list.co.uk/festival Previews & Reviews | FESTIVAL MUSIC
Five reasons to see
LIZA PULMAN: EVERYTHING’S COMING UP
1 As part of comedy-cabaret trio Fascinating Aïda, Liza Pulman has been entertaining audiences for over a decade with her powerful soprano voice and outrageously witty banter. With three Olivier Award nominations, as well as countless others in the bag and a successful solo career presently in the works, Pulman has proven herself worthy as a seasoned performer. 2 Everything’s Coming up Roses is her chance to truly shine without the accompaniment of her Fascinating Aïda co-stars. It’s an hour-long foray into a range of classics, and a tribute to her music and comedy roots, traversing a diverse range of songs with laughter, emotion and endless charm.
3 The name of the game is all things green. Taking inspiration from the botanical world, each song in the show has a connection to greenery, including flowers, plants and gardens. Not a theme ripe for hilarity, but Pulman makes it work.
4 Accompanied by Joseph Atkins on the piano, Pulman takes on a number of songs, from ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ to Neil Diamond’s ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’, blending her quirky and satirical humour with her sharp musical talent as a soprano singer. 5 Also performing with Fascinating Aïda in a separate greatest hits-themed show, Pulman will be doing two performances a day for a week, something that takes a lot of energy and expertise to pull off without total chaos. But there’s no doubt that she’ll do just that, with huge amounts of sass along the way. (Arusa Qureshi)
■ Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 22–29 Aug, 2.30pm, £10–£13 (£8.50–£11.50).
18–29 Aug 2016 THE LIST FESTIVAL 71
CAMILLE O’SULLIVAN: THE CARNY DREAM Queen of the Fringe returns with a seductive new show ●●●●●
Camille O’Sullivan is no stranger to Edinburgh, and there’s a reason why she’s often labelled ‘Queen of the Fringe’. In The Carny Dream, O’Sullivan’s performance and stage presence are as strong as ever. Her ability
to command a crowd, with every bat of her eyelashes and flick of her wrist, remains unparalleled. In her gravelly voice, she delivers an eclectic mix of emotionally charged covers, from Radiohead to Peggy Lee, while wearing an array of sparkling costumes. As always, it’s never just about the music, but about creating a thick atmosphere of theatre and entertainment, of cabaret, and her unyielding sense of charisma is matched only by her adorably self-deprecating nature. Storytelling is also an integral aspect of her routine and her enchanting tales are delivered with such charm, gripping the crowd as every word is embellished with wonderfully whimsical sound effects.
There’s no doubt O’Sullivan has a way with the audience. She gives the show a warmth and intimacy,
as if she were playing in an old jazz bar to happy, drunken friends. But her commitment to remaining true to the art of performance is equally enthralling. She’s a woman of many hats (both literally and figuratively), transforming from vulnerable, weeping songstress, through theatrical mad woman, to full-on rock goddess, sometimes encompassing all three simultaneously. But no matter what she’s singing, O’Sullivan always pays her own special kind of tribute, taking the essence of a song and creating something truly original and giving it a whole new meaning: there are many tributes to Bowie and Prince this year, but none quite like hers. Because of this, the audience is left in anticipation of what’s to come and, whether rehearsed or not, the whole show comes off as effortlessly improvised. (Nina Glencross) ■ Underbelly's Circus Hub, 0844 545 8252, until 22 Aug, 8.30pm, £18–£20 (£17–£19).
P H O T O :
B R A N S W E E N E Y
MOGWAI AND MARK COUSINS Two of Scotland's biggest creative forces band together for live documentary performance
For the premiere live performances of the new documentary film Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise, it’s fair to say that two of Scotland’s most significant creative forces have been brought together. The film was directed by the Edinburgh- based critic, writer and filmmaker Mark Cousins, whose past credits include the epic, 15-hour The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) and his homage to his home city I Am Belfast (2015). More seasoned readers may also recall him as the host of BBC2’s cult film strand Moviedrome in the 1990s. The soundtrack to the film has been composed by Glasgow group Mogwai. After a two-decade career as composers of highly emotive guitar rock music with a recent bent towards the electronic, they were the perfect choice to score the film, and they will perform live here at the International Festival. These will be the first live score performances of Atomic in the UK and the only ones in Scotland this year, offering audiences the opportunity to experience
Cousins’ well-researched piece about the filmed history of nuclear energy, for good and bad, as it’s meant to be seen and heard. (David Pollock) ■ Playhouse, 27 & 28 Aug, 9pm, £20–£30 (£10–£15).