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Breakfast Plays: A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity

20 Aug 20134 stars

Douglas Maxwell's script finally proves that swearing is both big and clever

Although a barrage of f-words and c-words is a tough call first thing in the morning, Douglas Maxwell’s plea for a more tolerant attitude to bad language is hidden beneath a fast-paced and witty comedy. Following one woman’s attempt to come to terms…

Holes by Tom Basden

20 Aug 20133 stars

New comedy that suffers from a crisis of identity

A Plane crash, office politics and the fate of mankind are just three of the themes that litter Tom Basden’s Holes, a new comedy that maroons a bunch of misfits on a deserted island. But, while it begins as a comedy, it soon gives way to something much…


20 Aug 20132 stars

Narcissistic interpretation of Kafka’s seminal text

The tantalising mixture of traditional Peking style opera, beautiful set design, and multimedia projections by Ethan Wang sounds like a play befitting the International Festivals Art and Technology theme, a special treat for the open-minded enthusiast.

Dustpan Odyssey

20 Aug 20134 stars

Kitchen utensils take a life of their own in inventive recounting of Homer's Odyssey

Philippe Genty’s puppetering company has gained international renown thanks to its imaginative use of a wide range of cultural influences and upbeat performances that captures the audience’s full attention. His latest piece ‘Dustpan Odyssey’ is a…

Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model

21 Aug 20133 stars

Bryony Kimmings and her neice Taylor set out to create worthwhile popstar Catherine Bennett

Self-professed self-obsessed performance artist Bryony Kimmings set herself a tricky task when, while looking after her nine-year-old niece, she decided to design a show around her. Actually, what Kimmings and her niece, Taylor, did was create a…

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Stuart: A Life Backwards

21 Aug 20134 stars

A touching meeting of minds in adaptation of Alexander Masters’ acclaimed story

The tale of an unlikely friendship, which blossoms in the most unlikely of situations, Stuart: A Life Backwards has leapt from book to TV film to stage, making a smooth transition at every turn. Partly, this is because of the quality of writing and…

The Three Lions

21 Aug 20134 stars

A satirical stab at the power of politics, celebrity and notoriety

Set in a hotel in Zurich in December 2010, William Gaminara’s The Three Lions presents an imagined account of what happened during England’s failed bid for the 2018 World Cup. However, the focus of this piece isn’t on the politics of the bid but on the…

Tourniquet 2013

21 Aug 20134 stars

Belgian company Abattoir Fermé offer some unsettling, nightmarish sessions

Tourniquet contains all the ingredients of dark European visual theatre: nudity, ritualistic behaviour, a preoccupation with the startling image over precise meaning and a fascination with taboo subjects. Here DIY exorcism forms the basis for a lengthy…


20 Aug 20133 stars

A comedic take on Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds by physical theatre company Jammy Voo

In the half-light live four elderly women, old-fashioned spectacles casting shadows across their faces, birds’ eggs nestled in their hair and white splashes of bird excrement running down their shoulders. Around them are clumps of bird feathers and, in…

Squally Showers

20 Aug 20132 stars

Little Bulb's kitsch 80s satire is lacking in quality material

Little Bulb’s previous Fringe entries were surprising hits that offered a bold, witty approach to theatre. Their musical about a Christian rock band, Operation Greenfield, was charming and adventurous. This time, the company are looking back to the…

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The Diary of a Dress

20 Aug 20132 stars

An unmemorable memoir directed by Hillary Wood as part of ‘Discover Georgia in Edinburgh’

Georgia is justly renowned for the lyricism and boldness of its theatre, and the skill of its actors. So, Tamara Bartaia’s one-woman play The Diary of a Dress, which is performed by young actress Tamara Bziava and directed by Hillary Wood as part of the…

Major Tom

20 Aug 20134 stars

A funny look at people's competitive nature and the judgemental society we live in

Performer Victoria Melody got the idea of entering her basset hound Major Tom into competitions but quickly became disheartened by how low he scored with judges. Another brain wave hits: she too will enter competitions, but as a beauty queen. The play…

