Otto & Astrid’s Joint Solo Project [Assembly Piccolo, 24-27 Aug]
The German brother and sister duo return for another musical extravaganza, but this time due to disagreements they’ve put their band Die Roten Punkte on hold and are performing ‘together, but separate’. With Otto’s Stooges-esque I Wanna Be Your Kitten’ up against Astrid’s poppier Tasty Snak, there can only be one winner…
Otto and Astrid’s aesthetic can be best described as the White Stripes after a few too many Irn Bru vodka slushies. Indeed, drummer Astrid makes a memorable entrance, dropping half her drum kit with expert comic timing before making the aforementioned cocktail. The descent into chaos is superb, with fights over stage territory, snack-based strife and possibly the only insurance-based running joke at the Fringe.
The pair’s songs are unironically excellent, sending up popular artists like Depeche Mode and Green Day. Being at the front I was an inevitable target for some interaction, but it was all done with a cheeky (drunken) wink. The audience didn’t even mind being quite literally divided between the siblings at one point in their feud! An enjoyable evening of pop-punk musical clowning, and I predict that Tasty Snak will be a persistent earworm long after the Fringe has ended.
Last Stand on Honey Hill [Gilded Balloon Sportsmans, 24-27 Aug]
Liz Cotton lives between Fen Ditton and Horningsea in the heart of the Cambridgeshire fens, with her husband, kids and cat Purr-dey. But when the children leave the nest for uni and her husband begins to grate on her nerves in lockdown, she yearns for a change- and it comes in the unexpected form of Anglian Water. Combining video and funny, filthy songs, Liz tells the tale of how she became an unexpected activist.
The audience warmed instantly to Liz, with the intimate venue making the show feel more like a chat with a friend. We explore everything from her obsession with the colour green to tracking her children’s travels and ill-advised Amazon purchases, all through deft guitar work and a few very silly props.
Water companies have been in the news a great deal recently, and the facts and figures Liz unearths are shocking. The audience’s anger at the waste of money – and the literal waste in the rivers and seas – is palpable. By the end everyone is singing along to her protest song, ‘It’s Crap’, complete with poop emoji hats. It’s a glorious sight. Last Stand is a wonderful reminder of the beauty of nature on our doorstep and the importance of fighting for what we believe in – and you can keep up to date with Liz’s campaign at http://savehoneyhill.org