Embodies Fringe spirit
voices heard over the clamour.
Hot Ice is a Halifax-based company set up by Katharine Markwich, who began acting with Calderdale Theatre School before going on to train at London International School of Performing Arts.
Their show, The Historians, had received a couple of nice reviews, and I was intrigued by a cast of two telling the story of the town of Halifax. What I got was an engagingly performed little show that was politically interesting, funny and moving. Rough around the edges, but it reminded me a lot of John Godber, a man who took a little two-handed show to Edinburgh called Bouncers.
Like Rash Dash a couple of years before her, Katharine has sunk her own money into funding Edinburgh, working two jobs for the past year to fund bringing the show north.
She says: “It’s the best place to be if you want to get people to see you and get some exposure.”
Penguin Pied were a delightful little company, hailing from Bridlington. They said they thought they were the first theatre company from Bridlington to go to the festival – adding “as far as we remember”. As the company were all in their late teens to early twenties, it didn’t seem
The day before I arrived John Malkovich was handing out flyers on the Royal Mile.
their memories would stretch too far, but there was plenty of potential in their little show, which was ultimately charming.
The festival is also home, of course, to much bigger names than any of these, but it is the egalitarian nature of the festival that appeals to those big names. I saw Julian Sands reading Pinter in a show coming to Bradford and Hull this Autumn, Paul Daniels with a show coming to Doncaster and Bradford and Dave Gorman, with a stand-up piece he’s bringing to Sheffield, Bradford and York. The day before I arrived John Malkovich, who directs Julian Sands in A Celebration of Harold Pinter, was handing out flyers for the show on the Royal Mile.
Over a pint of Guinness (drinking is a feature of the festival, the bars of the city a constant throng of people, day and night) Sands says: “I saw a production of The Tempest the other night done by kids out of school. They brought such spirit and enthusiasm to it and freshness. I was delighted to be there.”
I know exactly what he means.
BEST OF EDINBURGH FRINGE: Clockwise from left: Belt Up’s The Boy James; Hot Ice’s The
York stand-up Dan Willis and The Dog Eared Collective.