'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night Review

Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night

Burlesque has taken on an increasing air of respectability of late. Camille O’Sullivan, amongst others, has made fishnets, heavy red lipstick and short skirts a mainstream, if slightly quirky, form of entertainment at the Fringe. Ali McGregor and company pull the genre very much back to its raw, unnerving and occasionally shocking roots.

This isn’t to say the show is full of hidden gems or undiscovered talent. Indeed, the vast supply of shows at the Fringe, which far outstrips any genuine demand often results in leftovers at the table, many of which have found their way into this show.

Nonetheless, as comedians like Rhod Gilbert and Stephen K Amos increasingly become respectable Elvis like stars at the Fringe, it is nice to see weird, edgy Velvet Underground equivalents can still be found lurking. Ali McGregor and company are rough around the edges, confrontational and weird, although this does lend itself to a show exciting to watch in a way conventional comedians often fall short of.

A special mention must also go to Gypsy Wood, an Australian burlesque star, for what has to be one of the most shocking and hilarious visual gags this reviewer has ever seen at the Fringe. The ticket price is almost worth it for this alone.

Do not go to this show expecting polish, consistency or conservative cabaret. It’s dark, grimy and probably ashamed to look at itself in the mirror. Nonetheless there is a seductive appeal to this show.

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