Saturday at the Fringe proved to be a slightly calmer day. Joined by another friend, we did less running around, but saw some much more serious material.
The first show of the day was Nirbhaya, a play by Yael Farber. It is probably one of the most difficult plays I’ve ever watched, even though some of the “warnings” in other reviews seem a little bit exaggerated. Nirbhaya tells the story of the girl who was gang-raped on a bus in Delhi last December, going into a fair bit of detail of the horrific ordeal. From her story it moves on to stories of other Indian women, mainly in Delhi, who have been victims of sexual or domestic abuse, each story as awful as the next. Apart from the Japjit Kaur, who plays Jyoti/Nirbhaya, each of the other stories is told and enacted by the victims themselves, making for a completely different theatre experience, as the performances are literally very real. I’d like to give a special mention to Ankul Vikar, the only male cast members, playing the various male roles throughout. He’s very good, and many of the characters must have been very difficult to portray. The play is good, and I found parts incredibly moving. I’m not sure what they’re doing with the production next, but if you think you can handle it, I’d definitely recommend seeing it.
After something very heavy, we went for something much easier, 35MM: A Musical Exhibition, by As Told By and Greenwich Theatre, London. It is a performance of new show-tune-type songs inspired by some photos. It’s a nice idea, and I enjoyed it, and liked some of the songs, but I don’t really know if there’s really any point to it all. Had the songs followed some vague plot line, I could of kind of understood why it is what it is. But what it is currently, is just a bunch of songs performed with props.
We ended day number 2 with another Free Fringe improv show, What Happened Next?, by a group of LAMDA students. Again, it was a play improvised based on suggestions by audiences. All of the actors did various roles, changing wigs or hats when appropriate, and were directed to randomly break into song, or rap, or told to change whatever they just said at the ring of a bell. It ended up being, quite hilarious, and a great show, despite being in a tiny venue, a basement of a pub that could barely fit 20 audience members.
And so that was it for day 2. We ended our weekend at the Fringe with a lot of shows squeezed on Sunday, but that write-up is still to come.
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Day 1 (23rd August 2013) (maahinandfilms.wordpress.com)
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Day 3 (25th August 2013) (maahinandfilms.wordpress.com)
- Edinburgh Fringe 2013: My Top 5 Comedy Picks (styleandthensome.wordpress.com)