Theatre

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: top 5 Free Fringe theatre shows

29 Jul 2014

Featuring Death Shall Have No Dominion, Playback Impro and The Secret Life of Francis Bacon

Death Shall Have No Dominion WWI meets Richard III as this Welsh company looks at how easily reputations can be destroyed on the battlefield. Divided into two parts, it follows the tale of Shakespeare’s delicious villain and a Welsh battalion accused…

The Collector 

31 Jul 20142 stars

Edinburgh Fringe satire set in the aftermath of the Gulf War suffers from pedestrian direction

Despite three strong central performances, and a twisting plot that explores the moral compromises made by both Iraqis and Americans in the aftermath of the Gulf War, The Collector loses much of its impact due to its pedestrian direction. Following…

The weird and wonderful musical theatre shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

30 Jul 2014

Shows including UCAS, Bonded by Blood, Jack and I and Nando's and Nandon'ts

We’re used to how ridiculous the Fringe can get. We’ve all accidentally ended up in a show with eighteen naked Australians throwing paint on a woman wearing a nappy. Still, serial killers, and chicken restaurants, getting the musical theatre treatment?

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: the lasting influence of All Quiet on the Western Front

31 Jul 2014

Tony Bradman, Christina Bellingen and Guy Masterson discuss different approaches to WWI

Banned by the Nazis and immortalised in the 1930 film adaptation, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the greatest anti-war books of the 20th century. First published in 1929, excellent translations from the original German…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Eva O’Connor on abortion drama My Name is Saoirse

31 Jul 2014

'Society is catching up with what women want. It’s not even feminism. It’s just equality'

Eva O’Connor’s new play, set in her native Ireland in the late 1980s, deals with an issue that could hardly be more profoundly personal to those whom it affects, nor more politically incendiary. Like countless other teenagers, the protagonist of My Name…

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Edinburgh International Festival 2014 interview: Bruce Gladwin discusses Ganesh Versus the Third Reich

31 Jul 2014

The elephant-headed Hindu god sets out to rescue the swastika from the Nazis

Bertolt Brecht's innovation as a director was to encourage performances to unpick the magical trappings of theatre and remind audiences that what they are watching is neither real nor inevitable. Hoping to detach the spectator from a passive, emotional…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: theatremaker Gary McNair

31 Jul 2014

McNair explores the dark side of comedy with Donald Robertson Is Not a Stand-Up Comedian

Gary McNair’s new show for the Traverse, Donald Robertson Is Not a Stand-Up Comedian, blurs theatre and stand-up comedy to hilarious and often moving effect, tackling issues of affirmation, bullying and identities lost and rediscovered. Teenager…

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014: discussion events on modern arts and culture

31 Jul 2014

Featuring input from poet Ron Butlin, theatremaker Rachel Chavkin and artist Alec Finlay

As well as their by now renowned performance and visual arts programme during the festival, multi-arts venue and former veterinary college Summerhall will also be showcasing a number of discussions and workshops about topical subjects in arts and…

Outings

31 Jul 20143 stars

Uplifting and unchallenging verbatim piece about LGBTQ experiences, performed at Edinburgh Fringe

Outings is cheerful and at times poignant celebration of how far LGBTQ rights have come in the UK. The selections of stories, far from being anguished tales of parental rejection, are mostly upbeat, as friends and relations disappoint expectations of…

Wingman

31 Jul 20143 stars

Richard Marsh's latest Edinburgh Festival Fringe show is a poignant and witty father-son drama

The third in Richard Marsh’s trilogy of poetic plays – previous entries saw him struggling with love and maturity – is a bold meditation of the crisis of masculinity, as Richard finally reunites with his absent father – just as he becomes a father…

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The Post Show

31 Jul 20143 stars

A broad slapstick pastiche of high art insecurity at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

The painful tradition of the post-show discussion is ripe for deconstruction: playing on the vanity of the artists, it invariably becomes a dreary round of predictable questions and self-satisfied responses. Under the guise of the Shallow Scream…

Early Doors

31 Jul 20143 stars

Interactive Edinburgh Festival Fringe show is a well-written love letter to the local boozer

Early Doors starts as an interactive pub takeover. The cast, already in character, knock aside the fourth wall and welcome unsuspecting punters into the family-run Jinglin' Geordie on Fleshmarket Close. The usual suspects – the lothario barman, thuggish…

Broke

31 Jul 20142 stars

Some sharp writing can't save this incoherent debtor play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Beginning with snippets of dialogue taken from real interviews with men and women who suffer with debt problems, Broke’s rapid fire delivery is disorientating and alienating. Despite the clear subject matter – the pain of financial failure – the jarring…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Snoutology for Beginners

