Friday at the Fringe was a much more hectic experience. The number of people on the streets has trebled since Wednesday even though some shows are still in preview. Today’s selection were more miss than hit but I caught an impressive female sketch duo called Croft and Pearce** which started the day well. Then trawled through a raft of unmemorable performances – the worst of which was called Tom Bell Begins. I foolishly got trapped in a corner with no means of escape so spent most of the hour pondering on the meaning of his show title. It couldn’t be his career as he had previously performed with a modicum of success as half of Tommy & the Weeks, not his life as he kept reminding us that he was now 30 (naively expecting us to care), so I concluded that it could only be the beginning of his journey into obscurity. I left happy in the knowledge that I would never have to see him perform again and went on to see the charming, dry, acerbic Marcel Lucont. It doesn’t get much better than a good-looking Frenchman with a sense of humour but Marcel has a secret which I wouldn’t want to divulge here. His show consists of some audience banter, some hilarious stories & poems and some chat with guests from the Fringe. And who should be the first guest, but the inauspicious Tom Bell. The chat element of the show consists of Marcel taking the mickey out of his guests and poor Tom was a sitting target. I actually started to feel sorry for him as he was annihilated by the sharp witted Gaulle – even Marcel must have been disappointed at the ease of the kill.
The only other act of note was The Hermitude of Angus – an Australian ‘physical comedy’ performance. This had rave reviews from the Melbourne Comedy Festival amongst others and there is no doubt that Vachel Spirason is a fantastic performer……… if you like clowning. I quickly realised that I and half the audience didn’t but the other half found it so hysterical that we kept looking at them to see if there was another bit of the show going on somewhere that we’d missed. Definitely one of those Marmite moments.