Fringe 2012 Bribe of the Week: Clinton the Musical
Runners up include kids' poet Joshua Seigal and dance show Leo
This article is from 2012.
Our inaugural 2012 Bribe of the Week was a close call, although the painstakingly-decorated cupcakes and branded pants from Clinton: The Musical eventually won out. Aside from ticking both the tasty and utilitarian boxes, the bribe showed an extraordinary dexterity and surplus of time from the designer(s). As for the show, it follows Bill Clinton and his darker alter ego, Billy Clinton, as they each influence policy from the Oval Office through the medium of song and dance. We put a few questions to Billy about the bribe:
How long did the cake baking take?
The same time it takes to wash the stain out of a dress. It's that easy. Why couldn't she just wash the dress? It's not hard.
To what extent do cakes and pants play a part in Clinton: The Musical?
Both are equally absent from Clinton: The Musical. That's the problem. If my pants hadn't been absent, I wouldn't be in this mess. But then I wouldn't have a show! There may not be cake or pants, but there are teabags and thongs.
Are there other presidents you would consider commemorating in musical/cake/pant form?
Future President Hillary Rodham-Clinton, my wife. See you in 2016! Billy will be back in the Whitehouse baby! Though I don't think I want to see her face on pants.
Clinton wasn't always the surefire winning briber, though. The first bribe we received (from a very enthusiastic Joshua Seigal - he told us about it in advance on Twitter, and sent us an email as well) was a cute, cuddly llama, aptly employed to promote Joshua Seigal: We All Love Llamas! In his accompanying letter, Seigal declared that his show is 'the only [his underline] children's poetry show at Fringe!' In case you're interested, he also recommends this free show for ages 5-11, but naturally all ages are welcome.
Making us feel a little bit sleazy was a collaborative bribe from DirtyStop-Out and TEAFilms, for their show A Guide to Second Date Sex. Two miniature bottles of whisky (Bell's), some chewing gum (spearmint) and a handful of condoms (various) gave us a bit of an insight into what they believe constitutes modern romance, while their show promises to do much the same (with the benefit of material based on genuine candid interviews about peoples' sex lives).
Also slightly worrying were the lavender-scented frilly knickers received from Cathartic Connections in support of their show Gob Shop. A site-specific theatre performance (to be held in the Sapphire Rooms strip club), Gob Shop explores the preconceptions and fantasies we hold about what goes on behind strip club doors, and features a performance from one of the Sapphire Rooms' own regular strippers.
We're sure dance company Circle of Eleven had their hearts in the right place when they sent us a used hat from their show Leo, but somehow we weren't enamoured enough to grant it first place. Even with the persuasive stats in their accompanying note (the hat has been used in '100+' performances - 'Mmm... sweaty'), and the welcoming marker-pen inscription on the inside ('Thank you from Leo!'), we've yet to see anyone in the office try it on.
The University of Puerto Rico's drama department sent us a small donkey mask to big up their show Platero y Yo, about (you guessed it) a small donkey who embarks on allegorical journeys exploring 'the notions of right and wrong, affection, love, justice and the inevitable.' Or something. The mask came with a Certificate of Authenticity proclaiming it 'Piece no. 007' of a limited collection created by artisan Gabriel Soto especially for the show. We're unsure if the James Bond reference was intentional, but it certainly made our donkey a little cooler.
The wooden spoon for Worst Bribe of the Week goes to Desperately Seeking the Exit. Although the accompanying letter was amusing (apparently the original bribe of 'NYC bagels and hotdogs' was stopped at customs), a bunch of stickers and some glow-in-the-dark badges just don't cut it in a world populated with cuddly llamas, trays of cupcakes and masks representing miniature beasts of burden. That said, the show itself - charting the failure of a £4 million musical adaptation of Desperately Seeking Susan - does sound a bit interesting, if rather similar to The Producers.
Send your Festival Bribe to:
Big Fat Festival Bribe
c/o Niki Boyle
14 High Street