Theatre, Previews, Issue 608

28 articles

Sorted by popularity / date

Office Party

31 Jul 2008

Party On

The medieval feast of fools was an event where established hierarchies were overturned, sexual and social proprieties were transgressed and the everyday laws of the culture were suspended. It’s the subject of academic study all over Europe, where…

Polish theatre

31 Jul 2008

Poles apart

Sitting in a picturesque café in the heart of Warsaw – Poland’s capital and largest city – it’s easy to forget the turbulent history that has shaped this country’s place in the world today. The city has long had a reputation as a vibrant playground…

InvAsian Festival

31 Jul 2008

Culture shock

When, earlier this year, a BBC executive lamented the continued dominance of a ‘liberal, white, middle class elite’ across British television, his words could equally have been applied to Edinburgh in August. For all the Fringe’s variety, the number of…

On the Waterfront - Steven Berkoff

31 Jul 2008

Fighting talk

Steven Berkoff’s position in the British theatre is a bit like that of the mysterious nail that seems to belong nowhere after you’ve constructed your Ikea bookshelf. On the face of it, he simply doesn’t belong, but somehow things don’t work without…

Stage Oddities

31 Jul 2008

Death By Chocolate ‘Interview the suspects, sample the chocolates, solve the crime’ is the pitch for this interactive murder mystery night. The setting is a chocolate-themed singles’ night; the audience are given notepads and pens and encouraged to…

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War and Conflict

31 Jul 2008

Theatre of war

There’s always a profit to be made from war. The black market proved lucrative during World War II for the sale of rationed chocolate, coffee and cigarettes, while oil companies such as Halliburton have been kept ticking over nicely by the recent…

Social networking

31 Jul 2008

Single files

Recent Pixar smash Wall-E imagines a future in which lumpen humans only engage with each other through computer screens. Worryingly, this seems all too plausible a prospect. Online interaction and social networking are two of this year’s Fringe hot…

Clubbing onstage

31 Jul 2008

Chemical Romance

As an experience that thrives on the spontaneity of the moment, and, often, some kind of altered state of consciousness, clubbing is a difficult subject to translate into drama. Since the mid-90s, the much-trumpeted drug movie or novel has largely…

Lough/Rain

31 Jul 2008

New writing explores themes of love and stoicism

The spirit of adventure brought to the Fringe by the Underbelly has always been about new work, but this year’s programme seems to lean, more than ever, towards new writing, above and beyond the usual array of physical and visual theatre. Notable among…

George Orwell's Coming Up for Air

31 Jul 2008

Adaptation of overlooked novel by born again Fringe virgin

On the eve of its 70th anniversary, one of George Orwell’s lesser-known novels has been adapted as a one-hour monologue to be performed by veteran Fringe actor and stand-up comedian Hal Cruttenden. Set in England in 1938, Coming Up For Air dramatises…

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The Bird & The Bee

31 Jul 2008

Powerful double bill tells tales of star-crossed lovers

The young, it is sometimes said, are society’s canaries in the mine, the first to sense when something has gone awry. Few could have failed to be moved by the strange and tragic events at Bridgend in Wales, where, in the months to June this year, 22…

The Six Wives of Timothy Leary

31 Jul 2008

High life

Timothy Leary’s place in history has long been assured. A tireless proponent of LSD, he enhanced his notoriety with a daring prison escape and life as a fugitive before recovering some of his glory in the techno-pagan 90s. Hollywood writers have…

Finished With Engines

31 Jul 2008

Attack Mode

Stephanie Viola and Drew Friedman, draped sleepily about a rehearsal room, don’t look much like wisecracking sailors with the power to blow up the world. It might be the jet lag. The New York-based actors, best known as founder members of the multi…

Vincent - Jim Jarrett

31 Jul 2008

Lasting impression

A one-man play about an iconic Dutch post-impressionist painter, scripted by the man best-known for playing a pointy-eared alien would be worth seeing for sheer curiosity value alone. What’s perhaps more surprising is that, since its first production in…

Theatre to stimulate the senses

31 Jul 2008

Far Up! Far Out! Far More!

Wanderlust This interactive club event returns audiences to the spirit of 1930s Berlin with its electrifying fusion of circus and cabaret, all administered by a ten-foot Fraulein. Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, 2–24 Aug (not 11), 11.30pm, £9–£10.50…

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Paperweight

31 Jul 2008

Near-silent play explores the soul vacuum of office life

‘We want to create something so dense that when people watch it everyone has an immediate response, or a response that trickles down a couple of days later while they’re still thinking about it,’ says Sébastien Lawson of theatre company Top Of The…

Scaramouche Jones

31 Jul 2008

Quintessential English hero finally arrives north of the border

Millennium Fever took hold at the end of the last century, with some people anticipating the end of the world and others a fresh start. But after two world wars, the demise of the British Empire, and dizzying technological advances, England seemed to be…

Surviving Spike

31 Jul 2008

The tortured genius behind the inspired comic lunacy

Surviving Spike promises to reveal the ‘tormented character that hid behind the public facade’. Audiences could be forgiven for assuming the blurb refers to the show’s star, Michael Barrymore, whose career was all but destroyed by revelations of the…

Free Outgoing

31 Jul 2008

True-life tale explores India’s traditional attitudes to sex

It was a real-life incident that prompted Chennai-based playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar to write Free Outgoing, which depicts a country’s anger when an Indian schoolgirl is filmed with a boy in her classroom. ‘I heard the girl’s family migrated…

Yasser

31 Jul 2008

Provocative character study with political overtones

‘This is a play which is political, without becoming partisan political,’ says director Teunkie van der Sluijs. ‘It was written just before 9/11, so it doesn’t have that lamenting post-9/11 outlook that now occurs in all forms of writing which deal with…

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Terminus

31 Jul 2008

Angels, demons and reincarnation from the master of the monologue

‘I still like the Catholic religion even though I don’t believe in God,’ says Mark O’Rowe, the Dublin master of the monologue. That may or may not explain why the latest play by the author of Howie the Rookie and Crestfall is what he calls a…

Lie of the Land

31 Jul 2008

Torben Betts’ fierce poetry finds its natural home on the Fringe

Many of us dream of a simpler existence in the countryside, but the sudden lack of people can be a shock to the system. Inspired by the personal nightmare that followed his own relocation from London, Torben Betts’ new play explores that sense of…

Dirt

31 Jul 2008

Sensitive inquiry into what it means to be an outsider

From the United States comes Dirt, a contemplative monologue that addresses racism. Originally written in German, Dirt tells the story of a 30-year-old Iraqi man who is grateful to live (albeit illegally) in an English-speaking city. Selling roses on…

The Burma Play - A Comedy of Terror

31 Jul 2008

Burma’s political nightmare, from colonial times to the present day

The Fringe may be brimming with comedians cracking gags at the expense of politicians, but it would be fair to presume that few, if any, have tried out their material under the watch of a police state. The Burma Play, however, was inspired by…

Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About A Girl He Once Loved

31 Jul 2008

Witty, sophisticated monologue speaks of first love

In his first solo show at the Fringe Stefan Golaszewski shares the funny side of falling in love at 18. As the writer/performer points out, the show describes ‘the massive mind-blowing experience of meeting someone who completely changes you.’ The…