Theatre, Reviews, Laura Ennor

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Miriam Margolyes - Dickens' Women

22 Aug 20123 stars

Appealing biographical show in the company of a true pro

Yelling with that unmistakeable voice and accompanied by the oh-so-refined tinkly piano of Benjamin Lee, Miriam Margolyes staggers onto the stage in the person of sozzled layer-out of the dead Mrs Gamp, from Martin Chuzzlewit. It’s a charming, gentle…

Meine faire Dame - ein Sprachlabor

16 Aug 20123 stars

Radical reimagining of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady gives much food for thought

Sitting down in the audience for Swiss director Christoph Marthaler's Meine faire Dame is something akin to entering a conversation class in a language you have no knowledge of. At first, it's completely baffling and you doubt you'll ever make sense of…

Death Boogie

10 Aug 20122 stars

Political hip hop poetry musical is all sound and fury

Death Boogie is a political hip hop musical, performed by a dancing poet-rapper rhyming over his own beatbox loops, a double bass player and violinist, all against a backdrop of comic-strip visuals peppered with WHOAs, BIFFs and BOOYAKASHs. Sound like a…

Belt Up Theatre’s A Little Princess

9 Aug 20122 stars

Unengaging adaptation of a timeworn classic

Young York company Belt Up Theatre have been the toast of the Fringe in recent years for their immersive, intensive renditions of stories new and old, but it feels like things have gone off the boil slightly with this staging of Frances Hodgson…

Petya and the Wolf

7 Aug 20123 stars

Childlike in chaotic naiivety but enough depth to entertain all

Two Russian actors present this idiosyncratic physical retelling of the familiar tale of how Peter outsmarts the hungry wolf, soundtracked by a recording of the Prokofiev score with English narration. Although the story is simple enough for all ages to…

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Eat $hit: How Our Waste Can Save the World

7 Aug 20123 stars

A(n extremely odd) musical with an infectious message

The Poop Project are here to talk to you about your poo – loudly, clearly, and with songs and jazz hands. And if you’re the squeamish sort, it’s even more imperative that you listen. Let’s be straight: the five performers in this show aren’t the…

Would Be Nice Though...

6 Aug 20124 stars

Interactive show that skewers the job interviews process

Ever been to a job interview, looked around, and thought, ‘If this is the competition, God help me if I’m not in with a chance?’ Such thoughts may pass through your mind as you enter a real George Street office and are ushered through various stages of…

Chapel Street

6 Aug 20124 stars

Snappy double monologue delivered with panache

This exuberant new piece by Luke Barnes plays as two monologues: a boy and a girl stand side-by-side, the narrative snapping breathlessly back and forth between them as their worlds draw closer and closer and ultimately collide in the messy climax to a…

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

25 Apr 20123 stars

Comedy about republicanism, terrorists and dead cats follows predictable arc

A comedy about republicanism, terrorists, and dead cats that’s more fun than it sounds, The Lieutenant of Inishmore displays Martin McDonagh’s talent for harnessing the comic potential in those peculiarly Irish turns of phrase. Many of the play’s best…

The Marriage of Figaro

28 Mar 20124 stars

DC Jackson breathes new life into Beaumarchais’ 18th-century original

With this energetic adaptation of Beaumarchais’ 18th-century original, DC Jackson has breathed fresh life into a classic. It’s a good-humoured, good-time show, with just enough emotional power up its sleeve (plus a few other surprises) to make you feel…

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Of Mice and Men

27 Feb 20123 stars

Quietly shocking aftertaste of Lyceum Steinbeck adaptation

Director John Dove breaks his run of eminently solid productions of Arthur Miller plays at the Lyceum with this solid adaptation of John Steinbeck. And in a similar style to shows like 2010’s The Price, the sets here are towering, intricate and…

Medea

23 Aug 20112 stars

Modern-edged take let down by cast

Critical Mass theatre’s modern-edged take on Euripides’ story of the woman who killed her children never quite delivers the emotional clout promised by its heart-wrenching storyline. Stella Duffy’s script is gutsy and raw, but delivered unimaginatively…

