Sunday, 6 May 2012

Early Doors

Love and Other Magic Tricks  - part love story, part magic. returns after last year's success.
There are always some Fringe shows that have come and gone before you've got into your stride. We kick-off on Wednesday and some of us don't get down to the Crescent before Saturday only to find show cracking performers have left town already.
Among the dawn chorus this year are:
standnotamazed with their show Love and Other Magic Tricks. They open on Wednesday 7th and close on Saturday 10th, playing in the Pauper's Pit (see p21 of the Fringe Programme). This was well-received last year - here's an extract from the review:

Cleverly interwoven with stylised dance and magic that left the audience in amusement and/or amazement (on the way out of the Pauper's Pit, many people could be heard contemplating how on earth many of the tricks were done), Love And Other Magic Tricks, a plot concerning the ups and downs of a newly formed relationship, was totally absorbing to watch. There are many points in this piece that I would love to share in more detail, but I don't want to spoil the surprise - you're probably best seeing it for yourself!
Both actors  were captivating. They worked seamlessly together, from the witty banter to the audience, as well as to each other (at one point through text messages to each other across the stage, interestingly with cigarette packets as mobile phones), to the visually dynamic choreography of their dance and magic, which they made seem effortless.
Without wanting to reveal too much of the plot or tricks used, Standnotamazed have produced an extremely well written and performed piece that I would very much recommend. I have a feeling the audience would agree too - it took quite a while for them to stop applauding!

Also opening on July 7th (though returning near the end of the Fringe) is one of the few dance entries - Daniel Somerville's Three Works. Let's allow Daniel to describe his own work:
I’m Leaving You is a solo movement work that imagines the internal emotional landscape of a person in the second after someone says to them: “I’m leaving you.” This second is extended over 8 minutes of Butoh inspired movement to a score composed and played by Somerville.

First Piano Concerto is a solo dance/performance art work that explores issues of one-ness – being alone in a crowd and an individual’s journey to self acceptance and autonomy in society; being at one (in concert) with the world. The work questions notions of virtuosity and the live-ness of performance placing emphasis on focus and artistry. First Piano Concerto inverts the usual paradigm of classical music performance where live music is presented in the composer’s absence. In First Piano Concerto only the composer is present and forms the live aspect of the work. The movement language is based on a fusion of the artist’s interests: the interiority and focus of Butoh, the expressive hyper-reality of neo-burlesque and the manipulation of time through extended emotions, found in operatic performance.
The score, the ‘piano concerto’ of the title, has been created through musical improvisation and computer manipulation of sound material but using structural forms of classical composition, while owing much to the repeated patterns of minimalism.

My Egypt Stories is an opera, in three acts played concurrently, for one performer and recorded and collected sounds. The work includes movement, voice and narration overlaid with music. As a former journalist, from 2001 Somerville investigated in the entrapment via Internet dating sites and subsequent persecution of gay men in Egypt by the police. This association with Egypt is merged with his previous more touristic exposure to the country, a sexual awakening in the temple of Karnak as a teenager and the associations engendered by representations of Egypt in European opera.

Daniel has collected some impressive reviews for these performances. He plays at the Pauper's Pit - see p7 of the Fringe Programme.

“The sheer power of the performance left the entire audience unable to move or speak… exquisite control and emotion… breathtaking stuff.”
- Bill Parslow, TOTAL THEATRE
“Intense study of human emotion”
– Monica Perdoni, The Latest 7
“An enthralling and sometimes frightening dance routine that rooted out our fear of being alone… incredibly brave… his nakedness seemed to expose us all.”
– Richard Pilgrim, Nottingham Visual Arts

by Keith Savage - 04/06/2010

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