Miles Fielder

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Val McDermid - Fever of the Bone

3 Sep 20093 stars

Staying true to gruesome form, the first murder in the Fife crime novelist’s latest slice of Tartan Noir could’ve been committed in 1880s Whitechapel. After the body of a young girl is found with her genitals removed, psychological profiler Tony Hill…

Up

26 Aug 20094 stars

Crisp and elliptical with a killer closing line

Edgy production about a young gay teacher who’s in hospital recovering (or perhaps not) from a mental collapse. There he recalls a haunting incident from his youth, involving a student and a pair of sharpened pencils. Debut playwright James Ley’s script…

Kursk

24 Aug 20094 stars

Awesome voyage to the bottom of the sea

Anyone who caught this immersive drama set aboard a submarine at London’s Young Vic in June were knocked out by the scope of the staging. Given that so much Fringe theatre is necessarily scaled down in terms of sets, costumes and technical…

Wilson Dixon

24 Aug 20094 stars

Wryly amusing and peppered with plain silly songs

It's a pleasure to spend an hour in the company of this affable, laidback, slightly dopey country singer from Cripple Creek, Colorado (perhaps by way of the Antipodes). During it, Wilson recounts the story of how he took off to make his name in…

The Cubicle

24 Aug 20093 stars

Riotous mix of comedy, dance and audience participation

This energetically performed lav-based farce is more entertaining than any number of shows at major venues. Devised from graffiti found on the back of bog doors, it’s a riotous mix of comedy, dance and audience participation (the latter involving a pair…

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Adams & Rea

24 Aug 20093 stars

Music in their blood but only mildly amusing

These girls have got music in their blood, capable as they are of switching effortlessly from pop to rock and rap via medieval ballad and Japanese folk song. But while their playing of guitar, ukulele and banjo impresses, it's not clear whether or not…

Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos)

21 Aug 20094 stars

New work from Pedro Almodóvar

Since moving into his mature period of filmmaking Pedro Almodóvar’s films have benefited from both an increasingly dramatic emotional impact and an ever more cinematic sensibility. His latest boasts a little less of the former than its predecessors, but…

Justin Moorhouse

21 Aug 20093 stars

Brash comic’s storytelling mash-up

Justin Moorhouse kicks off his show by taking issue with a review from last year’s Fringe that likened him to a cross between Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown and Coldplay. It’s hard to see the comparison between the drippy bleeding heart liberal rockers and…

Words of Honour

21 Aug 20092 stars

Lifting the lid on the Italian mafia

This exposé of the inner workings of the Sicilian mafia is a frustrating failure. Based on Attilio Bolzoni’s Parole D’Honore, it uses the testimony of an investigative journalist and a handful of criminals to lift the lid on life inside the Cosa Nostra.

The look of love: Pedro Almodóvar interview

20 Aug 2009

We preview the Spanish filmmaker's Broken Embraces

Pedro Almodóvar, the most famous Spanish filmmaker since his Aragónian idol Luis Buñuel, and one of the most acclaimed auteurs in international cinema, once described his relationship to his chosen medium of expression thus: ‘Cinema has become my life.

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Capturing the imagination: Terry Gilliam

20 Aug 2009

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam talks about The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus

Terry Gilliam is without doubt a singularly gifted visionary and an irrepressibly maverick filmmaker. However, the 66-year-old American former Monty Python animator also appears to be cursed with dreadfully bad fortune. The debacle with the financiers…

You Fancy Yourself

20 Aug 20094 stars

Evocative immigrant experience

It’s amazing what one woman armed with just two costumes and a wooden trunk can do. During the course of just over an hour Maja Ardal very convincingly recreates Edinburgh of the 1950s through the voices of 11 distinct characters. The central one is a…

Maria Tecce In Viva!

20 Aug 20094 stars

Seductive Spanish songs from Italian-American chanteuse

The surname of this sultry chanteuse might give her origins away, but otherwise until she switches from Spanish to English there’s no way you’d know this apparently southern European is actually a Boston-born Italian-American who currently makes her…

Porn: the Musical

19 Aug 20093 stars

Misses the money shot

Conceived in Malta, this bawdy sing-along tells the story of a native nerd who trades his small island for the Big Apple and finds happiness making skin flicks in the US. The parody of stage musicals is energetically performed, but it’s too raucous for…

Don Quixote – Theatre of the Blind

19 Aug 20093 stars

Audio-aural experience works pretty well

Given the constraints involved in putting on a Fringe show, blindfolding the audience and performing to their other senses seems an eminently sensible idea. How else would you stage Cervantes’ classic on a budget? Here the audio-aural experience works…

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And All the Children Cried

19 Aug 20093 stars

Provocative stuff

This hard-hitting and heartfelt drama deals with what society considers the most transgressive act of all: the sexual abuse of children by women. Set in a women’s prison, two of the inmates confess their crimes and tell their sorry stories to one…

Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen

16 Aug 20094 stars

Diabolically good comic gypsy cabaret

The gypsy cabaret troupe returns to the Fringe once more to assault audiences with their riotous mix of songs, storytelling and sinful behaviour. This year, the Balkan-styled, Australia-based five-piece have pitched up to promote their new album, Dead…

Inglourious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino interview

15 Aug 2009

The sixth film by Quentin Tarantino has been a long time coming. Tarantino began writing his World War II men-on-a-mission adventure Inglourious Basterds more than a decade ago. Unable to finish it, he put the script aside and instead made the two-part…

Inglourious Basterds

15 Aug 20094 stars

Quentin Tarantino’s much talked about men-on-a-mission WWII movie has been a long time coming, but now his sixth feature (originally inspired by the 1978 film of almost the same name) is here and it’s great. Brad Pitt’s Lieutenant Aldo Raine and his…

Pythonesque

14 Aug 20094 stars

And now for something completely different

This superb celebration of the great surrealist-absurdist comedy troupe is so much more than a straightforward homage to Monty Python. Aptly named playwright Roy Smiles has constructed a very clever narrative that’s playfully self-referential, loaded…

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Hardeep Singh Kohli

14 Aug 20093 stars

Laugh-lite Glaswegian gourmet

During his enforced leave of absence from the BBC, the Scottish Sikh star of The One Show is indulging his fondness for cooking with this culinary-themed comedy show. The simple set-up has Kohli cooking a meal on stage, based on ingredients supplied on…

The Event

13 Aug 20094 stars

Brilliant deconstruction of stand-up

Like so many brilliant ideas the thinking behind this superb show is simple: stand-up deconstructed. A comedian walks on stage to begin what his audience assumes will be a standard comedy routine. Expectations are immediately overturned, however, with a…

The Montana Ranch

12 Aug 20092 stars

Conscience infected con-men lack real hustle

A pair of con-men take advantage of President Obama’s green initiative to relieve the environmentally concerned public of a cool $2 million, but come unstuck when one of them gets a conscience after spending a month up a tree with a sexy activist. It’s…

Mackenzie Taylor

11 Aug 20093 stars

Painfully funny trip through mental illness

Taylor took a year off the Fringe in 2008 after he’d tried to kill himself. This year, the likeable hairy bear’s back to tell us all about it with this blow-by-blow account of the mental illness he’s lived with for 15 years and the almost fatal ménage à…

Morecambe

10 Aug 20094 stars

Show-stopping comic tribute

This funny-sad account of the life and death of the man who was dubbed Britain’s ‘comedian of the century’ is already a big hit with Fringe crowds. It’s fair to assume that the prospect of seeing the late, great Eric Morecambe brought back to life on…