Devotion

23 Aug 20112 stars

Incredible performances hindered by weak story

Insofar as it attempts to convey the depth of feeling engendered by the traditions and solemn ceremony of the bullfight, Devotion just about succeeds, powered by two stunningly intense performances from its male leads. However its story is too slight…

Crunch

17 Aug 20114 stars

Cunning manipulation of attitudes to money

A theatrical performance acutely parodying motivational lectures, or an actual motivational lecture? Gary McNair is playing with his audience, and they’re probably not the type who thought they were susceptible to such things. They probably think…

The Tour Guide

16 Aug 20112 stars

A tour guide going off the rails on real Edinburgh tour bus

A real Edinburgh tour bus, a real leaflet with a route map and all the sights, a real MacTours uniform, and an actor playing a tour guide who’s going off the rails. But the ripe potential of having an audience who are literally captive – not to mention…

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The Star Child

16 Aug 20113 stars

Sweet piece of storytelling theatre

Fairytale fun and a cautionary but light tale about the dangers of vanity from nimble young ensemble Tell Tale Theatre, who have created a sweet piece of storytelling theatre, marred only by the odd bit of stilted delivery. In a small space they…

Oedipus by Steven Berkoff (after Sophocles)

11 Aug 20113 stars

Archly stylised production from a contrary master

Steven Berkoff has written, directed and taken a key role in this quasi-modern retelling of one of Greek mythology’s most notorious plots, and it’s got his contrary stamp all over it. An odd and stylised production set around a huge, long, Last…

I Hope My Heart Goes First

8 Aug 20114 stars

Remarkable young company delves into matters of the heart

If you want to know what it feels like to watch this show, you could do worse than to listen to the song from whose lyrics it takes its title – Cardiff indie-poppers Los Campesinos’ ‘We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed’ – a four-minute scrunched-up ball of…

The Table

8 Aug 20114 stars

Puppet show silliness backed up by serious skill

Blind Summit are a company of puppetry geeks, with the triptych of pieces that make up The Table, they’ve made a show that lovingly reflects that. They’re also a company with a great sense of fun, and happily this hour-and-a-bit more than embodies that…

Roar

8 Aug 20114 stars

Stylish, sexy romp is frequently hilarious but not without emotion

If you want your ‘sexy romp’ boxes ticked, this is the place to do it. Dumbshow’s Roar is a stylish, exuberant tale of gin-soaked 17th-century wenches led by a ‘Moll Cutpurse’ channelling Beyoncé in full-on she-lion mode. Bawdy, slick and…

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Radio Deluxembourg

8 Aug 20111 star

Parodic retro-kitsch with utterly unfunny script and weary cast

A parodic retro-kitsch adventure in which a twee sibling pop duo are kidnapped by an evil alien overlord and forced to perform radio plays on his intergalactic frequency could work, but here it doesn’t. More foot in mouth than tongue in cheek, the cast…

Mother Courage and Her Children

18 Mar 20113 stars

Birds of Paradise production of resonant Brecht classic

The depressing thing about Brecht is that his plays never go out of date. At a time when Western governments stand accused of propping up corrupt dictatorships with a lucrative arms trade, his black comedic musical on the commodification of war and the…

The Snow Queen

15 Dec 20103 stars

Lyceum Christmas production as bold and bumptious as any panto

Dear festive theatre-goer, don’t let yourself be misled this Christmas. (And no, we don’t mean about Father Christmas.) Don’t be taken in by the sleek, icy blue publicity for this year’s Lyceum Christmas production – for this show is as bold and…

Spring Awakening unites Douglas Maxwell, Grid Iron and Traverse

3 Nov 20104 stars

Frank Wedekind's attack on sexually-oppressive culture relocated from Germany to Calvinist Scotland

Boldly returning to Frank Wedekind’s original play in the wake of the enormous success of the Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening, Douglas Maxwell, together with Grid Iron and the Traverse, has created a fresh, creative and relevant new adaptation…

Romeo and Juliet

22 Sep 20103 stars

As the prologue foretelling the deaths of the most iconic of lovers is spoken, we see them, statuesque in an embrace, their now reconciled families laying wreaths at their feet. With this opening, and the almost universal knowledge of how this story…