Having lived in and around Edinburgh for my entire life (until this week – more on that later), the Fringe is something of a staple in my summer. Every year, I sample some of the Festival’s most delightful delights with the family and take full advantage of the opportunity to run around like a lunatic for a month.
First up this year was Oxford-based heartthrob acapella group Out of the Blue. This was the first time I’d seen these guys live, despite coming from a family of long time fans, and boy, did they live up to the hype. They opened with a blistering medley of Shakira songs, sporting dance moves that would make Take That proud, and the pace didn’t drop from there. Seriously, if you haven’t seen these boys, get the hell off this page and go buy a ticket. They’re loads of fun, an absolute joy to watch – and, ahem, to look at. The variety of songs performed shows off the amazing range of voices in the group, and with each member taking his turn in the spotlight, you’re guaranteed to leave fancying every last one of them. Their closing cover of Lady Marmalade was the second sexiest thing I saw all day (sorry guys, you’d have cinched it but I found a frozen margarita stall later on). Go for the boys in suits, stay for the awesome songs. And don’t forget to take some pennies for the Helen & Douglas House bucket…and something to fan yourself down with once they’re finished.
In true Fringe fashion, we had absolutely no time to recover from Out of the Blue before making the mad dash from George Square to the Pleasance for our second show of the day – I Need a Doctor, the Whosical. Jamie and Jess are two die hard Doctor Who fans, who just want to put on a great Doctor Who musical, but must battle BBC copyright, typically tiny Fringe budgets and the distinct lack of an all star cast at every turn. I was bound to like narrator Jess from the start, given that she seems to share my bordering-on-actually-frightening obsession with the gorgeous, wonderful Ten out of Ten David Tennant. Could have gone for a bonus pun with Tennant, but I’d rather not drive all my readers away until after I’ve convinced you to go see this show, so we’ll leave it for now. There’s also my tendency to indiscriminately fancy anyone with adorable glasses-fixing habits, so she had me onside from the very beginning (see also Henry from Ugly Betty, Alex Vause and the boyfriend). Jamie’s madcap attempts to play all of the parts in the show, including a practicing GP doctor, supervillain Da Master and completely original character Amy Wand play beautifully off of Jess’s despair as she tries to hold her precious show together. The duo’s well placed jibes at the Greatest Show on Earth are laced with the genuine affection of true Whovians, and their copyright-dodging troubles would be familiar to anyone who had for example, hypothetically, put on a pantomime starring a rather familiar magical young man. Filled with tap dancing Cybergents, enviable voicemail messages, plungers galore and more dreadful Scottish accents than you could shake a stick at, I Need a Doctor is a must see for anyone who’s grown up dreaming that a madman with a box would come and take them away. These folks are selling out fast, so get your tickets now, there’s no time like the present.