Kicking the day off early at the Fringe with a coffee and croissant in hands and five delectable sketch plays, it was a fine way to begin a stimulating Thursday. Running for eleven years, this is a fine sell, as we witnessed a sold-out show and a queue of hungry attendees, hungry not only for French pastries but also British wit and theatre.
The first on the menu was Lifetime by Angie Farrow, which was whimsical and quirky, and not without dancing. Stephen Laycock performs a character that begins the morning with a sporadic request to a complete stranger, played by Claira Watson-Parr, to marry him. The couple then humorously fast forward through a marriage and all that conventionally comes with it, with much of a Richard Curtis feel, edging on the side of corny.
Fightbook by James McLindon was next and perhaps one of my personal favourites as it takes the social media platform Facebook, deconstructing it sardonically as an argument unfolds entirely online, which as expected has real-life repercussions. A wonderful satire on our usage of social media.
A Different Time by Lisa Holdsworth has its worth on a very different and more moving level. Claira Watson-Parr (tarty), Rowena Gray (mean) and Rosie Edwards (pacifying) play three old school friends who reunite in their late thirties or early forties, carrying their past, history and baggage, dragging up the affecting past, how little they have actually changed or matured and the abusive experiences that come as somewhat of a blow to the narrative. This one is particularly powerful when concerning judgement, ageing and addiction.
Sketch, Emperor’s New Clothes, by Derek Webb, is a satire on modern art as two friends discuss a ‘Jackson Perry’ otherwise an illusory new painting, and it’s appeal, mocking much of what we now consider art. For fans of the Dung Beetle book, We Go To The Gallery.
Last but not least on this fine menu is Whiskey by Billy Knowelden. What begins as a meeting in a bar between Knowelden, “an eccentric millionaire” and a prostitute played by Rosie Edwards develops into a multi-layered comedy drama with many twists and comic aspects to the plot, almost as satisfying as unravelling the Russian dolls, only to discover more.
Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show runs until 28th August at the Pleasance Dome, 10:30.