Fringe

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Dead Ghost Star

12 Aug 20143 stars

Alternative child-friendly comedy is space oddity lost in a vacuum at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This hour of nonsense clowning in space is a bit like Spike Milligan on MDMA, or Edward Lear doing a guest appearance at the Hacienda. Cheekykita and Mr Dinner bring their odd space odyssey to a hidden room in the flyer-covered maze of Cowgatehead…

The Colour Ham

12 Aug 20143 stars

Comedy magic act played mainly for laughs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

With any comedy show where three people are vying for stage time, there’s a real need for the audience to be able to distinguish between the various personae. The Colour Ham have certainly got this aspect nailed. So, Colin McLeod is the semi-serious…

Jason Cook: Broken

12 Aug 20143 stars

Plenty of laughs & decent stories but this Edinburgh Fringe stand-up show lacks higher significance

At the top of Jason Cook’s solo Fringe career, he wowed audiences and critics with My Confessions and Joy, deeply personal, incredibly moving yet hugely funny shows about his family. Since then, he’s become a father and written Hebburn, a BBC sitcom…

Dalloway

12 Aug 20144 stars

Dyad Productions present a powerful rendering of Woolf’s novel at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The war is over, London swells with the bubbling heat of summer, the squeals of omnibuses, and the chatter of the socially ambitious. Such is the world of Woolf’s novel and the spirit evoked in Dalloway by Dyad Productions. This solo performance by…

The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland

12 Aug 20143 stars

Modernist experiment by theare company Ridiculusmus splits Edinburgh Festival Fringe audience

This piece, by acclaimed theatre company Ridiculusmus, employs a theatrical form which will recalls the heyday of Dadaism, the avant-garde and absurdist art movement of the early twentieth century which inspired much of the last century's performance…

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Spoiling

11 Aug 20142 stars

Toothless satire on post-independence Scotland

Undecided voters rolling up up to John McCann’s play about the birth-pains of post-independence Scotland need not worry about their opinions being swayed: they’re likely to be more undecided than ever when the fifty minutes are up. Directed by the…

Adam of the Riches

11 Aug 20144 stars

Hysterically silly Edinburgh Fringe show of generous and off-the-cuff brilliance

For anyone with a track record of being in the audience or (heaven help your scarred psyche) up on stage with Adam Riches, entering his Pleasance Dome venue might seem like sleepwalking back into your worst nightmare. Sinister music is playing as three…

Pioneer

11 Aug 20144 stars

Stunning space-age exploration drama goes to infinity and beyond in style

At first glance, the story of Pioneer would lend itself better to a blockbuster film; set in outer-space, under the Pacific Ocean, and on a deserted Siberian road, the reference points seem cinematic rather than theatrical, with visionary/bonkers…

He Had Hairy Hands

11 Aug 20144 stars

Kill the Beast's 1970s werewolf horror comedy is just shy of perfection at the Edinburgh Fringe

I let out a giddy gasp of relief when He Had Hairy Hands experienced a small lull in the second act – up until that point, it was headed for a perfect rating, and who would have credited that? ‘Five stars for a silly retro horror comedy about…

Israeli theatre company Incubator perform silent protest show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

11 Aug 2014

The show, which receives public state funding, attracted attention from pro-Palestine protesters

A ‘silent’ protest performance by Jerusalem-based Incubator Theatre was itself the focus of pro-Palestinian protests in Bristo Square on Saturday. Hip hop opera The City had been cancelled by Underbelly following noisy protests outside the McEwan Hall…

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Beowulf: The Blockbuster

11 Aug 20145 stars

Fusion of Irish storytelling and 80s blockbusters strikes at the core of what it is to be mortal

A masterclass in both physical theatre and the grand tradition of Irish storytelling, Beowulf: The Blockbuster examines the awkward father/son dynamic, put to the ultimate test when cancer comes into the equation. Swapping a proscenium arch for a neon…

Prelude to a Number

11 Aug 20144 stars

A heady mixture of poetry, patterns and musical wonder from Geddes Loom at Edinburgh Fringe

Despite its fascination with the mathematical phenomena of the ‘ Golden ratio ’ and Phi, patterns said by some to run throughout the mainstream conceptions of beauty, Prelude to a Number is an unmistakably human show. In an introductory address the…

Torsten The Bareback Saint

11 Aug 20144 stars

Beautiful vocals and theatrical songs ensure heady romanticism of Andy Bell music collaboration

