Noni Stapleton

Edfest Bouquets 2015

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It’s been an amazing August for us at Bouquets & Brickbats. We’ve spent the entire month running from show to show, and have seen some truly brilliant performances. Here’s our pick of the best we’ve seen at this year’s Fringe:

Drama Bouquets

  1. Phantom Owl Productions – Filthy Talk for Troubled Times by Neil La Bute
  2. Phantom Owl Productions – Fault Lines by Stephen Belber
  3. Paines Plough – Lungs by Duncan McMillan

Monologue Bouquets

  1. Noni Stapleton  – Charolais by Noni Stapleton
  2. Thom Tuck – Scaramouche Jones by Justin Butcher
  3. Tom Neenan – The Andromeda Paradox by Tom Neenan

Stand-up Comedy Bouquets

  1. Stewart Lee – A Room With A Stew
  2. Sarah Kendall – A Day In October
  3. Garrick Millerick – A Selection of Things I’ve Said to Taxi Drivers

‘Ones to Watch Out For’ Bouquets

  1. Alfie Brown – Isms
  2. Morro and Jasp – Morro and Jasp Do Puberty
  3. Master of None Productions – Foxfinder by Dawn King

Philip Caveney and Susan Singfield

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Charolais

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27/08/15

Spotlites, Hanover Street, Edinburgh

With such a variety of shows on offer at the Fringe, there’s inevitably a range of quality here too. Now and again, though, it’s possible to see something really rather special.

And Charolais is one such thing.

Written and performed by Noni Stapleton, this is an unlikely comedy about a young Irish woman and the jealousy she feels towards a beautiful heifer. The cow, a Charolais belonging to her farmer boyfriend, takes up far too much of his attention, and his mother, Brede, demands what’s left. Siobhan, it seems, must fight to win his love.

It’s an unusual tale, as beautifully written as it is acted. This is truly an object lesson in characterisation: a one-woman performance that not only makes us laugh and cry, but also brings to life a horny cow. Really, the episodes where Stapleton embodies ‘Charolais’ are extraordinary: she drops her jaw, lowers her stance, sticks out her backside, and becomes the cow. The lowing-singing is a lovely touch, and the French accent an added delight.

As this year’s festival heads towards its end, there are only three more chances left to see this show. Don’t miss out: get a ticket now.

5 stars

Susan Singfield