Reviewer: Mark O’Neill
In an attempt to demonstrate that variety is very much alive, Radio Forth Ltd – for the eighth year running – have created a series of showcase events featuring a selection of comedy, music and cabaret direct from this year’s Fringe.
Hosted by the familiar voices of Forth One’s Breakfast Show, Boogie and Arlene act as the perfect hosts for this showcase extravaganza. Despite a cliché (and perhaps overused) ‘selfie’ to kick off the show, the duo combine quirky, topical comedy with audience participation which is well received inthe sold-out Edinburgh Playhouse.
Adopting a similar format to Live At The Apollo, the evening displays a ‘pick n mix’ of the talent available at this year’s Fringe. The audience were treated to comics such as Jason Byrne and Milton Jones who were both extremely popular. Jim Davidson however, with only a ten minute set, completely stole the show and received an incredible reaction from the audience. Other comics included Katherine Ryan and Tina C who were not as well receivedgiven the crude nature of their material.
The audience were treated to numerous musical acts including the breathtaking Ali McGregor and the incredibly talented acapella group Out of the Blue who are appearing at the Fringe for the twelfth year running. A combination of tremendous harmonies and well executed choreography created a faultless performance.
The second half of this show slowly lost its appeal and featured a mismatch of acts such as Puddles Pity Party and Traces, a Canadian acrobatic troupe who stood in as a last minute addition. Due to a flimsy set, the group encountered numerous technical hiccups however, credit must be given for bouncing back and continuing with their set.
The show in itself was slick and transitions between acts were extremely well polished. The major pitfall of this showcase was a lack of clarity surrounding the demographic of the audience and the varying levels of talent within each act.
The show concluded with a ‘fusion of street performers’ known as 360 All Stars. This was nothing short of a messy cultural explosion. It is difficult to understand what this act was trying to achieve and the audience’s reaction was extremely varied.
Despite the “glorious misfits” (Ali McGregor) throughout the showcase, this one-stop-shop most definitely provides a snapshot of the variety available at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Forth on the Fringe will allow festival goers to carefully select which acts are worth going to see.
Reviewed on 8 August 2015