Fringe 2012 Bribe of the Week: Clinton the Musical

This article is from 2012

Fringe 2012 Bribe of the Week: Clinton the Musical

Runners up include kids' poet Joshua Seigal and dance show Leo

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
The List
14 High Street

Desperately Seeking the Exit / Free Festival

  • 4 stars

Peter Michael Marino. American writer/performer Marino triumphantly returns with the crazy true tale of the making and unmaking of notorious West End Blondie musical disaster, Desperately Seeking Susan. This high-octane comedy offers a tell-all, behind-the-scenes peek at how this £4 million musical flopped: hatching the…

Clinton the Musical

  • 3 stars

It's hard enough being the president by yourself. Bill Clinton's problem is that there are two of him. In 1993, America voted for one Bill Clinton and elected both of them. What followed was eight years of success and scandal. The two Bills help, hinder and heckle each other in their struggle with marriage, impeachment…

Gob Shop

Edinburgh-based devising ensemble Cathartic Connections returns with an intimate promenade performance in a strip club. Gob Shop explores the glitter, glamour, sex, love and loneliness in us all when we cross that threshold into the unknown and questions our own preconceptions, fears and judgements about those people who…

Joshua Seigal: We All Love Llamas!

Have you ever wanted to know where Johnny eats mango, why pine cones are so scary, or what yabbing is? If so, then this is the show for you! Joshua Seigal's interactive and fun poetry is perfect for children. If you do not have children don't worry - it is also perfect for adults. It is so far untested on llamas, but…


Circle of Eleven. Join Leo on his gravity-defying journey! Thanks to a groundbreaking stage concept and ingenious video projections, Leo will leave you wondering which way is up and which way is down. Winner of three awards at last year's Fringe: Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, Three Weeks Editor's Award, Fringe…

Platero Y Yo

Described as an allegorical journey through life, embodied in the experiences lived by Platero, a silver and tender donkey, and his master, the eternal poet. This compilation of short stories, written by Nobel Prize winner Juan Ramon Jimenez, is conceptualized in a staging that highlights the notions of right and wrong…