Who is Torsten? He is diva, cherub and drunk, teetering in four inch spike heels through the detritus of broken Britain's dreams. Performance artist/writer Barney Ashton and singer Andy Bell have collaborated together on this song cycle, which is at…

Andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance

11 Aug 20143 stars

Highly amusing Edinburgh Fringe show about raw heartbreak eventually becomes easy to pre-empt

Hell hath no fury like Andrew Doyle dumped. Applying his typical cruel wit to the thoughts a recent break-up has left him with, he doesn’t just thoroughly shred his ex with that sharp tongue, it’s people who talk on trains, homophobes, children, readers…

Ablutions

11 Aug 20143 stars

FellSwoop Theatre perform deft but needless adap of Patrick deWitt's novel at the Edinburgh Fringe

Ablutions, adapted from the novel of the same name by Booker-nominated author Patrick DeWitt, has a straightforward, unflashy premise: a nameless barman reflects on his dead-end life, recounting the tales of his own alcoholic excesses and those of the…

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Abandoman: Hot Desk

11 Aug 20144 stars

Thoroughly entertaining and impressive hip hop improv show at Edinburgh Fringe

It seems that P Diddy has so little to do with his time that he has captured hip hop improvisers Rob Broderick and his band and set them the task of writing him a new album brimming with hits. Whether Diddy knows about this plan is beside the point.

The Philharmonic of Wit

11 Aug 20142 stars

Polish symphonic comedy troupe leave a lot to be desired in uneven and stilted show

There is more whimsy than wit in this uneven show from Poland's leading/only symphonic comedy troupe. While I can't deny the exceptional talent of the nineteen-piece orchestra, their hokey comedy shtick leaves a lot to be desired. It's a pity, as…

Croft & Pearce: Give and Take

11 Aug 20143 stars

Enjoyable hour of comedy in need of extra funny injection

One thing's for sure in this show, you can't fault Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce's skills as actors. They bring to life all of their diverse characters with absolute precision and conviction. Effortlessly changing from middle aged, middle class ladies…

Adian Goately: Films With My Dad

11 Aug 20142 stars

Affable and likeable raconteur of autobioigraphical tales and observational material

Aidan Goatley lives in Brighton, managed a pet shop, worked at a gay club and studied scriptwriting. The premise for this show is how, with all that in mind, he navigates a relationship with his traditionally masculine, navy engineer father. Hint: the…

Red Jungle Fowl

11 Aug 20142 stars

A school-trip to Brazil goes wrong in this disappointingly low-brow farce

A group of posh, sex-starved British teenagers and their uppity, vain teachers head over to Brazil during the 2014 World Cup to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream with impoverished favela children in this unlikely comedy drama from the Tea For Ten…

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Tom Toal in Prequel

11 Aug 20143 stars

Touching addition to the Daniel Kitson-esque heart-on-sleeve comedy subgenre at the Edinburgh Fringe

Ever since Daniel Kitson first shambled into view over a decade ago, the comedy circuit has become increasingly full of sensitive young men combining conventional stand-up with soul-searching ruminations on the nature of existence. But whereas Kitson…

Little On The Inside

11 Aug 20143 stars

Dynamic production and intense snapshot into life in a women's prison

Performed in the appropriately bleak environs of the Anatomy Theatre of Summerhall, this two-hander from Clean Break productions is a vigorous exploration of the relationship between two imprisoned women, A (Estella Daniels) and B (Sandra Reid). Written…

Goodbye Gunther

10 Aug 20144 stars

A hilarious and intelligent take on impending mortality at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Like the best clowns, Frank Wurzinger does not wear a red nose or big shoes. Instead, he evokes the pathos of human life through a self-conscious vulnerability, a mastery of characterisation and the occasional pratfall. Following the last hours of the…

Bridget Christie: An Ungrateful Woman

10 Aug 20144 stars

Gravitas with giggles by the barrel load at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Most comedians think they’ve got something important to say. But sitting in front of Bridget Christie, you get the sense that something fairly seismic is happening. In her own small way, she is handing women a set of empowering tools, opening men’s eyes…

Black Grace

10 Aug 20144 stars

Galvanising introduction to one of New Zealand’s finest at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

'Mighty impressive' would be among the first things to say about this collage of excerpts from the work of the Samoan choreographer Neil Iermia. Next would come words like dynamic, layered and propulsive. Black Grace was founded nearly two decades…