Anna Millar

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New artistic director for National Theatre of Scotland announced

24 Oct 2012

Laurie Sansom of Northampton's Royal and Derngate will replace Vicky Featherstone in March

Following much speculation and anticipation, the new artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland has been announced. Laurie Sansom will succeed Vicky Featherstone when she leaves in December to take up her new role at the Royal Court Theatre…

Bob Downe . . . Smokin'

22 Aug 20122 stars

Style over substance

From the minute he pirouettes onto stage all 70s gear, mega-watt grin and fake blonde hair, it’s clear Aussie’s ‘clown prince of polyester’ is having a ball, as he knocks out one karaoke hit after another and embarks on some name-that-tune competitions.

Clinton The Musical

17 Aug 20123 stars

Ex-president inspires high-energy, catchy musical from talented ensemble

Former United States president Bill Clinton should offer any theatre production – let alone an all-singing, all-dancing musical – some great inspiration for material is a given. But, from his inauguration through to his sexual relations with ‘that…

Man 1 Bank 0

17 Aug 20123 stars

Patrick Combs takes on the money men

Half the challenge of putting on a great show at the Fringe is about finding a great story, and Patrick Combs certainly has that. Better still, it’s true. A young man, with a sea of credit card debt, deposits a $95,093.35 junk mail cheque into his local…

Holly Burn: The H Club

11 Aug 20123 stars

Eccentric sketches imbued with a liberating lack of reason

To say that Holly Burn is a bit bonkers, is like saying Edinburgh gets a bit busy during August. A familiar face on the Fringe scene, Burn’s barmy Geordie shtick seems to bemuse, confuse -- and when she hits the right note -- amuse her audience in equal…

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The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle

8 Aug 20124 stars

Savvy set design and excellent soundtrack in provoking limbo-land tragicomedy

Eric Argyle died at 11.42am two days ago; yet here he is, heart aching, mind racing in a confusing laboratory-cum-limbo-land. The Life and Sort... is another highly accomplished piece from the team behind last year’s success Minute After Midday. 15th…

Josh Widdicombe

7 Aug 20124 stars

Fast-rising funnyman entertains with acute observational humour

‘The Guardian called me a geezer today’ announces Josh Widdicombe, as he wanders onto the stage, looking less ‘Geez a go’, more shaggy-haired boy next door. ‘So watch it, or I’ll knife you and that.’ He laughs, we laugh. If this fast-rising funnyman…

Slice

7 Aug 20123 stars

Mel Giedroyc's debut is a bittersweet lunchtime treat

This promising playwriting début from Mel Giedroyc (of Mel & Sue fame) arrives at the Fringe fresh from a successful run at Glasgow’s Oran Mor earlier this year, and has lost none of its emotional verve in transit. Three troubled sisters congregate in…

Peter Panic

7 Aug 20122 stars

Dystopian Peter Pan fails to inspire an emotional response

Showing an altogether darker, dystopian view of JM Barrie’s titular character of Peter Pan, Function Theatre brings together a brutal tale of morality, mob rule and the power of the State, stripping Barrie’s oeuvre of its innocence in the…

Jigsy

6 Aug 20123 stars

Nostalgic yet brave tale of a comedian past his prime, starring Les Dennis

It’s a brave man who takes on the role of an ageing, fading comedian. Braver still, if you’re Les Dennis – as well known for his Family Fortunes success, as his more recent foray into the dismal world of Celebrity Big Brother. Both are swiftly…

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Milo McCabe: Kenny Moon This is Your Life

6 Aug 20123 stars

Bemusing character comedy from Milo and his dad

It’s all a bit barmy in the Gilded Balloon’s Billiard Room, as character chameleon Milo McCabe brings his unique brand of funny to this year’s Fringe. Irish comedy legend Kenny Moon (played by McCabe’s real-life father and New Faces star, Mike McCabe…

Lie. Cheat. Steal. Confessions of a Real Hustler

5 Aug 20122 stars

Slightly underwhelming show from Paul Wilson, writer and star of BBC3'S The Real Hustle

It’s a tricky old business recreating small screen success on the theatre stage, but Paul Wilson, writer and star of BBC3’s The Real Hustle handles it with reasonable gusto, albeit in a far more confined environment. It was The Sting movie, which…

Lucy Porter - People Person

3 Aug 20122 stars

All sugar no spice: grit lacking from nice girl performance

Yes, yes: it’s easy to knock the nice girl act. But as her fans will attest, that’s exactly what Lucy Porter is. Far from ripping off the shackles of her ‘lovely wee lass’ persona, Porter embraces it with People Person. Back on the Fringe scene after a…

