Thursday, February 13, 2020

Fringe 2020 Recommendations

It's been a couple of years since I've done one of those, mostly because I've started rehearsing a show (or shows) in the weeks leading up to the Fringe - i.e. where I'd be most likely be thinking about what I'd be keen to see.

While I am in a show for 2020 - Titanic, with Therry; keep an eye out for that in June - we don't start rehearsals until the Fringe is nearly over. Which is great for me, cause not only do I not have to try and fit my Fringe-going around a couple of rehearsals a week, I also have time to plug the shows I think people should see.

Why plug shows? That's very easy: because if I think they're good, I want them to succeed; that way the chances of the person who's putting them on comes back at some point with something new and brilliant are likely to increase. It's a hugely competitive market out there, and if people don't make enough money, you can't really expect them to keep coming back.

So, without further ado, here are the things I'm recommending for 2020. If I see something that I think deserves a mention, I'll add it - so, check back each week for new additions.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


An aside: seeing the movie 'In Bruges' was my introduction to the genius that is playwright/screenwriter/director Martin McDonagh; in the years following I would see a number of his plays - and stage manage a multi-award-winning production of one of them, 'The Pillowman' - and both his subsequent films 'Seven Psychopaths' and 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'.

If you aren't familiar with the movie, watch the trailer:

On my 2016 trip I made a point of visiting County Galway, the part of Ireland that he set many of his plays. And, since I had always meant to do the same if I ever went to Belgium, a trip to Bruges was one of the first things on my To Do list when the planning started.

So, when I learned that the same company (Sandemans) that did the walking tour I went on also did a day trip to Bruges, I decided I might as well go with them; my frustrating experience with Potsdam had pushed me to err on the side of caution when it came to day trips.

Unfortunately, all the organisation in the world can't help prevent the weather from being shit, which is exactly what it was that day. I didn't enjoy it as much as I'm sure I would have had it been a nice day, and I was pretty glad we left when we did.

Anyway, to the trip itself. This isn't Bruges yet, it's just that same church that I have to go past every time I go into town.

After an hour or so on the train, we arrived in Bruges.

I was happy to see a Bernese Mountain Dog. They're very cool, and very cute when they're puppies.

We were taken through the town and had lots of history explained to us. It's quite an interesting place for somewhere that's now just kind of a small town.

We took a break. I had a coffee and an eclair.

This is the Basilica of the Holy Blood, named because they have a relic claimed to be, well, blood. Jesus' blood, specifically. I didn't go in to check.

They have a lot of chocolate shops in Bruges; I guess the competition has led to a certain amount of creativity.

Interesting store name.

The weather turned to complete shit somewhere about now.

Back in Brussels. I don't know where there's a giant, uncoloured sculpture of a smurf leaping a mushroom either.

I'd had lunch quite late so I said, screw proper dinner - I want a waffle with ice cream and chocolate. So that's what I got. My holiday, my rules.