Tag Archives: #edfringe2018

Punchline recommends Beetlemania : Kafka for Kids!

24 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

Kafka for Kids is a fantastic all-rounder of a show for the entire family. There are jokes, stories, songs, puppetry and brilliant ad libs that make for a really entertaining hour of fun. Kafka is bit of a challenge for adults (well, me anyway) so it comes as a wonderful surprise that some of his stories are arguably more accessible to children, although that may be due to the imagination and humour of the show creators Tom Parry and Russell Bolam. Heidi Niemi, Rose Robinson, Tom Parry and Will Adamsdale make up a magnificent quartet of prodigious talent.

Right from the start, the company plays with theatrical norms and gets the audience involved, while respecting the unwritten rule that only dads in the front row are up for joshing. There are running jokes, a bit of suspense and masses of ideas that children react to with utter delight. At the performance I saw, a child who was completely involved announced some information to the cast members who were supposed not to know and everyone, including the cast, went into heaps of giggles. The joy and brio of the performers is contagious and they keep up their friendly, high-energy shenanigans all the way to the end.

I went with an 8-year-old who declared it to be the best children’s show this year which is a pretty solid recommendation. The lunch time slot is not ideal for those back at school but if you want to see out the Fringe with a bang this weekend, the surprising answer may be Franz Kafka.

Catch Beetlemania: Kafka for Kids! at Pleasance Dome until Sunday 26 August

Punchline recommends Adam Riches Is The Guy Who…

21 Aug

Photograph of Adam RichesWords by Suzy Romer

Adam Riches is a consummate comedy performer who exerts absolute and exhilarating control over his audience. The moment the show begins we are enthralled. He moves among the tables, creating a high-tension atmosphere which crackles with laughter as he unleashes his latest comic creation on one and all.  We never know when we are going to be involved directly and we watch each other’s reactions at all times, becoming tightly-knit in our mutual comedic adventure.

The show opens with an abundance of in-character jokes, ideas turned on their heads and outrageous situations that he can set up within seconds. He gradually explains the inner machinations of a 21st century seducer, a sort of low-budget Bluebeard, who has updated his repertoire of emotional traps to include feminism and popular psychology. At first he is laughably earnest, given to hyperbole and incapable of small talk, but slowly reveals himself as infinitely more dangerous to the young women he targets. Those of us who remember such attentions in our twenties laugh in recognition as he deconstructs each trick until he lays bare the darker intention behind it. His behaviour is perfectly observed and gleefully funny and takes us, with cat-like tread, towards a finale which makes us consider the consequences of manipulation that go unchecked or unnoticed by older, wiser onlookers.

Catch Adam Riches: The Guy Who… at 2.10pm at Underbelly until 26th August.

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