Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception

The Diva of Deception, Mandy Davis, is a professional close up magician and balloon modeller working for the corporate market as well as banquets, dinners, receptions, weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, private parties etc. As a member of The Magic Circle, she is chairman of the Young Magicians Club and editor of their coveted glossy magic magazine. Mandy is also a member of Equity.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

FRINGE FUN ON THE DOORSTEP (PART 2)

Now that the Fringe season is over I can look back on the month and say that we had some extraordinary fun seeing some of the best, and worst, at Camden.

I've already expounded on the ill prepared actors and acting in OAPz (oh, didn't mean to name it - for more detail read previous blog!) and also on the joy of Shazia Mirza who was one of the best things we saw....

The Ten Commandments turned out to be a student rag - or so it seemed. It was a full house - but full of friends and family of the cast who tended to laugh to extreme at their mates dressed in women's clothes or similar rather than at the tag lines of the gags which were mainly predictable although there were occasional flashes of brilliance - but too few.

We saw Mr & Mrs one Sunday evening and found it to be a fascinating script but not particularly lively in deliverance which made us rush to the programme afterwards to see who the actors were - only to find that they were playing themselves, two stand up comedians talking about what it's like to live together and be married. Of course this is one we could do better! So watch this space....

Thirty minutes later we were back in the same studio for 'This is a Chair'. We felt cheated - it was a bare forty minutes worth and never seemed to say a great deal that made any sense. I suppose it was modern and thought provoking but who knew that the cameo of a two adults allegedly encouragng a baby to eat was in fact a statement about anorexia? Various scenes were played out with different people playing different parts of stories that had no beginnings or ends, just middles. Afterwards Rob discovered it had been played to critical acclaim elsewhere so that no doubt casts doubts on our abilities as reviewers...

'Breaking Legs' was a great improvement At last we started to see some drama we enjoyed and understood! A dialogue between understudies backstage was funny and fascinating at the same time as they vied with each other to try and, for once, be on stage playing the parts instead of watching in the wings.

'Vera and the Sea' was powerful and well acted by all but one of the cast who tended to bring out a reaction in me like squeaking chalk on a blackboard. However this ghost story of abuse and manslaughter kept us gripped throughout.

'A Dinner Party' was another dialogue with great substance and took us to a different venue as the other plays were all at the Etcetera and this was at the Camden People's Theatre which was a venue we often see on our way home from The Magic Circle.

However the best piece of all had to be 'Shaft' - a powerful, funny and telling play about girls backstage at a pole dancing club. The characters were acted with great realism and were so very different from each other - and the pole acrobatics were amazing in themselves! Raunchy as could be, it was not really the time to be sitting in the front row as eye contact was worrying to say the least!

All in all, though, we had a great time seeing the good, the bad but not the downright ugly at the Camden Fringe and we discovered some amazing eateries too! An Indian restaurant in the Stables with a buffet at £6 per head or a vast Oriental buffet at not much more which included desserts of many kinds - and a Mr Whippy ice cream machine and cornets to fill! What more could anyone need from a night out?