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★★★★★ Review from The Edinburgh Evening News

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Review of Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess from the Edinburgh Evening News.

This 50-minute romp through a kingdom where royalty dress in medieval clothes and yet use smart phones with intelligent apps, and featuring a giraffe who speaks with a strong Australian accent certainly keeps the interest of all ages.

After a slightly slow start, the pace and the comedy picked up as the cast led us through the twists and turns of an adventure that had everyone farting along to save the kingdom from peril. My husband joyfully demonstrated his fake-farting skill to his and my son’s great delight (and my embarrassment) but, as a parent, I enjoyed this show at the Assembly Rooms just as much because of the witty, pantomime-style writing, with many throw-away lines specifically aimed at the grown-ups. Performances were strong in this ensemble cast, particularly that of the Princess’ rugby-playing servant Guffy.

A great way to introduce children to the traditions of live theatre.

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★★★★ Review Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess

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Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess recieves a ★★★★ Review from BroadwayBaby.

A farting princess, flying gnomes, a king, a queen and a giraffe. This on paper looks like the ideal recipe for a children’s show. Princess Pumpalot: The Farting Princess is based on the bestselling children’s book; a story of confusion, marriage, kidnap and magic beans. You don’t have to be a genius to know that this show should appeal to the demographic.

The show exploded with energy from the king and queen; they seemed confident and comfortable and immediately the audience felt safe. The perfect duo to warm up the crowd of stunned six year olds, they were easy to follow and had a lovely physical openness. These two are the performers that make the story grounded in its telling; they take care not to rush and are warm and likeable.

A rather too-cool-for-school princess was dressed in a tutu-like skirt that the average six year old girl would lust after. She had striped socks and colourful sneakers; this is a princess worth staying seated for. After a while she really relaxed into the show and resisted the temptation of over acting. Her partner in crime was a camp and comedic sidekick who had some very amusing moments, although he sped through some of his lines quicker than even he could keep up with.

The choices made in this show are clearly made for their target audience; all too often children’s theatre tries to have a token joke for the adults, but, judging by many of the grown-ups in the audience laughing at the farting noises, it proves that what makes a four year old giggle can often tickle a forty year old just as much.

This company didn’t try too hard; a wise move since trying too hard often results in patronising a young audience, causing little laughter. However, ten minutes in, this company had the children giggling, joining in with actions and hurling abuse at the ghoulish gnome and the smug stout prince.

However, a poorly chosen puppet is the only way to describe the giraffe servant. It felt ill thought out and it would have been more accessible to have a smaller marionette or bunraku puppet. Puppetry can be so effective, yet this life sized head of a giraffe was clumpy and didn’t add anything aesthetically. When you are playing with a fairytale there are so many magical possibilities - it seems a shame to not take advantage.

The show was likeable, funny, non patronising and will appeal to both boys and girls aged four to eight. It involved and engaged a potentially very fidgety audience for a full hour and for that it deserves credit.

Tags: Festival
 

13th International Festival of Ethnographic Film

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A Tale of Two Syrias (Dir. Yasmin Fedda) is to be screened in Edinburgh on Friday 14th June (15.15) as part of the 13th International Festival of Ethnographic Film.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference ‘New Observations’ and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

A special objective of the 13th edition is to bring together not only academic anthropologists and professional film-makers from all over the world, but also scholars and experts, and members of the public, particularly from Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St. Andrews, Scotland.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Centre for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

 

The Sundance Collection at UCLA

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Our documentary Breadmakers (Director Yasmin Fedda) has been added to the Sundance Collection at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The Sundance Collection at UCLA was established in 1997 in order to provide long-term access to independent film production. It’s a joint effort between the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Sundance Institute.

The Sundance Collection at UCLA underscores the importance of independent production while recognising that such films are at much greater risk of disappearing from the public sphere than larger budget, studio-based cinema.

Breadmakers was originally screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.

 

The Download Horror (Review)

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This was a short review of The Download Horror by Ryan McNeely which appeared in The Edinburgh Reporter after our screening in Edinburgh at The Bootleg Film Festival.

The light among this darkness was ably supplied by Jim Hickey’s hilarious The Download Horror. Inspired by cult US series Mystery Science Theatre 3000, this flick featured the voices of producers Robin Mitchell and Keith Bradley as Robbo and Dougie, two typical Scottish guys passing comments as they watched the latest movie their pal Big Al had downloaded for them. The source of this merriment was Sacrificed, a film Bradley himself had directed a few years ago but had been ultimately disappointed with. Personally, I really hope these three turn this into a regular series. I can’t wait for the further adventures of Dougie and Robbo and their big bag of crisps.

 


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