Cambridge trio cleared over tarpaulin sit-in during Parliament Square protest. From left, Kate Huggett, Rosa Robson and Matilda
Three Cambridge graduates were today celebrating being cleared over a confrontation with police during Occupy London protests in Parliament Square. Rosa Robson, Matilda Wnek and Kate Huggett, all 23, had allegedly defied police orders to get off a tarpaulin sheet and leave the square. They and Elizabeth Beck, 52, were eventually carried away by officers in October last year.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (The Fringe) is the world’s largest arts festival, with the 2014 event spanning 25 days and featuring over 3,193 shows from 51 countries in 299 venues. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place annually in Scotland’s capital, in the month of August. The Fringe is a showcase for the performing arts, with show categories including Cabaret, Children’s shows, Comedy, Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus, Events, Exhibitions, Music, Musicals and Opera, Spoken Word and Theatre. In addition to ticketed, programmed events, the Fringe Street Events hosted by Virgin Money run each day of the festival, primarily on the Royal Mile and at the Mound Precinct. This is the largest street fair of its kind in the world, and in 2014 saw 933 groups participate.
Rosa Robson and Matilda Wnek
Cambridge just keeps on churning the comedy talent out. Rosa Robson is a Pembroke Player (former participants include messrs Idle, Oddie and Cook) while Matilda Wnek is a Footlights ‘general member’. Together they are Beard, a fuzzy, comforting, occasionally scratchy duo who are adept actors with a happy knack for avoiding the kind of clichéd set-ups that many of their contemporaries on the Fringe are prone to.
With little in the way of props and nothing in the way of costumes to fling on in-between scenes, they merely rely on strong writing and a comic physicality which both wield to excellent effect. The opening scene of a wander up some baronial stairs glancing at a series of painfully posh family portraits (Robson pulls some extraordinary faces here) is inspired as is the end routine which takes place in opposite flats as a robbery unfolds: here, Wnek pulls off the best grandfather clock impersonation you’ll ever see. And if there’s a better dubbed Spanish soap opera scene this August, get me there now. A very promising start.
Matilda Wnek and Claudia Grigg-Edo’s re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, embraces all that is great about the Fringe. Claudia Grigg Edo, a 22-year-old English literature student at Cambridge University, was also arrested on the day
Wnek (the brains) made a video on the day of protests: