Theatre

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Antiquithon

2 Aug 20143 stars

A short, sharp spook story loaded with sideshow idiosyncrasies and occult ephemera

At only 30 minutes in length and £5 a pop, with up to five performances a day, Antiquithon is placed as the perfect show-between-shows. A short, sharp spook story loaded with sideshow idiosyncrasies, the tale unfolds in a cabinet de curiosité run by the…

Mark Ravenhill: Product

2 Aug 20144 stars

Media can make anything stupid

Mark Ravenhill’s scripts have a nasty bite: Product operates both as a satire on the ability of the media to make politics trivial and a provocative meditation on the paranoia surrounding the War on Terror. A fast-paced monologue, Product has Leah…

Siddhartha: The Musical

2 Aug 20144 stars

Incredibly enjoyable take on Hesse novel is both mesmerising and ridiculous

A Buddhist musical about spiritual enlightenment, with lasers, fireball projections, porn heels and pounding Euro beats? And it all began as a rehabilitation programme in a maximum security prison in Milan? It’s unlikely you’d imagine any of that, when…

The Fair Intellectual Club

2 Aug 20143 stars

Charming production of Lucy Porter play exploring true story of secret society ladies

Based on a true story, comedian/writer Lucy Porter's play on 'the loss of innocence' follows a trio of Edinburgh teenage girls' attempts over the course of one year (1717) to study subjects that were considered off-limits to the ''fair sex'', such as…

Donald Robertson Is Not a Stand-Up Comedian

2 Aug 20144 stars

Poignant, astute and hilarious coming-of-age comedy from Gary McNair

Coming-of-age comedy can be twee or cringeworthy. Not so with Donald Robertson Is Not a Stand-Up Comedian which explores the trials of boyhood and manhood with deadpan wit and a real even-handedness: it's a joyous thing indeed. Writer/performer Gary…

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Scratch: Lands of Glass

2 Aug 20143 stars

Fusing theatre and live music soundtrack beautifully

It’s the musical instruments that are the real stars of Newcastle-based Unfolding Theatre’s whimsical show – gleaming glass marimbas, bells, bottles and oversized brandy glasses that are struck, bowed or rubbed by the five-strong cast to produce the…

The Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F*cking Queens and a Duck

2 Aug 20144 stars

Filthy farce of vivid performances and an infectious sense of mounting hysteria

Filth, filth and more filth: Fringe stalwarts, Melbourne’s Out Cast Theatre, deliver a gleeful 50 minutes of breathtakingly inventive profanity as three bitchy queens attempt to stage Oscar Wilde’s ‘handbag’ play. It’s frenetically paced, pantomimey in…

Confirmation

1 Aug 20144 stars

Powerful exploration of confirmation bias at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Chris Thorpe's enthusiasm for battling demons has led him to this: sweating, growling, shouting, whipping his microphone lead around the stage like a tormented rock god, frustrated and angry, desperate to escape his own point of view but unwilling to…

Five reasons to go to Museum After Hours at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

1 Aug 2014

Experience the National Museum of Scotland as never before with some late night entertainment

Indulge in adult entertainment This sounds distinctly saucier than it is, but leave the kids at home so you can enjoy an array of live comedy, cabaret, music and theatre performers specifically aimed at over 18s. For three nights, the traditional…

Men in the Cities

1 Aug 20144 stars

Edinburgh Festival Fringe performer Chris Goode delivers a passionate monologue about masculinity

Standing in a spotlight, with 17 motionless electric fans behind him, Chris Goode delivers a monologue about men in the city, their stories interweaving into a broad tale of masculinity, sexuality and intimacy in the modern world. Goode’s writing is…

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Boxman

1 Aug 20142 stars

Edinburgh Fringe performer Ruaraidh Murray stays in his comfort zone of 'masculinity in crisis'

Brian’s wife has walked out, and he’s been fired. Lonely, mildly agoraphobic and casually paranoid, he fears that he’s at best ‘a loser’ and at worst ‘a nutter’. In reality he’s more of an under-confident soft touch with too much time on his hands…

The Curing Room

1 Aug 20144 stars

Bold, brave, powerfully disturbing Edinburgh Festival Fringe show about WW2 cannibalism

Seven actors performing a 90-minute drama entirely naked might draw the curious, but that isn’t even the bravest thing about this dark and at times distressing show – that accolade goes to the unflinching honesty and unashamedly unsensationalist way…

Sleeping Beauty

1 Aug 20144 stars

A dark and deeply personal take on the classic fairytale, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

If you thought you knew the fairy story, think again. Liverpool-born, Normandy-resident Colette Garrigan has a dark and deeply personal take on the well-worn tale, finding in it a bleakly lyrical vehicle for telling her own early life story in 80s…

Talk About Something You Like

1 Aug 20143 stars

A raw and sincere solo show about madness, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The show’s title refers to the fifth positive activity encouraged by doctors in the mental institution where solo performer Byron Vincent was once sectioned – but ironically, as he points out, that’s what got most of the residents put there in the first…

Crazy Glue

1 Aug 20143 stars

Physical theatre piece portraying the highs and lows of marriage, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Taking inspiration from the short story by Etgar Keret, Crazy Glue shows the ups and downs of life with Husband (Bradley Wayne Smith) and Wife (Filipa Tomas). This physical theatre piece has no spoken dialogue and instead relies on the actors’ mime…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…