Predator Guy @ Outside Starbucks
According to what I just copy-and-pasted from Wikipedia, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's largest arts festival, with thousands of shows from all over the world. It's a showcase for the performing arts, particularly theatre, comedy, music and dance.
With so many shows to choose from, it's hard, probably impossible to find something that everyone will enjoy.
But I absolutely found it.
Predator-Guy is an electrifying 12-hour show, playing daily on the Royal Mile. It's a performance piece that revolves around a guy, dressed as Predator (from the movie Predator) standing outside the Tron Kirk, all fucking day. The performance is mostly a minimalistic combination of 'standing still' and 'being dressed like an impossible space monster.' It's punctuated by moments of 'awkwardly trying not to dehydrate under 100lbs of latex moon-lizard' and 'scaring the shit out of kids.' He lets you take pictures of him and generally looks like the alien.
The problem with reviewing shows is that the viewer's opinions are subjective – not everyone enjoys the same sort of thing. WHO DOESN'T ENJOY PREDATOR? Communists, that's who.
Predator is a universally recognized and loved symbol of awesomeness. Most of you might remember his face from the original movie, an unkillable alien hunting men for sport, or from every 3rd page in Kim Cattrall's Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm. Nothing conjures up the distinctive atmosphere of a culture festival like a vulva-mouthed intergalactic serial killer.
His costume shows a real dedication to his art. Full body, authentic, Predator-suits, complete with 'combat-spear-covered-in-
It takes a lot of commitment to survive the Fringe. It's chaotic, crowded and maddening enough for performers NOT dressed in fishnet and latex Space-Pyjamas. Every day, rain or shine, he's out there, and since he's in the street for 12 hours, I highly suspect it's one of those suits you can take a dump in, like astronauts or Disney mascots.
Unlike the other street shows in Edinburgh right now, such as Juggler-Man, Dude dressed as Angel and Whatever the Fuck that is, bending Balloon Animals near The Mound, Predator-Guy actually seems to understand that he is utterly terrifying. So many of the whimsical clowns or comical mimes wandering the streets right now appear to have never once passed a mirror and thought, "HOLY SHIT. I'M EXACTLY MADE OF NIGHTMARE-FUEL." Predator-Guy knows what he looks like, and doesn't give a shit. He works the audience with professional ease, occasionally growling or striking 'gonna getcha' poses. Never complaining and never faltering on a street surrounded by desperation and group harmony versions of Elton John. Predator-Guy is a hero.
The best thing about his show is that it's totally free. Seriously, you can just stand and stare at him, for as long as you want, and not pay him a damn thing. Sure, he does requests, but like strippers, if you want him to hammer-dance or cry softly into your crotch, tradition dictates you slip him a fiver.
I've no idea what lies beneath that suit, but whatever sweaty, talcum powder-covered, most-probably-single creature is in there, it deserves our unconditional admiration and respect.
In my opinion, Predator-Guy personifies the festival this year; he's bold, creative, enthusiastic and a bit of a fucking mess.....but most of all, if you're not careful, he'll probably skin you alive.
Six stars. SIX.