22-29 Aug | 13.25 | Underbelly @ Bristo Square | Get Tickets
On their own, Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George are two of the most prolific politicians of the 20th Century. Stick them together and BOOM! You’ve got a fantastic fringe show.
Peter Swales is the perfect young Churchill with a performance which sits with enough stereotype that the character is instantly recognisable, but bringing in soft touches of sensitivity and realism which leaves you completely immersed in his story.
David Lloyd George is a naturally gentler character, the liberal, Welsh politician brought delicately to life by Geraint Rhys.
Together true political bromance is uncovered, the ups, the downs, the successes, the fails and the unyielding bond which kept these two connected for a lifetime.
But the most interesting aspect of this play is the integration of the great women behind these men, often unrepresented in the telling of history, but heavily responsible for the triumphs of these modern-day legends.
From Pussy, the mistress of DLG to Clemmie, the true tour-de-force of these men, Alexandra Donnachie, is the perfect multi-roleplayer. She perfectly portrays a woman’s innate ability to adeptly manipulate the actions of a man whilst they seemingly believe it was their idea all along.
All in all this was an entertaining interpretation of a relationship that spanned decades and had a prolific impact on society as we know it.
The Arts Business Top Tips:
- Period Politics: Taking inspiration from period dramas like The Crown or political biographies, for example The Darkest Hour, you are bound to attract the upper, middle class crowd to your show which, if you happened to attend the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is the predominant audience.
- Versatile Set: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is a lot you can achieve with IKEA furniture. Theatre is made to trigger the imagination and by keeping your set simple, not only do you keep your costs down, but you ignite the creative minds of your audience and can develop something pretty special.
22-28 Aug | 20.00 | theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall | Get Tickets
“Hiya, would you like to see a show regaling the story of Dolly the sheep told to the backing of Scottish folk music?”
Why yes Mr Flyerer, yes I would.
And it’s safe to say I was not disappointed, far from it.
Dolly the sheep herself takes centre stage acting as the narrator and clad in a kilt and an arran knit jumper with a curly blonde wig, the perfect personification of the cloned legend. In her down time onstage she can be seen hilariously knitting a jumper of her own, or taking up a guitar to participate as part of a three piece live folk band who add a certain je ne sais quoi to the performance.
The story follows the team of scientists who worked together through the ups and downs of creating Dolly, juxtaposing the science which is broken down into manageable and easily digestible chunks and personal stories which took place alongside.
There is no stand out performer in this show. The entire ensemble works together effortlessly to bring the tale to life, each actor complimenting the other, bringing out the best in their team, both narratively and literally.
The only problem for me? It wasn’t long enough. I can absoloutely see this becoming a full length show, delving deeper into the relationships between the characters and adding more music to boot.
You’d be baaaaa-rmy to miss it.
The Arts Business Top Tips:
- Tourism: Edinburgh is famous for being the birthplace of Dolly the Sheep, the first ever mammal cloned from an adult cell (which I learnt in this show, thanks!). Reproduced from the mammary cell of an adult sheep and dutifully named after Dolly Parton because of this, she represents an important moment in global scientific discovery. Although long dead, living on in a her taxidermic form, Dolly can now be seen in an eternally revolving glass display unit at the National Museum of Scotland, a must see for any tourist visiting the Scottish Capital. And yes, you’re welcome for all those fun facts. But my point is: by creating and dedicating an entire show to this is a great way to tap into the travel and tourism market.
- Tailor your content to its location: linking to the above, if you tailor make a piece of theatre with its place of performance in mind you are also more likely to appeal to the locals. In Edinburgh specifically, other topics that work that generally go down well include: Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Potter, anything Charles Darwin or more tenuous but still important to consider links, like Celtic music or whiskey tastings (or bashing out some Scottish classics like this show does so well). I know this sounds hugely stereotypical but it can really work!