This week we’ve given PYT Advanced students the opportunity to develop their critical writing skills and share their personal opinions on our blog by reviewing Prague Fringe events. The festival runs from 26th May-3rd June.
Megan Meunier reviews day seven of the festival…
Day 7- Thursday 1st May
The day started as it was probably destined to. My hectic schedule and the shows melding in my head were beginning to confuse me. I missed Angel by Henry Naylor at Kampa thinking it started half an hour later than it actually did! The only consolation I can find is that it probably had enough brilliant reviews to do without me.
An hour later I went to see Committed to Mediocrity at Golden Key. The show lived up to its name: it was mediocre at best. The show is not as risqué as Gavin would like you to think. His show is marked as LGBT+ but I feel that the audience is assumed to be straight throughout the show. He jokes about the ‘gay alphabet’ by way of a lesson for those that are straight in the room and makes the lazy comment about bisexuals being ‘greedy’. I’m less offended by the content of the jokes and more by how old and tired they are. I’m of the opinion that every subject can and will be joked about, but the jokes have to be funny and somewhat original. Jokes about lesbians having a wedding in an Australian home depot and eating sausages at the reception feel like he’s throwing the rest of the LGBT community under the bus to make jokes straight people will be comfortable with. If you’re a part of the community, these jokes aren’t new and some might even call them crude. It didn’t help the experience that there were probably about six people in the audience and no one really laughed. There were a few chuckles but most of the time we sat in silence as he told his jokes.
I stayed at Golden Key for another half hour to see No More Miss America. I ate one of the free apples in between which has become my staple supper at Golden Key as I don’t really have time to eat in the evenings. The show was quite shocking and provocative though it perhaps needed some trigger warnings. There was raw meat and photographs of domestic abuse. I’m a vegetarian and when you’ve been a vegetarian for a while the smell of meat becomes much more unpleasant, and sitting in the front row I did feel quite ill at times. I endured this because I think being uncomfortable was part of the message of the performance. The entire show is very physical and the characters are non-verbal and there’s recorded sound playing over the character’s actions. I found it off-putting that the ringleader character would only whisper and I’m not sure if this is true but it felt like the actor was breaking character. It’s very powerful and thought provoking and I was glad that my next show was booked an hour later so I had time to stay and chat as the actors suggested at the end of the show.
As I left the theatre I actually had a lovely conversation about LGBT issues, feminism and rape culture with a woman I met. What I love about the fringe is how these performances open up conversations with new people and widen your perspective. That was a lovely experience.
Then I ran off to Kampa to see Zach Zucker: Human Person. The show was witty and interactive. It feels like only half of it is scripted as Zach seamlessly incorporated audience interaction with the show. One girl in the front row had the giggles and Zach turned this into a mock orchestra by conducting her with his hands to laugh more. His humour is both practiced and spontaneous; he is a joy to behold. It’s definitely 18+ though in terms of the language and possible nudity. I think I laughed enough to make up for the bad experience earlier in the day. This was everything that adult clowning should be. I’m definitely very excited to see Zach again during Dream Team on Saturday.
You can check out Prague Fringe’s full programme, here.