see hundreds of shows between us and really get to know as many people, companies and theatregoers as we can.
We’ll be sharing Top 10 lists from Amit (Artistic Director), Roz (Producer), and all our performers throughout the festival…
In no order…
1) THE EULOGY OF TOBY PEACH | Toby Peach
I’m not a huge fan of one-person shows in general. But this looks great. The Eulogy of Toby Peach has a very powerful and unique starting point and an important subject at its core. I am looking forward to seeing how he navigates through the tricky cliché mine-field, but I have a strong feeling that he will. I supported his Kickstarter too… you can do the same here:
2) BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES | People You May Know and New Wolsey Theatre
I caught an early sharing of this four-hander and I know for a fact they have been honing it and growing it ready for the festival. This young company are all first-time fringers and they’re bringing up a committed, thought-provoking piece which looks at the beginning of adulthood and the decisions that define us.
3) JURASSIC PARK | Superbolt Theatre
I know, I know. We’ve all been seen the terrible ‘[MOVIE TITLE]… THE MUSICAL’ type shows plaguing the Fringe. But I love Jurassic Park like a family member and this company looks really interesting. They are great online and I’ve heard this is great fun. I’m pretty sure it’s not a musical and I have no idea how they are going to do it – but I’m SO in and I want to love it.
4) TRIBE | Temper Theatre
I know some of the young people involved in this new piece from first-time theatre makers Temper. I can guarantee brave, bold, experimental movement-driven theatre. Chris Evans (Missing, Institute) gave them a free master class because he was so impressed with their drive. These guys also ran a theatre festival for young people earlier this year. But I haven’t seen the show so I can’t really say if it will be any good. What I can say is you will be hard pressed to find a more ambitious young company at the festival than this lot. Anything could happen. I’ll be there.
5) GODS ARE FALLEN AND ALL SAFETY GONE | Greyscale
Greyscale is a company I was lucky enough to meet this year and I liked them a lot. This show has been to the festival before I think. I haven’t seen it, but it’s returning for the showcase so that’s lucky… (Here’s a whole other list of its own – (CHEAT) http://theatreanddance.britishcouncil.org/projects/2015/edinburgh-showcase-2015/). This piece sounds like a contemplative, simple and beautiful way to spend 55 minutes.
6) 1972: THE FUTURE OF SEX | The Wardrobe Ensemble
Another show I discovered on Kickstarter. It wasn’t so much the subject matter that caught my eye as much as the style in which they look like they are telling their story. I have high hopes for this one…
7) 64 SQUARES | Rhum and Clay Theatre Company
Rhum and Clay are a company a lot of people have had their eye on ever since they emerged from l’École Jacques Lecoq – I’m really interested to see how they work this narrative. They are so full of skill and I really enjoyed their collaboration with Idle Motion earlier this year, but I know they have a genius show up their sleeves somewhere… this may be the one!
8) SING FOR YOUR LIFE | The Vaults
I’ve had my eye on this one for a while because of Twitter. They are very funny on Twitter. I later found out it has a really brilliant performer (who I’ve seen before) in it too. I just loved the pure Fringe feel of this set up: a bit dirty, a bit cheeky, and a bit wrong. If they can find the right tone, if they have a pro-animal message to slap us with in a cocktail of comedy and musical genius then this has the potential to be a must see at the Fringe.
9) THE DREAM SEQUENTIALISTS | Gardyloo
This is a proper wild card. Plucked from the program in an attempt to find some family-oriented theatre with a devising edge. This young company has emerged from UEA in Norwich, a place proud of its forward-thinking artists and writers. I look forward to meeting these goblins one wet Edinburgh afternoon…
10) ARTIFICIAL THINGS | Stopgap Dance Company
Great company. Great image. Great trailer. I’m sold.
I also really liked the quote ‘A pioneering collective … powerful … bold and disarming’ **** (Exeunt).
That’s all for now. That’s my 10 choices for Shows You May Not Have Spotted Yet. I need more time on my Top 10 Recommendations! So many to choose from!
I’m really excited about Edinburgh now…