fringe: the kransky sisters - three bags full

the kransky sisters... that's mourne and eve at the front and dawn in the back hidden behind a french hornIt's nice that even when you don't realise a particular show has allocated seating, but it turns out that the sweet but mostly docile boy at the FringeTix outlet gave you a good seat anyway... not a perfect seat mind you... but I was second row centre for The Kransky Sisters tonight, so I can't complain.

It was also a very, very strange audience... lots of Women of a Certain Age... which struck me as very odd, although given that the Kranskys are themselves WoaCA, it's probably to be expected.

I'm also convinced that people don't know how to behave in any kind of theatre setting... not everyone you understand, just the odd one or two every time... this time it was a guy in the row behind me who didn't have a volume control or an off switch.

However, even that wasn't enough to ruin a fantastic night's entertainment!

Of the four things I've seen so far this year, The Kranskys go straight to the top of the list...

I'd only ever seen them on the old "In Siberia Tonight" teevee show, where they only really did one song with a bit of a lead in, so getting to see a whole hour's worth was definitely an experience.

And all in all they're as funny as I remember... funnier even because there was just more material. They were as dour and creepy and droll as I was expecting though. And they also manage to make exceptional music with an old 60’s reed keyboard, guitar, musical-saw, tuba, and a cooking pot... plus they have fantastic voices!

I will say that I kinda miss Arva, the original third sister... while Dawn (the new French Horn playing sibling) was hilarious, I was always very fond of Arva, she just had this look on her face that made me laugh... Dawn is somewhat more unhinged I think... very funny though.

It was also fun trying to work out what song they were doing as it started... given that they do all the songs in their own distinctive style, I will admit that I didn't pick some of them until they got to the chorus. I did pick Werewolves of London right away though.

And I found myself thinking how great it would be if they did a version of a Lady Gaga song...

There were a lot of great moments... I did enjoy the running gag that every time something went wrong, be it having to check a guitar amp cord or knocking a tamborine off the stand or whatever, Dawn always got the blame, even though she wasn't anywhere near it.

I'm also curious to know if the bit about the toilet brush head coming off was scripted or not... when it first happened I thought it was an accident, but I'm not convinced... it was incredibly funny though.

As was when they dragged poor Steve out of the audience and proceeded to dress him up as the fourth Kransky, complete with wig and have him join them in a little bit of syncronised tambourine action... and the lucky bugger got a certificate of participation.

It was all over far too soon... they went from playing the saw to tales of London and Amsterdam to a wonderful uncomfortable silence as Mourne lamented her lost love life to them sniffing Steve's shirt after he was escorted off stage to Dawn's very off-kilter dancing... and then they walked off stage, into the crowd and out of the theatre to go and stand on the street corner and sell tea towels and magnets and CDs...

Originally I was just going to get a photo of them, but I ended up buying a magnet and a tea towel, which they all signed for me... in handwriting that's very specific to their characters too... Mourne's is very flowing cursive, Eve's is a little jagged and uneven and Dawn's although it doesn't look too bad, was done in such a manic and frenzied way that made me laugh.

If they come back again, I'm definitely going, and I'm definitely taking Ma!

And, to finish, a little YouTube action from the days of Arva...

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