Edinburgh feels ages ago already – boo – these are my other best bits:
Soweto Gospel Choir ♥♥♥♥♥
Back in The Assembly Rooms, loved it, simply a class act. Amazing Grace made me cry – job done.
So I hope it’s not offensive or horribly hypocritical to say that me and my Dad laughed afterwards about how nice religious songs are when you don’t understand the words! It just sprang to mind because of Tim Minchin’s assertion the night before, as he got his audience singing “I love Jesus/ I hate faggots”, that most of us in secular society don’t get to sing with one another anymore as we would have done at church. We agreed with Tim that a lot of church songs have ‘weird’ lyrics, so Soweto was spot on with a share of the songs in Zulu and Sotho so us heathens can just get goosebumps and not feel all confused!
(Also spotted this pre-Edinburgh review of Tim that I liked from Lisa – especially the ‘I remember people from the internet’ bit – quite right too!)
Idiots of Ants (Jaz’s Critics Choice) ♥♥♥♥♥
This was the first time I’d seen a live sketch show and it was my favourite act all weekend. While some of the other stand up I saw was amazing, maybe 2-5 minute sketches suit my internet trained, Gen Y attention span! They were brilliant with slick clips including references to Where’s Wally, ‘terrorist or really pissed?’ and a lovely song for an orgy with audience member Paula, complete with Facebook memorial picture. Having had a look around, Brian Logan at The Guardian feels they’re nothing special (maybe he’ll be next year’s Phil Daoust song?) but I thought they were great – especially considering they were in the unbelievably tiny, sauna-rific Pleasance Courtyard venue. I also realised they were the boys from the witty Facebook in reality sketch that went viral earlier this year. You can see their Edinburgh 2008 trailer below which was played to the audience before the boys burst through the door of the show onto the stage for a non-stop set that had the whole, hot, audience laughing pretty much constantly.
Other bits and pieces
The always excellent Ed Byrne (♥♥♥♥) had a Pulp Different Class branded show which I definitely approve of, and got good mileage out of his recent wedding proposal and planning process which had the massive Assembly Hall in stitches. Also great was John Hegley (♥♥♥) the comic poet, he was very funny, and enjoyed making his audience squirm a little. Less strong were a random Austin-Powers-esque farce called Zimbane (♥♥) and Out of the Blue (♥♥)– an all male accapella choir from the Oxford Unis – bless them, but I found them really cringeworthy, a bit like watching loads of Tory MPs sing, talented as they were.
Anyway, I love Edinburgh Festival, can’t wait to go again – I look forward to hearing what Pete sees!