Theatre

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Manuelita

7 Aug 20143 stars

An Edinburgh Festival Fringe retelling of the South American revolutions through a forgotten voice

Manuelita is an exuberant character in jodhpurs and hand tailored military coat who greets the audience at the door and does not shy from dropping into the occasional lap to recount her sadly forgotten adventures with the Latin American revolutionary…

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

8 Aug 20144 stars

Audacious project of 30 plays in one hour is superbly executed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

American collective The Neo-Futurists could be the ultimate contradiction: high-minded slackers with rockets up their asses. An audacious project, where a cast perform thirty 'plays' in an hour, this has the vibe of a happening, where the…

Chatroom

8 Aug 20144 stars

Intense and dramatic production of Enda Walsh’s cyber-bullying tale at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Irish writer Enda Walsh’s name on the poster isn’t always cause for optimism; for every inspirational item like Once, there’s tiresome self-indulgence like Penelope. No Prophet Theatre have chosen to revive his 2005 play, a timely and direct…

Sister

8 Aug 20144 stars

Empowering performance art exploring female sexual identity, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Sister is a bold autobiographical performance told by sisters Amy and Rosana Cade as they explore issues of female sexual identity, sexual expression and choice. The show is frank and revealing both emotionally and physically; the sisters start the show…

RIVERRUN

8 Aug 20144 stars

Spectacular Joycean monologue by Irish theatre-maker Olwen Fouéré, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Whatever one makes of RIVERRUN, Olwen Fouéré ’s adaptation of parts of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, one must applaud the attempt. Fouéré, one of Ireland’s leading theatre-makers, has brought to the theatre a text that some consider impossible to read…

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Kraken

8 Aug 20144 stars

Creator of cult hit Squidboy returns with gripping mime performance to transfix the audience

Who needs actions when you’ve got words? Or in the case of Kraken, who needs words when you’ve got actions, specifically the transfixing mime of New Zealand’s Trygve Wakenshaw? Also the creator of cult hit Squidboy, and, like the mythical…

A Slight Ache

8 Aug 20144 stars

Twinges of Pinter in impeccably performed play exploring suburban paranoia

Nobody did suburban paranoia as well as Harold Pinter, and this is a fine example: on the longest day of the year, Edward and his wife Flora (comedy actors Thom Tuck and Catriona Knox, respectively) bicker. They initially seem well-matched; Edward is a…

Juvenalia

8 Aug 20143 stars

Ancient antagonist brought into 21st century by Simon Callow at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

When Simon Callow first performed Juvenal's Satires, he was a young man: returning to the words of the Roman poet as an older man, and part of the theatrical establishment, he shares a respectable status and seniority with the writer. Although he never…

Blood Orange

8 Aug 20143 stars

Electric Theatre Workshop explore pressures of Instagram perfection and rise of the far right in UK

In this high energy performance Electric Theatre Workshop dramatise the fall out of a chemically fuelled night. The script is a unique blend of vulgar realism and almost Shakespearean allegory. With little dialogue, events are narrated by the young…

So What If I Dance?

8 Aug 20142 stars

Original show deconstructing stripping fails to develop characters or issues presented

Over the past few years, plays about lap-dancing have spread across the Fringe. Some of them warn about the dangers; others, like So What If I Dance? are more positive. Most of these pieces come under autobiographical theatre, adding an element of…

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God is in My Typewriter

8 Aug 20143 stars

Anguished bio drama based on Anne Sexton falls in to trap of cliched acting at the Edinburgh Fringe

It was almost inevitable that, in choosing to give over a theatre space to a series of monodramas, Hill Street Theatre would find itself programming at least a couple of bio plays about terribly troubled lives. God is in My Typewriter, in which…

Zelda: The Last Flapper

8 Aug 20143 stars

Great acting hampered by conventional script at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Zelda Fitzgerald, the writer and wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, lived a life which was far from the image of the carefree " flappers " of the Roaring Twenties. As we discover in William Luce's play, in which award-

Woyzeck!