Andrew Doyle does Whatever It Takes

3 Aug 20123 stars

'Bad Catholic' Doyle's has prayers answered

Former teacher and ‘predatory’ homosexual Andrew Doyle has all the makings of a class act. Having doled out cards asking us what we think is ‘most likely to turn on’ our fellow audience members, he’s off on a rambunctious verbal riot of smarts and…

Loch Lomond - the perfect escape from city stress

29 Jul 2012

A quick guide to the towns around one of Scotland's most beautiful natural landscapes

Balloch This town, situated at the southern tip of Loch Lomond, is a 40-minute drive or train journey from Glasgow. On its doorstep is the glorious Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, which incorporates one of Scotland’s more famous stretches…

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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs explores impact of Apple on our lives

25 Jul 2012

Grant O'Rourke performs Mike Daisey's controversial play Edinburgh Fringe

When he died in October last year more than one million followers flooded the Apple website, sharing their memories of Steve Jobs. Commentators hailed him a modern day Da Vinci while pundits pondered the man affectionately known as Apple’s Messiah.

Jillian Lauren's Fringe show explores her history of harem, addiction and motherhood

24 Jul 2012

Bestselling author extracts universal truths from extraordinary life story

It’s what primetime TV movies are made of. Aged just 18, writer and performer Lauren Jillian packed her bags and fled New York for the opulent world of Brunei. Summoned by playboy Prince Jefri she would live as part of his harem for almost two years.

Afternoon outings, day trips and week-long holidays in Scotland

25 Jun 2012

Visit Mull, Lindisfarne, Anstruther and Loch Lomond

There comes a fleeting, blissful moment, travelling south down the A1, when a fresh vista sweeps into view and the daily grind of city life fades away. The clear blue sea rushes against the cliffs below and a vast, open sky makes promise of the…

Dance and music take centre stage at the Edinburgh Mela

25 Jun 2012

The multicultural arts festival announces part of its 2012 programme

Those familiar with the August festival scene would probably agree that the Edinburgh Mela has occasionally struggled for attention, too often carelessly over-looked for some of the bigger kids in the playground. Not so this year, with a new director…

CATS awards to be hosted by Alan Cumming

23 May 2012

David Harrower, Maureen Beattie and Stuart Bowman in the running for prestigious theatre awards

He’s one of the busiest actors at work today, preparing for curtain up on his one-man version Macbeth, but Alan Cumming is to take time out from rehearsals to host this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. The CATS, which this year celebrates…

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Oliver! set for run at Edinburgh Playhouse

23 May 2012

Cameron Mackintosh-produced epic featuring original Lionel Bart score

‘Cameron Mackintosh doesn’t do small,’ announces Brian Conley, his warm grin a lifetime away from the Fagin character he depicts in the Scots impressario’s successful revival of Oliver! TV star Conley’s acclaimed turns in Jolson and Hairspray suggest a…

The most infamous Fringe controversies

22 May 2012

As the Edinburgh Fringe launches its 2012 programme we recall some of our favourite Fringe scandals

Festival sinners As the Edinburgh Fringe launches its 2012 programme we recall some of our favourite Fringe controversies Kangaroo Theatre raised religious sensitivities in 2006 when the company staged the notoriously scandalous sex scenes of DH…

Ambitious outdoor arts festival Roofless

22 May 2012

Artists Olivier Grossetete and Sumit Sarkar to create public art projects over the next year

They say if you’re going to think, think big, and that’s exactly what Roofless, Scotland’s all-new outdoor arts festival is doing, with impressive scale and great purpose. Plotted initially in five locations, and bringing together professional artists…

Brian Conley to play Fagin in Oliver!

15 May 2012

The new Cameron Mackintosh production is stopping at Edinburgh's Playhouse

‘Cameron Mackintosh doesn’t do small,’ announces Brian Conley, his warm grin a lifetime away from the Fagin character he depicts in the Scots impressario’s successful revival of Oliver!. TV star Conley’s acclaimed turns in Jolson and Hairspray suggest a…

Claire Sweeney takes lead role in Educating Rita revival

15 May 2012

The actress discusses Willy Russell's much-loved script

Whether on stage or screen, few can forget Willy Russell’s young, earnest heroine, in Educating Rita, a working class girl hungry for education who finds herself under the tutelage of a lost, boozed up lecturer, searching for life beyond academia. For…