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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Kriss Foster and Friend
Kriss Foster and Friend
Published on Tuesday, 20 August 2013

4 stars

Ryan's Cellar Bar (venue website)
3-12, 14-24 Aug, 3:45pm-4:45pm
Reviewed by Liam McKenna

 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.
 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.

There are only ten people in this cellar room underneath a restaurant, and pretty much everyone is taking a punt on a grown man dressed as a leopard – if anything, to escape the Edinburgh drizzle. But no amount of light rain can dampen this man’s spirits.

Foster revels in the mundane. He explains to us that most of his material will be about his home city of Lancaster. And if you want an in-depth portrait of the surrounding areas and motorways (extensive prior knowledge of the M61 is not compulsory, but would certainly help) then you will love this.

The show flits between intricate stories of Lancaster’s run-down cinemas, supermarkets, and alternative routes around town (Foster and his friend Mr Ferris are very helpful with directions), and music. There is a song for every story; about Lancaster’s ghosts, missing jigsaw pieces, a blind date at a services station. All of them are catchy and funny, with beautifully-crafted lyrics heavily focused on the inane.

Foster has an awkward, naïve, smiling persona, which endears him to people of all ages. There are children and adults here; it caters to all. He interacts with the crowd like we’ve known him for some time – even going so far as to pass round a bag of Vimto bon bons, and hand a present to a little girl whose birthday is coming up. Everyone is included in the birthday celebrations, like this is why we’re all gathered here today.

Kriss Foster’s friend Mr Ferris is a man of few words. He cuts the air of a refined gentleman. He has his own stories to tell of European Cup Winners Cup matches, plays a multitude of instruments (grand piano, Casio keyboard, penny whistle, keytar, kazoo – I could go on) and also has a special magic trick up his sleeve that he is obliged for legal reasons to perform once a show. The two of them have a great natural chemistry; they fill in gaps in each other’s stories like good friends do and it never feels scripted or forced in any way.

By the end of the show we’ve been fully inducted to Lancaster (and we’ve had a glimpse of Morecombe to boot). Foster and friend have grown on us and we all feel like we know the man inside the homemade leopard suit. Foster tells us he came here with one friend (Mr Ferris), and now he’s leaving with ten. An uplifting finish to a sweet, funny and quirky show.

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