Edinburgh Fringe 09: Naked Man Bits

musicOMH still hasn’t quite got to grips with the weather up here. It is entirely possible to go into a show when the sun is shining brightly only to emerge an hour later to find a great grey blanket has been spread across the sky. There hasn’t been a day yet when we haven’t had to return to our flat to acquire or discard items of clothing.

The heat in the venues can also be intense, especially the smaller ones. A woman even fainted during Hugh Hughes’ new show, 360, at the Pleasance Courtyard (19.05). The show had to be stopped and the woman attended to. Eventually the audience were allowed back in and Hughes was able, tentatively, to pick up where he left off and complete the show and to recreate, at least partially, the atmosphere that was lost.

Hughes, the charmingly childlike alter-ego of Hoi Polloi’s Shon Dale-Jones, is listed in the Comedy section of this year’s fringe programme, rather than under Theatre, and he’s performing solo, without the flip charts and musical accompaniment of his previous shows. It’s just him in front of a big, black curtain telling a story. Our full review is over here.

musicOMH has also seen their first naked man bits of the festival, though there will probably be more before August is out. This was during the utterly barking Or(f)unny at C Soco (21.35). Part of the Espresso! Teatro Italiano season, this seriously energetic piece of physical theatre features a brother and sister, seemingly parent-less, locked in a room together.

The two performers capture the recklessness and unselfconsciousness of childhood as they fling themselves about the room with seemingly little regard for their physical well being, dancing with abandon (to, amongst other, things, Muse), spinning until they were dizzy and hurling themselves to the floor with some force. These moments of mania were interspersed with calmer, more exposing moments, literally in one case, where the brother lay horizontally on a table top staring serenely at the audience with his genitals out in the open and ketchup smeared on his chest. There was something both silly and yet so completely vulnerable about this sight that it was rather moving. In terms of the sheer exuberance and physical commitment of the performers, this one is worth seeing.

For more details of the Espresso! fest visit

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