It's got to be one of the most heart-warming, thought-provoking shows on the Fringe for years. And, like all the best ideas, its brilliance lies in its simplicity.
'Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model' is a collaboration by performance artist, Bryony Kimmings and her 9-year-old niece, Taylor. Kimmings was appalled by the sexualised commodification of childhood which she saw in everything from clothing ranges to music, films and food ads.
So she asked Taylor lots of questions about the kind of role model she'd like to see on TV or in pop videos. Through their discussions (with Taylor making all the decisions), they created an alternative female figurehead - Catherine Bennett. She's a spectacle-wearing pop star and paleontologist. She's kind and funny, likes tuna pasta, and sings about animals, friendship and the future. She doesn't straighten her hair, dress like a lap-dancer, or sing obscene lyrics. The only thing she's riding is her bicycle.
Aunt and niece perform together in their hot-ticket show, with Bryony playing Catherine Bennett. If you're intrigued and can't make it to Edinburgh (it's on at the Pleasance Dome until August 25) worry not, as part of the point of this project is to see how far they can take it - to make the transition from fiction to the real world. Could CB become a global pop sensation? Well, check out their videos online - they've recruited A-list producers and stylists, with the result that this alternative pop icon looks and sounds like the real deal. If she gets your seal of approval, then "like" her on Facebook, watch her on YouTube and build up her online "hits".
Watch Catherine's video - Apathy below
Let's face it, she is no less manufactured than everyone from The Monkees to One Direction; no less ludicrous than a chubby South Korean singer dancing like a demented horse. And if Catherine Bennett, created by a 9 year-old girl, is a success, she won't be lining the pockets of cynical global corporations, and could just persuade young girls and their families that pink stinks, and that brainy, kind, curly-haired, spec-wearing women have more fun. I can't wait to dress my CB doll in her astrophysicist outfit.
My two other hot tickets will appeal to slightly older music lovers! Film composer, Michael Nyman, shows his skills behind the lens in an exhibition which is on at Edinburgh's Summerhall, called Images Were Introduced. In a room transformed into a forest of screens, you'll see Nyman's 10 reconstructions of the extraordinary vintage Soviet film, Man With a Movie Camera, alongside the original. It's a dazzling, hypnotic symphony of music and images which transports the viewer from 1920s Russia to a range of locations which Nyman has shot on his travels around the world.
It's on until the end of August, at which point David Byrne takes to the stage of Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall alongside musical collaborator, Erin Clark, aka St Vincent for a concert with a full brass and woodwind section. Tickets available now for the August 29 gig.
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