Ross Hepburn is BeetleJuice’d – Edinburgh Horror Festival Review

Performer: Ross Hepburn

Venue: The Banshee Labrynth, Edinburgh,

★★★★★


You’d probably expect a comedian’s debut show to be mainly about their life and the funny little moments that happen. Usually, some typical themes that we’ve all seen, heard, or experienced. With Ross Hepburn, however, you get much more – You get BeetleJuice’d.

 

Fresh off his run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Hepburn brings his first solo show to the Edinburgh Horror Festival: the perfect event for such a sensational show. BeetleJuice’d is essentially a die-hard fan appreciation extravaganza for the Tim Burton classic. With elements about his personal issues with Aspergers, Hepburn explores his fascination with BeetleJuice that started from a young age.

 

Adorned in the iconic striped suit, Hepburn bursts onto the stage akin to his hero and maintains impressively high energy throughout. The comedian masterfully weaves through the highs and lows of human emotion to control the atmosphere of the room. Even if a heckler throws a curve ball his way to disrupt the flow, Hepburn hits it right back in their face. Noteworthy is his bravery to discuss his own mental health onstage in such a candid and trustful way that demonstrates that nothing is off the table for this rising comedian. BeetleJuice’d is more than just a stand up set; it is a film analysis, self-reflection, and sing-along rolled into one entertaining spectacle.

 

His favourite film could have been one of those dull training videos found in every tragically monotonous workplace and he’d still be able to make it hilarious. If there is anyone who can bring honour to that legendary madness on stage, Ross Hepburn’s your man.

 

Future gigs by Ross Hepburn can be found on his Facebook page and on Twitter: @standupRoss.

Hero Worship – Edinburgh Fringe Review

Writer/Performer: Kenny Boyle

Venue: C Nova, Edinburgh

★★★★★


Hero Worship is a late entry to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival but better late than never!

The show follow the life of a grown orphan who go through his life as a ‘superhero’. With a beautifully rhythmic text, we see him battle with his arch nemesis — his own inner demons.

The hero paints his ideal world on stage as comic books fly through the air, wanting to live in amongst a world of fantasy and mystery. This eventually diminishes as his problems come to light through a narrative of superhero references and blunt revelations. The monologue masterfully weaves through the highs and lows of the character and his experiences, taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster.

Boyle’s performance is nothing less than mesmerising. He is a fearless entertainer who doesn’t hesitate one bit to venture into the dark sides of his character and to get the audience involved in the action. His presence and energy onstage is appealing and easily motivates the audience to follow and do what he says. Safe to say he is one of the best performers present at this years Fringe.

Kudos must be given to the show’s capacity to be open for all ages, especially when it deals subjects that can be extremely grim. All in all, Boyle’s self-penned show present incredibly light and hopeful analysis of the dark cloud that follows many.

Hero Worship runs until the 29th August.

Image Credit: Kenny Boyle

The Notebook

Robin Arthur (left) and Richard Lowdon (right) read Ágota Kristóf's novel.
Robin Arthur (left) and Richard Lowdon (right) read Ágota Kristóf’s novel.

Venue: The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Date: 17th – 19th September 2015

Rating: 5/5


Forced Entertainment returns to Scotland – this time, with scripted dialogue! 

Running just over two hours, The Notebook features Robin Arthur and Richard Lowdon reading Ágota Kristóf’s novel of the same name. The story is about a pair of twins whom are left in the care of their cruel Grandmother during World War 2. The twins must adapt to their new life and the array of strange characters that they are surrounded by.

Sensitive subjects are no stranger to Sheffield based Forced Entertainment’s work as they delve into the twin’s experiences of abuse, assault and death. Emotion, however, is removed from the equation by the twins as they simply want to discuss the facts. But that does not mean that the audience does not experience the emotions one would feel. The sheer simplicity of the text and the image is plenty enough for the audience to experience the truth of the novel and the horrors within. The trauma experienced by the twins is effectively (and even brutally) conveyed for what it is.

In regards to the actual performance however, one can debate whether or not it is theatre or a staged reading as the stage consisted of nothing but two chairs, two bottles of water and the two performers themselves. While it would seem that Arthur and Lowdon are simply reciting the novel, there is something within their specific movements that matches the situations the twins find themselves in. Forced Entertainment powerfully demonstrate the power of the written word and of an audience’s imagination by stripping conventions down to the bare minimum to make the biggest impact.

Image Credit: Hugo Glendinning