31 Jul 2014

Hijinx Theatre win premium exposure for their live-like-a-dog production

Following Struan Logan's thoughtful and considerate, er, rock, we were after something a bit less philosophical. Hijinx Theatre challenged the permanence of geological fragments with the impermanence of flimsy head-based props – their hairband dog-ears…

All Back To Bowie’s set to tackle Scottish referendum debate at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Unique take on the Scottish referendum debate through Bowie-themed musical and political salon

February 2014: David Bowie wins a Brit Award and uses the occasion to appeal – via a proxy, who just happens to be Kate Moss – ‘Scotland, stay with us’. Some idiots threaten to bin their Bowie collections but playwright David Greig, who describes his…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: actor/playwright Michael Puzzo on The Dirty Talk

30 Jul 2014

'I don't think you can put a label on it. It is not a light piece, but I think it is funny'

Michael Puzzo was already an established actor with the New York-based Labyrinth company when he finally turned his hand to playwrighting. 'The writers were always encouraging me to write, but I was worried that it would be shit,' he laughs. 'But every…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: David Leddy offers a double whammy of political intrigue and horror

30 Jul 2014

The Scottish theatremaker returns to the Fringe with Horizontal Collaboration and City of the Blind

David Leddy is looking for actors. As his new play, Horizontal Collaboration, requires a fresh cast of four for every performance, he needs about 120 of them to see him through the Fringe. And no one can do it twice. Leddy, whose works include the…

Big Red Bath & The Snow Dog children's theatre shows set for 2014 Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Double helping of imaginative fun for kids by Full House Theatre to include a live husky on stage

Full House Theatre has been devising family theatre for more than ten years, and this year it’s bringing illustrated children’s book Big Red Bath to the stage. Over the last decade, Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds’ book has become a modern classic with…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Simon Reade on Private Peaceful

30 Jul 2014

The director discusses Michael Morpurgo's WWI tale and 'Michael Gove's jingoistic revisionism'

To mark the centenary of the beginning of World War I, Scamp Theatre's award-winning adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful makes a welcome return to the Fringe. Charting the life of young soldier Tommo Peaceful (Andy Daniel), a Devon-born…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Theatre Ad Infinitum's George Mann on Light

30 Jul 2014

‘There seems to be this weird complacency about surveillance, a lack of urgency or alarm'

Though equally brilliant, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s last two Fringe shows couldn’t have been more different: 2011’s Translunar Paradise was an exquisite, romantic piece of mime, while last year’s Ballad of the Burning Star was a bold, brash cabaret act…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Colette Garrigan on Sleeping Beauty

30 Jul 2014

The Ken Loach-inspired reinterpretation deals with gritty issues of drugs, abuse and delinquency

‘I ended up putting myself at the centre of my own fairy story. What comes across in this show is me as a teenager, growing up in a broken home in Liverpool, and all these years later living and working as a puppeteer in France. How did that happen?…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Pete Livingstone and Nina Kareis on Klip

30 Jul 2014

The pair, from Danish company Livingstones Kabinet, experiment with anarchic live sketches

By inviting potential audiences to discover 'what happens inside the head of a chicken', and how to 'dance a meat advert', Livingstones Kabinet are claiming the surreal, comic high ground that trails back through British comedy, like the…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Lucy Benson-Brow discusses Cutting off Kate Bush

30 Jul 2014

'I vividly remember "Wuthering Heights" ... Her music lends itself so well to dramatisation'

With Kate Bush touring for the first time in 35 years, Cutting off Kate Bush arrives at the right time. Lucy Benson-Brown channels the Gothic undertones of Bush’s music to create a new take on family politics. Young Kathy has had to return home and is…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Tamsin Clarke on Manuelita

30 Jul 2014

Manuela Saenz, lover of revolutionary Simon Bolivar, is 'part fact, part fiction and full of fancy'

'As a South American, you somehow automatically know about Simon Bolivar,’ says Tamsin Clarke. 'He is a hero and an ingrained part of history. However, I had never heard about Manuela Saenz. She was supposedly his lover and companion for many…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 intervew: Bryan Burroughs on Beowulf the Blockbuster

30 Jul 2014

'The audience and I can meet each other and hopefully take this journey with this boy and his Da'

Following its acclaimed run at the 2013 Dublin International Festival, Beowulf the Blockbuster has its UK debut at the Fringe this year. Written and performed by Irish Times Award-winning actor Bryan Burroughs, his dynamic solo performance repurposes…