Fringe Sunday - So much to choose from

Fringe Festival Praha 2011 Previews

Helen Ford

Written by Helen Ford Published on 30.05.2011 10:38:48 (updated on 30.05.2011) Reading time: 3 minutes

Not many things could keep me inside for two hours on a sunny Prague afternoon. But, having thumbed through my Prague Fringe Festival 2011 programme, it became clear we have been spoilt for choice this year.  Even though Prague Fringe director Steve Gove had already given me the low down on his top tips for this year´s festival, I still couldn´t make up my mind. Help was at hand however, in the form of Fringe Sunday (Malostranská Beseda, Mala Strana), a Prague Fringe event new for the event´s tenth anniversary, and one that Gove is happy to admit “is totally stolen from Edinburgh”

Fringe Sunday gave the performers an opportunity to enjoy appetizers of some of this year´s shows. Not all of the performers were showcased here – some just cannot be properly captured in 60 seconds. Well done those that could though: the audience were treated to a snapshot of 25 of the 39 performances in this year´s Fringe, making for a fast-paced and light-hearted afternoon.  Here are some of the highlights.

The Girls from Down Under – Merri May Gill and Phebe Starr

Two acts that really stood out were the Aussie singer-songwriters Merri May Gill and Phebe Starr.

Commedienne and musician Merri-May hails from New South Wales. She performed at the first ever Prague Fringe and is ‘back with a mission´: to turn the small country town of Moree, Australia, into the cultural capital of the world.  At Fringe Sunday Gill performed comedy cabaret song ‘F*** I wish I was French´ – the French can  (i) eat croissants all day and not have a big bum, (ii) call sparkling wine ‘champagne´ and (iii) sing and cry at the same time. All very valid points, in my opinion.  This one´s on my list – it looks hilarious.

Catch Merri-May Gill at 7.45pm every night from 30 May to Saturday 4 June at Divadlo Na Pradle, Kavarna (Besední 3, Mala Strana).

Singer-song writer Phebe Starr promises a really special show. From Sydney, Australia this lovely musician brings a new flavour to Pop music. Keeping the audience captivated at Fringe Sunday with ´I want to be an astronaut‘, Phebe (and she is probably tired of hearing this) sounds like a slightly more cheerful Norah Jones. It´s a late show but definitely one to see.

See Phebe at 2200 each evening at Malostranská beseda, Trick Bar (Malostranské náměstí 21 , Malá Strana)

Small but powerful: Seasons of Liz

If you watched the long-running American series Friends, you will appreciate that Liz Merendino has a touch of the Janice´s about her. Her song about London rain certainly went down well with the English expats in the audience.  Starring a pint-sized lady with an impressive set of lungs, Liz´s one-woman cabaret act looks like a giggle. 

May 27-29 at 1915, Malostranská beseda (Malostranské naměstí 21, Malá Strana)

Smooth: 7th Circle

Bearing in mind that these snippets were mainly put together at the last minute, and generally involved a light-hearted “please come to our show“, one of the slickest snapshots at Fringe Sunday was offered by WastedINK, advertising their production 7th Circle.  These guys, playing two charlatan clairvoyants are seriously funny in a peculiar sort of way.  I want to see more. On first impressions, make time for this.

31 May to 4 June, 22.00 at Divadlo Na prádle (Besední 3, Malá Strana)

Weird but wonderful: Reflections of a Man

A few minutes were not long enough to really understand what was going on here, but it definitely whet the appetite.  Part spoken word, part dance, part song and part mime, this show looks at the question “What is a Man?”  Deep stuff but looks touching and incredibly entertaining.

27-31 May at 1900 and 1-4 June at 1730, at Divadlo Inspirace (Malostranské námestí 13).

Glad they got here in time: All in the Timing

Top prize for effort goes to Windemere Productions with All in the Timing. This young theatre company almost didn´t make it due to a certain Icelandic volcano.  But, not to be deterred, they raced across Europe by rail and road and made it just in time.  Lucky for Prague that they did  – their snapshot of David Ives´ collection of short, humorous plays promises great things and left the audience keen to see more.

27-30 May at 16.00. Divadlo Inspirace (Malostranské námestí 13).

For the full programme and further details go to the Fringe website. Tickets for each performance cost 150 CZK. For the keen beans amongst you, a value pack of five vouchers for 600 CZK might be just the ‘ticket´. Students presenting a valid student ID card are able to get cheap, last minute tickets for 50 CZK, from 30 minutes before start of the show. Advance tickets are available from Ticketstream.

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