8 Aug 20142 stars

Time Zone Theatre's take on Büchner’s unfinished classic lacks precision

Discovered unfinished at the time of his death, Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck’s fragmentary beauty has become a touchstone for theatrical experimentation since its premiere in 1913. It is not unsurprising then that Time Zone Theatre would select it as the…

Lippy

7 Aug 20144 stars

Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd direct stylish, sensitive true story adap for Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In 2000, four women died in a house in Leixlip, near Dublin. An elderly aunt and her three nieces starved themselves to death in what appeared to be a suicide pact. Little is known about why they did it. There is simply not enough information to…

How to Disappear Completely

7 Aug 20144 stars

Honest, intimate autobiographical play about assisted suicide, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Itai Erdal explains to the audience that when he was young, he wanted to be a documentary film maker but became a lighting designer. Using projected film clips and over seventy lighting cues this show utilises both his passion and his profession to…

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According To His Need

7 Aug 20142 stars

Bachelor infiltrates socialist party to get laid in this Edinburgh Festival Fringe production

Show me yours, I'll show you mine: relationships as transactions are not a new idea and sex often plays a crucial role when partners negotiate their needs. In According To His Need, hobby socialist Nick joins the party to finally score again. He meets…

MacBraveheart: The Other Scottish Play

7 Aug 20144 stars

A blend of Macbeth and Braveheart with a political satire edge at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

As the title suggests, this play brings together the stories of Macbeth and Braveheart in a comedy that blends historical drama with current political satire. After a drink of the scared swally (Buckfast) a witch convinces William Wallace, against…

The Domino Effect

7 Aug 20143 stars

Touching collaborative drama from Fin Kennedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Playwright Fin Kennedy has produced some astonishingly mature, resonant work with the girls of Tower Hamlets’ Mulberry School in recent Fringes, in shows such as Mehndi Night and the Fringe First-winning The Unravelling. Their latest collaboration has a…

Forgotten Voices

7 Aug 20143 stars

Well-written and performed WWI drama undermined by poor staging at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Using extracts from the sound archive at the Imperial War Museum, Forgotten Voices presents five oral testimonies of peoples experiences of the Great War. The stories follow three soldiers of varying rank, a woman munitions worker whose husband is in…

Pomme is French for Apple

7 Aug 20144 stars

A funny and insightful series of Caribbean vagina monologues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Pomme may be French for apple, but in Jamaican slang Pum Pum means something entirely different. Striving to be a universal comment about women’s lives through culture rather than anything specifically feminist, this two-hander explores the trials and…

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Spine

7 Aug 20144 stars

Stunning one-woman play exploring frustrations with youth and power at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In Spine, Amy recounts her strange friendship with Mrs Glenda, begun on the night she left home bruised and covered in blood, looking for somewhere to stay. Both Amy and eccentric bibliophile kleptomaniac Glenda are brought stunningly to life by Rosie…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: The Duck Pond

7 Aug 2014

WithWings Theatre Company buy some easy exposure for their Swan Lake adap with a rubber duckie

There was no way the invasion-based bribe trend could continue, so after visits from an inept waiter and Death himself, we were relieved to receive a modest rubber duck bribe from Wings Theatre Company. It came with a rustic hand-written label and show…

Shock theatre troupe Ontroerend Goed return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

6 Aug 2014

'Whores, liars, princesses' - new show Sirens tackles women's representation

Ontroerend Goed’s reputation as theatre’s shock troop is well established. Whether dealing with adolescent alienation, speed dating, political disenfranchisement or the apathy of the audience, they seem determined to attack presumptions and present a…

Olaudah Equiano: The Enslaved African

6 Aug 20143 stars

Direct, powerful and brutal depiction of slavery, staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

With the strident Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave to clear the way, writer/director Adam Tulloch unearths another true story of repression and subjugation with Equianio (Jonathan Luwagga), who is kidnapped at the age of 11 and sold into slavery alongside…

Interview: Erasure's Andy Bell on attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

6 Aug 2014

The vocalist stars in 'raving, sexy' song cycle Torsten the Bareback Saint

Can you sum up your show in five words? Raving, sexy, bloody good yarn! For anyone still on the fence, what’s a surefire selling point? I wear black sequinned hot pants and heelless black crystal stilettos. What part of the Edinburgh festival do…