Kirstin Innes

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16 Aug 20093 stars

Aerial spectacular that never quite takes off

Sometimes, aerial dance doesn’t need a narrative. Some pieces, like 2007’s Fuerzabruta, present unconnected images, building a sense of wonder in the audience that grabbing for narrative meaning would puncture. Although it’s on a smaller scale…

Glasgow School of Art - Masters in Fashion Promenade

14 Aug 2009

Woolly thinking

Over the years, Glasgow School of Art’s prestigious Masters in Textiles as Fashion has produced some properly pioneering designers: from internationally-recognised names like Jonathan Saunders and Pam Hogg to The List’s current favourites, upcoming…

The World's Wife

13 Aug 20094 stars

Poetry in motion

There are some things in life that even a suspicious Fringe audience can trust in, and Linda Marlowe interpreting the poems of Carol Ann Duffy’s best-known collection is a double gold-star guarantee of quality. Marlowe is a phenomenal performer, and…


13 Aug 20093 stars

Denise has more fun

Blondes is exactly what you’d expect it to be like. Graham Norton on voiceover introduces Denise! Van! Outen! and with a razzle-dazzle and a boop-boop-be-doop she shimmies her way onto the stage, belts her way through hits from Dusty, Madonna, Britney…

The Girls of Slender Means

13 Aug 20093 stars

Adaptation of the Muriel Spark novel

A new adaptation of a never-before staged novel by Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means is set (mostly) in that strange limbo period between VE and VJ Day. The war had ended, but hadn’t quite ended really, and the young women living in the May of…

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Kursk - Submarine Drama

12 Aug 2009

While Hollywood loves its war stories, theatre and the military have traditionally made uncomfortable bedfellows, if they’ve even got past first base at all. That began to change, certainly on the Fringe, after the invasion of Iraq. Over the past five…

The Yellow Wallpaper

12 Aug 20092 stars

A Goth story that lacks in menace

Enthusiastic production of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s early feminist Gothic story that never quite coheres. A brilliant, sensual central performance by Helen Foster as the creative woman trapped by Victorian gender mores is not enough to paper over…

Snatch Paradise

12 Aug 20092 stars

Satire on plastic surgery proves skin deep

This deliberately obnoxious satire on surgically-enhanced sleb culture, in which vacuous magazine-fodder pop tarts are manoeuvred to serve the depravity of a pantomime Svengali manager, contains the odd well-aimed joke. Overall, though, the targets are…

Balloon Boutique

12 Aug 20093 stars

Big hearts and big balloons in a gentle story

Gentle, moving little story about a childless couple told with mime, masks and balloons. There’s an awful lot of waiting around for those balloons to inflate, and some rather stuttery uses of music, but there are some stunningly beautiful moments, and…


10 Aug 20093 stars

Going Dutch, and possibly mad

Imagine if human behaviour wasn’t continually kept in check by thousands of almost imperceptible social bylaws, the ones that tell us not to stare, not to scratch ourselves there in public, not to express every thought we have as soon as we have it.

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The Contest

10 Aug 20094 stars

Art school confidential

Amanda and Karl are the Brangelina of their graduating class at art school: beautiful, talented (Amanda maybe more so than Karl) and in love in that starry-eyed kind of way that happens when you’re 22. They’re also about to go head-to-head in a high…

Elvis Still My Heart

10 Aug 20092 stars

No, Elvis has definitely left the building

Louise Barrett is a fantastically talented physical performer. You can’t take your eyes off her. In spindly ‘spinster’ Agnes, subliminating repressed sexuality into an obsession with the King, his eroticised pelvic flicks translated into nervous…

Four Quarters

10 Aug 20094 stars

Contemporary dance in shooter form

Tired after days of mediocre Fringe shows? Proceed directly to Zoo and ingest these four sharp little shots of contemporary dance performance. The magnetic Isobel Cohen, who curated the show and appears in three of the works, starts things off by…

Made in God's Image

10 Aug 2009

Defending the GOMA exhibition that brings together the Bible and the LGBTI

Anthony Schrag looks a bit stressed out when we meet. It’s been a big couple of weeks for the Gallery of Modern Art’s artist in residence, for reasons you may well have heard of. Made in God’s Image, a community outreach exhibition he organised to…


10 Aug 20094 stars

Late-night telly turns hip hop fantasia

The old BBC 2 test card – yes, that one, with the little girl and the clown – is a bit of a strange premise to build a whole hip hop show around, but London’s Avant Garde Dance has managed to make it work. One dancer plays the girl, the others just…

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The Bratchpieces reinvent the Humble Pub Quiz

6 Aug 2009

A family guffaw

The Bratchpieces (faither Mark, elder brother David, or Bratchy and younger scion Neil, aka the Wee Man) are well known as Scotland’s only family of stand up comedians. They’ve taken that dynamic into all-Bratchpiece stage shows, and the logical next…

100 Wounded Tears

3 Aug 2009

Powerful Czech dance theatre

One of the most moving pieces of dance on last year’s Fringe came from young Czech company Dot 504. Holdin' Fast was a beautiful investigation of the mathematics of human relationships, and was one of the biggest successes at Zoo Venue. The dazed…

The Chair

3 Aug 2009

Family, death and narrative dance

Over the past couple of years, Zoo Venue has got increasingly good at giving opportunities not only to the most interesting international dance companies, but exciting younger companies from the UK. In that slot this year is C-12 Dance Company…

Activism - Meet the political activists

23 Jul 2009

There’s been a lot of nostalgia for the 90s recently, as Blur, Take That and the Spice Girls reform (however fleetingly), and various media outlets (this one included) celebrate 15 years since the invention of a handy marketing tool called Britpop.

Glasgow homegrown events round-up

23 Jul 2009

So, apparently there’s this … festival thing, happening in Edinburgh? Whatever. While the gallons of international acts pouring into the Capital at the beginning of August do traditionally tend to hog the headlines at this time of year, with loads of…

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The Girls of Slender Means - Spark of genius

23 Jul 2009

There’s much more to Muriel Spark than Miss Jean Brodie

Muriel Sparks talents are paraded this festival with performances from two of her works, including her most celebrated one of course.

Palace of the End

21 Jul 2009

Ongoing Iraq drama with real-life characters

Four years ago, the Fringe was shaking with Iraq, and one of the best-received productions was playwright Judith Thompson’s My Pyramids, a hard-hitting speculative monologue from the point of view of Private Lynndie England. While Fringe fads might have…

My Grandfather's Great War

20 Jul 2009

First-hand account of the First World War

The epithet ‘those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ must seem particularly prescient to Cameron Stewart. The actor is starring in a piece of documentary theatre taken, like many other big Fringe shows over the last few years…

T in the Park – Sunday

13 Jul 2009

Kirstin Innes gives her verdict on some of Sunday's highlights at T. As some cruel fates (work) kept me apart from my beloved Karen O on Friday, I was determined to fill up my one day of T-time with as many strange and wonderful womenfolk as possible.

Carol Ann Duffy does it for the kids

13 Jul 2009

The Princess' Blankets mixes verse, music and storytelling

Carol Ann Duffy’s appointment as Poet Laureate earlier this year caused an excited flapping of broadsheet papers, as commentators hailed the first person in that post to be either female, gay or Scottish. All this boundary-smashing seems to promise a…