Em­bod­ies Fringe spirit

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - STAGE -

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.

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