We Will Be Free

16 Aug 20134 stars

Charming resurrection of folk theatre tradition, with political insight to boot

Mummers plays – informal folk performances with hundreds of years of British history – are seeing something of a renaissance in smaller British theatres, with Townsend Productions leading the charge. The chandeliers of the Assembly Rooms Ballroom jar…

Jerry & Tom

16 Aug 20133 stars

Tarantino-esque hitman dramedy

There’s a shiver that runs down every critic’s spine when s/he hears the name ‘Tarantino’ in reference to a stage production. This word is invariably not used to describe something the Hollywood director has actually written; rather, it is shorthand for…

Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade

16 Aug 20134 stars

The Balkan bad boys go straight to Hell in this unmissable comedy sequel

After the dramatic finale of their previous adventure, Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade, accompanies the infamous brothers on an unforgettable journey to the underworld that tests their unique brotherly bond to its limit. A mixture of physical…

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Shit-faced Shakespeare

16 Aug 20133 stars

Enjoyable contrast between robustly delivered performance and cackhandedly mangled drama

Of all the comedy twists the works of the Bard have been given over the years, this inspired one is a potentially perfect fit for a late night at the Fringe. The idea is simple: a Shakespeare play is staged in an entirely serious manner by the cast…


16 Aug 20133 stars

An insight into murderers' minds

Bathed in harsh white spotlights, three of Britain’s most notorious killers – Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Peter Sutcliffe – sit in front of the audience, reading letters they’ve written to admirers from their prisons or secure hospitals. But if you’re…

Esio Trot

16 Aug 20134 stars

Delightful Roald Dahl adaptation by Cambridge students

Roald Dahl’s tale of two lonely people brought together by a tortoise was adapted for the stage by Cambridge University’s Ryan Ammar and brought to Edinburgh by the Uni’s ADC Theatre. The script bolsters the slight story by amping up the villainy and…

[Title of Show]

16 Aug 20134 stars

Upbeat meta musical about the realities of creating a Broadway production

The trials and tribulations of a group of young performers in New York form the basis of the UK premiere of Patch of Blue’s [Title of Show]. Written in just three weeks for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, this 'musical about two guys writing a…

The Prima Party Scrapbook

16 Aug 20131 star

A messy performance lacking coherent narrative

Matthew Squance attempts to reconstruct a drug-fuelled London party in this chaotic, uncomfortable one-man show. On entering the venue, the audience are all handed a pair of glowsticks – and this, unfortunately, is the most exciting thing to happen in…

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Wot? No Fish!

16 Aug 20133 stars

Danny Braverman's lecture about his Jewish family is cleverly constructed and perfectly paced

Danny Braverman is the perfect host, welcoming us to his lecture theatre with a fishball, passing round the accompanying beetroot and horseradish sauce. He explains that this condiment is traditional in Jewish culture and that it sums up Jewish history…

Now Leasing

15 Aug 20133 stars

An hour with an idiosyncratic artist and tales from her journeys

A solo show that sits comfortably as both theatrical monologue and variety show – Lea McGowan is as adept at acrobats as acting out episodes from her biography – Now Leasing is a cheerful canter through the life of an artist. While she doesn't handle…

The Year I Was Gifted

15 Aug 20132 stars

An uninvolving year at theatre school

Writer and performer Monica Bauer chronicles her single year spent at a performing arts school. Her journey to the school is fraught, involving lies about her musical abilities, desperate applications for money to cover the fees, and the final loan of…

Rosana Cade, Unfinished Business and Harry Giles present shows at Forest Fringe 2013

14 Aug 2013

Let a mix of intimate shows and experimental installations push your performance boundaries

After a two-year break, the always-intriguing Forest Fringe has returned in the form of an imaginative creative occupation of the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith. Drop into the former military building (positioned slightly away from the central…

Artaud: A Trilogy

14 Aug 20132 stars

Yesterday's shocking provocation becomes today's saucy romp

Although The Lincoln Company may not have caught the spirit of Artaud - it's difficult to imagine his impact, since he was writing before the internet made nudity and blasphemy accessible - this student company certainly enjoy the signifiers. A naughty…