MONDAY 27 JULY 2020 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
JORDAN BLACKWOOD: ARMY @ THE VIRTUAL FRINGE
If you've been lucky enough to spend time taking in culture at recent Edinburgh Fringes, you may well be aware of Army @ The Fringe, which - in association with Summerhall - has taken over the city's Hepburn House drill hall each August since 2017.

Taking place in a venue staffed by soldiers, this programme's stated aim is to "spark conversations about what the army is and what it stands for in 21st Century society".

The venue was due to return in 2020, and was making preparations to do so when the COVID19 crisis hit and ultimately put paid to any hopes that this year's Edinburgh Festival would go ahead as normal.

Fortunately, though, Army @ The Fringe is one of a number of concerns who have decided to take their programme of events online. I talked to producer Jordan Blackwood to find out what we can expect next month.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Army @ The Virtual Fringe kicks off on 10 Aug. For more information on all the online events taking place see the website right about here.
EDINBURGH FESTIVAL PEOPLE TAKE TO THE ONLINE STAGE - WE'LL BE THERE!
While the Edinburgh Festival may not be going ahead this year as a result of COVID-19, many Fringe performers, companies and venues will be presenting online shows during August, and we'll be previewing and covering them in our TW Weekly bulletin.

If you are a performer, company or venue who would normally be heading to Edinburgh this August, but who have online shows planned in place of the Fringe, make sure you let us know. We can't promise to preview everything, but we'll try our best to cover as much as possible. Send info about your projects to [email protected]

We are kicking off our Edinburgh-themed interviews this week, while previews of Edinburgh-linked online shows will begin next Monday.

Meanwhile check out our tips for online shows happening this week - some also involving Edinburgh Fringe favourites...


THREE EDFRINGE FAVOURITES>>

Athena Kugblenu | NextUp Comedy Festival | 28 Jul (pictured)
You probably all know by now that - even though the Edinburgh Festival was cancelled - there is actually going to be quite a lot of 'edfringe' stuff going on over August, albeit online. We'll begin coverage of all that stuff next week, but for now let's talk about some of our old edfringe faves who are doing stuff online this month. There have been absolutely loads of them appearing at the NextUp Comedy Festival throughout July and it's been quite difficult to choose who we should tip. The festival is coming to an end this week, of course, and our penultimate big-up is for the brilliant Athena Kugblenu - don't miss her live set on 28 Jul. Info right about here.

The Boat Show Comedy Club presents...Lunchtime Special | 31 Jul
We've got all the threes really going on this week, because there are three (count them) TW favourites lining up for this lunchtime show to be delivered via Zoom this Friday. And now that I have made a big fuss about them you will no doubt be curious to know just which comedians are appearing, so I will tell you: it's the excellent Hal Cruttenden, the brilliant Sara Barron and the fabulous Abandoman. Gonna run out of adjectives before the end of the tips if I'm not careful. Eeek. Click here for tickets.

Jordan Brookes - POV | NextUp Comedy Festival | 29 Jul
And so to our final edfringe fave of this edition's tips and our final recommendation from the first ever NextUp Comedy Festival. This time, we've gone for the well loved and critically acclaimed Jordan Brookes. "I warned you all this was coming and what happened? I got laughed at. And, most heinously, given an award for it. Now, I've had a lot of time to think about about my past actions, how I've ended up being the person I've become, and have come to the conclusion that absolutely none of it is my fault. Join me for an hour in which I full-name my enemies and explain why they owe me an apology". You heard the man. Head this way to book.


THREE FESTIVAL SHOWS>>

The House Never Wins | Electric Dreams Festival | 30 Jul-15 Aug
"Plummeting insect numbers. A sixth mass extinction. Thinning of ice sheets. Sea level rise. We could all do with a distraction. Take a seat at the table, get ready to play". Fans of game theatre and all that interactive stuff that's been so popular in recent times will find loads to entertain them at the rather good (and previously mentioned) Electric Dreams Festival. 'This House Never Wins' definitely falls into that category: get ready to explore the climate crisis and gamble with the planet's future from the comfort of your own home. See this page here for more and to book.

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation | The New Normal Festival | 3 Aug (pictured)
For weeks we've only been recommending things you can access from home: online archive recordings, theatre via Zoom, comedy on demand. But now, because it's the summer and the COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed a bit, we can suggest something where you get to leave the house. I know! Enter The New Normal Festival, which is running a series of highly sanitised socially distanced outdoor events throughout August in Wandsworth. This is the first one, and oooooh it's a goodie, improv comedy from a great troupe. See this page here to book and this page here for all the events coming up.

In The Shadows It Waits | Electric Dreams Festival | 1 + 8 Aug
Right, you've had a breath of fresh air, so now let's get back to the online stuff and another offering from the Electric Dreams Festival. This sounds brilliant and kinda scary, a horror film performed live and edited in real time. It's "the story of four twenty-something co-workers bored with their day jobs and sick of being locked up in isolation, who play a silly online game and unwittingly prove the truth of an urban legend. And while these co-workers might not be able to get out, it doesn't mean that something can't get in". See this page here for all the details.


THREE LIVE THEATRICAL SHOWS>>

Fanny And Stella | The Garden Theatre at The Eagle | 3-25 Aug
You know how a couple of tips back we told you you'd had your fresh air and should now get back inside? Well, I didn't altogether mean it because - yes - we have another socially distanced outside theatrical experience for you, in a newly created exterior space at The Eagle in Kennington, as long as you're not one of those mask refuseniks. The show in question is a revival of Glenn Chandler and Charles Miller's new musical, first staged last year if I remember correctly, focusing on the true story of a Victorian cross-dressing scandal. See this website here for all the info and to book.

The House That Slipped | Teatro Vivo | 3 - 7 Aug (pictured)
Right, back inside for you now, and inside we shall stay for the rest of these tips. We've come inside for a goodie though, so there's absolutely no call to be disappointed. This online immersive show from Teatro Vivo looks absolutely intriguing: "When the UK went into lockdown the residents of 12 Laburnum Drive, Brockley took the government advice very seriously. One month on they opened their front door to find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings. Their little house had floated away and come to rest in the year 2070". Zoom is still working though and it connects them to the past... and that's where you come in. Read all about it here.

Alice - A Virtual Theme Park | Creation Theatre/Big Telly | 1-30 Aug
During lockdown we've talked a lot about the work of Creation Theatre, Big Telly and Zoe Seaton because, despite said lockdown, they've been making amazing strides with online media and presenting awesome, innovative stuff. So, of course, we are absolutely here for the latest offering. Audiences will be invited to dive down the rabbit hole to experience a magical theatrical experience, meeting their favourite characters from this much-loved classic along the way. Head this way for info and to book.
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