28-31 August, 17.45
I’ve been trying to work out what it was about this production that made me so angry because, to be fair to ‘Two Shades of Blue’, the Fringe is all about this type of student-led light entertainment. They are its irreverent, innovative beating heart, and – when done right – what makes this festival such a magnificent bloody mess.
I admit to having a complete sense of humour failure watching 1984: A Comedy. When I showed my editor my notes (more anon), she laughed, and said ‘Job done, send them in’. I couldn’t understand most of what was going on anyway, and in was £9.50 for those unlucky enough to not be on a Press pass. But then I looked at the ‘Two Shades of Blue’ website and read their blog, and realised that here were a bunch of amateur dramatists – who usually act to old people’s homes and special schools – up in Edinburgh, having a ball, and making the Fringe the festival that it is. Perhaps this is not the point of a review, but it seems only fair.
The most frustrating was that the premise was good. According to the latest studies, Britain has around four million CCTV cameras, which is twenty per cent of all surveillance cameras globally. Each person in this country is caught on camera a paranoia-inducing average of three hundred times every day. As for chocolate rationing, this is the government which is BANNING Happy Hour. So, I was really looking forward to watching an hour of sharp social satire, at the expense of a book which – frankly – scares the willies out of me. Instead, we got jokes garrotted by garbled delivery, clownish singing and some guy running around screaming – why, I don’t know – all of which could have been solved by a tighter rehearsal schedule.
My piece said, I leave you with some of the juiciest musings on me pad:
“Winston looked like Brains off ‘Thunderbirds’. Moves like him too.
“Oh, he’s a pyromaniac. Haha”
“Oh f**king hell. What’s this?”
“Oh Christ, they’re singing… Like a sh*te carol choir”
“What is that silver dung bell thing? Why do they keep moving it around the desk?”
“What is going on? Some crazy dude with weird hair just ran in.”
“There’s someone behind me yawning.”