Theatre

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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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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…

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…

Interview: Lior Kalfo of Voca People on how he survives the Edinburgh festivals

10 Aug 2014

Director of Voca People show talks about the highs and lows of August in the capital

Can you sum up your show in five words? Kalfo: Out-of-this-world musical experience For anyone still on the fence, what’s a surefire selling point? Kalfo: The best music this earth has to offer in an innovative comical-theatrical framework.

A Split Decision

10 Aug 20143 stars

Referendum debate as divorce comedy best taken as the bit of fun it’s meant to be

With so many commentators discussing the forthcoming independence referendum as a marriage in crisis, comedian Keir McAllister’s decision to stage the debate in a Relate consulting room makes a lot of sense. Inspired by Stanley Odd’s song, Marriage…

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Race by David Mamet

10 Aug 20144 stars

Mamet makes everyone uncomfortable at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Although the South African theatre at the Fringe in recent years has been acclaimed for its ability to give familiar Western plays an African twist, Race does not escape its American preoccupations with the conflict between black and white. Set in a law…

Horizontal Collaboration

10 Aug 20142 stars

David Leddy's latest play has an interesting concept but fails to deliver at the Edinburgh Fringe

David Leddy's new play is based on an intriguing conceit: four actors – different ones each night – take to the stage to read from a script they have never seen before. They are judges at a UN war tribunal, reading transcripts from witnesses involved in…

KlangHaus

10 Aug 20144 stars

The Neutrinos present a part gig, part promenade sound installation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

KlangHaus, the House of Sound, smells of antiseptic, is dimly lit, and echoes with the sounds of dark lounge music and clattering snare drums. Part gig, part promenade sound installation, KlangHaus is presented by The Neutrinos, ‘a female fronted…

Out of Water

10 Aug 20144 stars

Magical seaside evocation by Helen Paris and Caroline Wright, part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It's 6.30am. The Shipping Forecast plays through our headphones as we walk across Portobello beach to a group of mysterious figures waving and pointing out into the water, gently lit by the pinkish dawn sun. Music and narration in our ears merge with…

God's Own Country

10 Aug 20143 stars

Assured performance from Kyle Ross in adaptation of Ross Raisin's rural thriller

Rural idyll? Not here. Kyle Ross' adaptation of Ross Raisin's novel, where he takes the starring lead as young farmer Sam Marsdyke, is a monologue rich with imagery both bucolic and horrific. The set is simple, just a black box with straw around it…

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Mock Tudor

10 Aug 20142 stars

Satire on jobbing actor doing 16th century re-enactments at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Conceptually, Lily Bevan's Mock Tudor seems promising, a satire on the life of the jobbing actor doing 16th century re-enactments for tourists. Bevan (also starring as Sophie, who keeps missing cues and botching her Spanish accent when playing Catherine…

An Evening With Patti DuPont

10 Aug 20144 stars

Parody of the fawning biopic and celebrity documentary from member of The Boom Jennies

Anna Emerson’s debut solo show is the bottled essence of the Fringe. Not in the smug-bongo-drummers-tackling-racism-through-mime sense. In the best sense. Her show happens up a stairway, in a makeshift theatre during a restaurant mid-renovation. The…

Hancock's Last Half Hour

10 Aug 20144 stars

Touching deathbed biopic of comedy genius Tony Hancock, staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

When Tony Hancock relocated to Australia in 1968, it was to be where he spent his final days. Heathcote Williams' play examines these last moments, with Pip Utton reviving the title character. In a hotel bedroom littered with discarded newspapers and…

Haggis Haggis Haggis

10 Aug 20144 stars

An easy-going illustrated lecture for all the family from a witty and charming host

Although this production wears its corporate sponsorship on its sleeve - MacSween provide both the inspiration and the free snacks, Stuart Delves makes Scotland’s national dish more playful than its reputation suggest. Looking at both the myths - they…

Binôme – Souris Chaos

10 Aug 20143 stars

Frenetic French obesity farce staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The ‘chaos mouse’ of the title is one that’s been genetically modified so that certain brain receptors controlling appetite and pleasure are never satisfied – part of a scientific experiment looking at the causes of human obesity. It’s quite a leap from…