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Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.
Get Up Stand Up!
Verdict: Glorious evening with a message
Get Up Stand Up! is very high quality early-evening cabaret. Tonight's line-up (appearance order) is Danny McLaughlin, Vladimir McTavish, Jen Brister, Al Shields and Alan David Ross, Jonathon Mayor. Short film Anthropology 101 is shown. Melodically-sung new songs and country guitar music of Al Shields (he's playing at venue Acoustic) are accompanied by intense harmonica playing - which weeps and dances in true blues harmonies - by Alan David Ross.
Danny McLaughlin (playing at The Cave) is in the unenviable position of opening the show, replacing, at the last minute, the advertised starting act. He begins slowly, gently trying different types of material till he finds his stride and the temperament of the room - and grows the laughter from seed to flower.
Vladimir McTavish (at The Stand) has the advantage of being on his home ground, which he uses to great (very funny) effect. His material is the most sharply-political of the comedy - with truthful observations, and opinions clear through the stream of wit.
Anthropology 101 (short film, 16 mins: 15 secs). On a distant planet in the not-too-distant future, an anthropology lecturer coolly examines the Earth's people before their self-destruction. It's a splendidly-made, well-worth-seeing, cry for sanity on Planet Earth now. Distance is created in a well-crafted, understated narration with terrific images. Another race is observing the incomprehensible madness of Earth's inhabitants - who seem to them psychologically incapable of trusting themselves to care for a fine planet and its residents (of every species). They are seen to commit almost all their resources to destroying one another and their planet. This bemused commentary is predicated upon their success in having destroyed all life on Earth. The group organising tonight's event suggest after the screening that progress is being made (details on www.comeclean.org.uk).
Jen Brister (at GRV) is searingly funny, observant and generous of spirit - a powerful talent. She successfully makes humour from her 'London Lesbian' orientation and has a sharp, fast wit which creates intelligent laughter rather than belly-laughs. Manchester's Jonathon Mayor (at The Cave, £5 Fringe) is a glorious 'black queen' with an awesome stage presence and much talent. His extra-ordinary personality, dressed in a fashionable black kilt and accessories, both stylish and entertainingly worn, explodes into this club atmosphere and lights it with wit and lovely smiles. This 'slightly rotund, obviously gay, Englishman of colour', making the most of his visible contradictions and steamy sexuality, has the whole house rocking with laughter. He uses the relationship with his targets well and walks a line between outrageous and cuddly which defies homophobes, encouraging all to love him deeply.
The whole experience of Get Up Stand Up! is of a finely-crafted cabaret patchwork full of hope-filled laughter - provoked by the most humane of sparkling musical and comic talents.
Cast Credits: (alpha order): Jen Brister. Jonathon Mayor. Danny McLaughlin. Vladimir McTavish. Musicians: Al Shields. Alan David Ross. Comperes: Rich Batsford & Kieran Naughton.
Company Credits: Film Credits: Writer - Wayne Brittenden. Narrator - Mark Rylance. Music – Brian Eno. Producer - Lee Herrick. Performance Credits: Writer - Various. Local Sound Operator – Malcolm. Producer - uncredited. Company - uncredited. Thanks To - Volunteers from Www.comeclean.org.uk. Website - Www.comeclean.org.uk. Website - Www.wmdawareness.org.uk.
(c) Lilian Kennedy Brzoska 2009
reviewed Sunday 16 August 09 / The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh UK
Fringe Report (c) Fringe Report 2002-2013