Theatre

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A Walk at the Edge of the World

5 Aug 20144 stars

A restrained walk and lecture on memory and power at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Part mindfulness meditation, part painful personal recollection, Edinburgh-based theatre company Magnetic North’s lecture-with-walk is a thoughtful, slow-moving, ultimately quite moving exploration of solitude, freedom and power. He’s just recovered…

The Generation of Z: Edinburgh

5 Aug 20144 stars

Entertaining interative zombie show at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

'That’s like every movie I absolutely love,’ grins one punter as he emerges, breathless and ecstatic, from immersive action-horror production The Generation of Z. He’s not wrong – all the familiar tropes from modern zombie flicks are present and…

Dracula

5 Aug 20142 stars

Action to the Word's gothic musical Edinburgh Festival Fringe production is like Twilight meets Glee

Before we start laying into Action To The Word’s gothic musical adaptation, let it be known: there were just as many audience members offering standing ovations as there were sneaking out mid-show. To find out which side of the dividing line you’re on…

Kate

5 Aug 20143 stars

A smoothly and effectively delivered WW2 Icelandic drama at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

When Britain invaded Iceland in 1940, to prevent Germany securing the strategic stronghold, the UK troops were generally greeted warmly – with some young Icelandic women, as Agnes Þorkelsdóttir Wild’s play remembers, seeing either a romantic escape…

The Pitiless Storm

5 Aug 20144 stars

David Hayman on blistering form in in Chris Dolan's political play, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Anyone who’s watched David Hayman perform will know his skill for mastering the characters he plays. And he doesn’t disappoint here. Hayman is on blistering form in this one-man show that, while making clear its political intent, is ultimately a…

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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Kingmaker

5 Aug 20144 stars

Sharp political satire from Coalition writers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘Max Newman is a joke’, we are told, ‘but a joke that happens not to be funny’. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for Alan Cox who plays Newman, a thinly veiled representation of a certain London Mayor, who stands to become Prime Minister.

300 to 1

5 Aug 20143 stars

A one man version of 300, with added WWI context, at the Edinburgh Free Fringe

The idea of converting Zack Snyder’s homoerotic slash-‘em-up 300 into a one hour, one man stage show is an inherently silly one, if only because 300 stipulates the size of its cast right there in the title. Mancunian writer/performer Matt Panesh (aka…

50 Shades! The Musical: The Original Parody

5 Aug 20144 stars

EL James' BDSM adventure gets a Day-Glo makeover at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Since the novel set the bar so low in terms of characterisation, plot and prose style, this parody of Fifty Shades easily captures its thin eroticism and pornography of consumerism. There's no doubt that the musical has been designed to appeal to fans…

Blind Hamlet

5 Aug 20144 stars

A thought-provoking Edinburgh Fringe show from White Rabbit, Red Rabbit writer Nassim Soleimanpour

Nassim Soleimanpour – writer of the worldwide hit White Rabbit, Red Rabbit – is losing his sight. His visits to the optometrist are becoming more frequent and Soleimanpour, present only through voice recordings, laments having never read Shakespeare’s…

City of the Blind

5 Aug 20144 stars

A deeply unsettling, unforgettable experience

Theatrical iconoclast David Leddy’s online thriller is an astonishing achievement, in technical and dramatic terms. It delves into some of the rawest, most distressing areas of human activity and forces you to confront them in detail and at…

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Cuckooed

5 Aug 20144 stars

A personal tale of spying from comedian Mark Thomas, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A Perrier Award nominee in 1992 – the year that Steve Coogan won it – Mark Thomas’ comedy has always been inseparable from his activism. And since his multiple award-winning Bravo Figaro – an emotional show about his father’s love of opera, and his…

Factor 9

5 Aug 20144 stars

A shocking true story about contaminated NHS blood, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Prepare to be physically shaken by Factor 9. The show from Inverness' Dogstar Theatre – which has already toured to rave reviews – alternately elicits tears, nausea and trembling rage that this true story could ever have been allowed to happen. It tells…

The Flood

5 Aug 20144 stars

An unflinching, immersive WWI drama, staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Deep in the bowels of Summerhall, we are in the trenches of the First World War. A nurse chops raw liver while a soldier obsessively counts the lice in his uniform. The tiny space smells harsh and metallic, of old bricks and blood. The audience of ten…

Hayani

5 Aug 20142 stars

Two-handed exploration of post-apartheid South Africa at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Hayani means 'home' in one of the languages sprinkled throughout this sprawling journey through the post-apartheid years in South Africa. And while performers Atandwa Kani and Nat Ramabulana have an abundance of energy and talent, their show could…

Janis Joplin: Full Tilt

5 Aug 20144 stars

Cora Bissett, Peter Arnott and Angela Darcy bring the music icon to life at the Edinburgh Fringe

Following its success at Oran Mor's A Play, a Pie and a Pint season last year, Janis Joplin: Full Tilt arrives at the Fringe as one of this year's most anticipated shows – and it lives up to the hype. It’s staged in the style of a gig, with the…

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My Obsession

5 Aug 20143 stars

Short and sweet half-hour Edinburgh Fringe play starring Suki Webster and Paul Merton

It feels rather apt to be watching My Obsession in Edinburgh during the Fringe. This half hour show, about an obsessed fan who breaks into a stand-up’s hotel room in the middle of the night, muses on comedians’ relationship to fame and their fans. We…

Party in the USA!

5 Aug 20144 stars

A rocking take on physical theatre, the economic collapse and drugs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A rocking take on physical theatre, the economic collapse and the mind-expanding qualities of psychedelic drugs, Party in the USA! is a dynamic satire that manages to maintain a coherent narrative while jumping around between times and places. Following…

SmallWar

5 Aug 20144 stars

Powerful verbatim WWI work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Flemish actor and writer Valentijn Dhaenens’ follow-up to 2012’s Bigmouth looks at the little people caught up in conflicts enacted by his previous production’s world-leading figures. But don’t expect a tear-drenched memorial for the fallen, nor a…

Threnody for the Sky Children

5 Aug 20144 stars

A zombie apocalypse romantic comedy epic poem at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Although Jack Dean’s epic poem covers zombie apocalypse, the anguish of failed love and the ravings of ‘philosophical pervert’ Slavoj Zizek, his attention to metaphorical detail and intimate performance make Threnody a touching, and emotive hour.

Light

5 Aug 20144 stars

Theatre Ad Infinitum's spectacular Edinburgh Fringe show is inspired by surveillance scandals

This is one of Theatre Ad Infinitum's best shows yet. Their most recent Fringe hits, the multi-award winning Translunar Paradise (2011) and Ballad of the Burning Star (2013), were slickly choreographed but in Light, the group achieve with mime and…