The first thing you should know about this particular Fringe event is that the venue is tucked away in George’s Square in a giant inflatable upside down purple cow. Need I say more? Yes? Yes, I shall. George’s Square is located very much in the heart of the University of Edinburgh’s campus (I had flashbacks of sprinting down the cobbled street along one of the sides in order to not be late for my lecture on Celtic Literature. I was never late, however I was always out of breath). Anyhoo there are, I think, three or companies who have stages all set up shop for the month and I think it’s one of the best venues (I’m heavily biased though as nearly all of my favorite fringe shows have been at one of the venues located here). Today’s show was Austentatious! An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, now for a handful of you the thought of: but, you don’t like Austen- you don’t like that genre of literature or period piece movies save for the production of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy must have popped up, and those individuals would be correct. I can expand on why it’s not my favorite genre of literature or why the Victorian era nor the Renaissance are deffos not my choice periods of time to study and I don’t know why so many people are so fascinated by them when the Medieval Ages are there to study but no one asked me so I will reserve these observation in their fullest form to some other time.
I wanted to see this particular show because it promised to be an hour of comedy improv based in entirety on the suggestion of the audience. While waiting in the queue we were handed a ‘book cover’ leaflet (a really lovely touch) and asked to come up with a funny title. Being the highly intelligent and witty writer that I am, I promptly clammed up and produced no such title. However the venue, I believe, was able to accommodate over 500 people so like- I didn’t feel too bad about it all. Because of the nature of my singleness even though I was further back in the queue I was able to snag a second row seat (yet another perk of traveling alone) and I waited in anticipation for the play to begin.
Oh.My.God. It was everything it promised to be and more. From the very beginning when they introduced a ‘professor’ to set the scene, to the selection of a title from a basket comprised entirely of suggestions created not five minutes prior (today’s book was James Corbyn and the Missing Cabinet), to the truly talented cast of six members who were able to play off of each other with, what appeared to be, effortless ease and finesse the entire experience was immersive and captivating. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard for that long in months. I liked it so much that I bought a ticket to a performance later tonight called Crosstentatious put on by the same company of actors- just that the women will be dressed as men and the men dressed as women, because, lets be honest, who doesn’t love a bit of cross dressing? Funny, witty, and expertly navigated Austentatious is a must see for literally everyone. I might even go back for another show because I had such a wonderful time and the play is different each time.