Nathan Cassidy: The Man in the Arena

Nathan Cassidy: The Man in the Arena

Nathan Cassidy is pretty angry about a three star review he once received. He’s clearly not going to be happy about this one either. In a warm room above the Caroline of Brunswick 16 of us have spurned both the Champion’s League and Britain’s Got Talent Finals and I’m pretty sure most of us are wishing we’d stayed in front of the telly instead... 

Blooming

Blooming

Patrick Sandford is engaging, entertaining and certainly knows how to hold an audience. Performing alongside the talented Loren O’Dair who flits between piano, accordion and a whole host of accents and characters, this is a story taken from conversations with survivors of abuse... 

Circled in The Radio Times

Circled in The Radio Times

John Osborne is a fabulous storyteller. His quintessential Englishness makes us immediately warm to him. He apologies for the stuffy, hot room and promises us that he won't go on for longer than 45 minutes, so we can all head outside into the sunshine... 

What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky?

What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky?

Idiot Child throws everything into this show, quite literally: glitter, mojitos, frazzles and mini chedders, balloons, badges, sweets, music, stories, nudity and endless energy. This was a hugely entertaining, if a little odd, piece about three siblings who have been abandoned by their parents... 

The Life & Death of Puppet King Richard II

The Life & Death of Puppet King Richard II

This is Richard II as you’ve never seen him before, in a purple shell-suit wielding power over his puppet kingdom with subjects that range from beautiful two foot high hand carved rod puppets to kitchen spoons, shoe trees and gloves with balls of wool for heads... 

The Brexorcist

The Brexorcist

I was really looking forward to this show. The press release says it contains some of the best performers and musicians from the city and examines the social, political, ideological and emotional factors that led us to where we are today, through the form of a darkly, satirical musical... 

Shit-faced Showtime: The Pirates of Penzance

Shit-faced Showtime: The Pirates of Penzance

The actors in Shit-Faced Showtime have a lot to deal with, a drunk member of their cast, remembering their lines, singing in tune, playing the piano and also dealing with drunk, annoying members of the audience... 

The Lamellar Project

The Lamellar Project

Set in the year 2039, this is a world that man has destroyed. The Earth's fragile ecosystem is under attack and we are viewing the day to day current events through Skype conversations between two different scientists; one based in the UK (played by Gideon Turner) and one in Philadelphia (played by Emma Gibson)... 

Police Cops

Police Cops

With tight abs, even tighter moves and slick choreography, Police Cops runs at a pace that will make your head spin and is silly, fun and very entertaining. These are three actors clearly living on a fringe diet of red bull, flyering and having fun... 

WiFi Wars

WiFi Wars

If like me you whiled away many a Saturday stopping your dog’s tail from slightly moving your carefully balanced lead from your cassette player to your Spectrum ZX81, keeping everything crossed that Daley Thompson’s Decathlon would eventually load, you will love WiFi Wars... 

It's Okay, I'm Dealing With It

It's Okay, I'm Dealing With It

The Hiccup Project were the darlings of the 2015 Brighton Fringe with their show May-We-Go-Round, winning awards and accolades in abundance and that holy grail of all Fringe artists - a fully booked tour... 

King Lear

King Lear

This is the second time Michael Pennington has donned the crown of Lear and this time it’s a Lear clearly made for a 21st Century audience; cut down and pacey. Whilst this does make the story incredibly clear it does feel a little as if we are on a rollercoaster to Lear’s madness, descending quickly into childlike dementia and pitiful madness... 

The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years, by the darling of the Contemporary musical theatre world Jason Robert Brown, is about struggling actress Cathy and successful novelist Jamie’s five year relationship... 

The Marie Curie Project

The Marie Curie Project

This musical is billed as a work-in-progress showing as it will premiere at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. I didn’t know how developed this show would be and thought it might be hard to review a sharing of work... 

Stalin's Daughter

Stalin's Daughter

Svetlana Alliluyeva was Stalin’s only daughter. She controversially defected to the West in 1967 and travelled between the US and UK.This play by David Lane is about Svetlana’s escape from her tyrannical father and his brutal regime... 

I AM NOT ANTIGONE

I AM NOT ANTIGONE

Antigone is about failed rebellion and fighting for fairness. In Greek mythology Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus who fights for both her recently deceased brothers to have the burials they deserve as her Uncle Creon has declared one a hero and one a terrorist... 

Known

Known

Snippet Theatre Company is a new company made up of talented young graduates who have a very bright future. Snippet specialises in verbatim theatre - documentary style plays based on real first hand interviews - and Known follows the community in Welsh town Porthmadog a few years after the shocking murder of a teenage girl... 

Mr Fogg: Youth

Mr Fogg: Youth

Mr Fogg was not at all what I was expecting. I certainly was not expecting the unassuming Phil Barry to walk out on stage. But as soon as he sat down at the keyboard his soaring vocals accompanied by lyrical cello and violin won me over... 

Camille O'Sullivan

Camille O'Sullivan

If you think that going to a Camille O’Sullivan gig will be a nice way to spend an hour listening to music wash over you think again. O’Sullivan has the voice of experience, a voice that has seen the world and decided to create havoc... 

Stuck With You

Stuck With You

This play is billed as an adaptation of Edwards Lear’s classic poem The Owl and the Pussycat. I am a fan of the poem and was excited to see what writer Natalie Audley had done to bring a modern and relevant twist to the tale... 

Monte Cassino Morning

Monte Cassino Morning

Set in a nursing home in 2014, Edward Kinsley tells us about his life and, ever the Gentleman, offers us tea. He was a Captain stationed in Italy in the Second World War and was injured twice, both times taking him to hospital... 

The State Vs John Hayes

The State Vs John Hayes

Huntsville Prison, Texas 1959. Elyese Dukie is on death row for the murder of two people. Tomorrow she goes to court for the last time. This is the premise for Lucy Roslyn’s one woman play... 

Pond Wife

Pond Wife

The Pond Wife is a fun, colourful and very sparkly modern adaptation of the Little Mermaid with a lot of 90’s pop thrown in performed by the bubbly Holly and Ted.I wasn’t quite sure whether this was a show aimed at children or adults but perhaps it doesn’t matter... 

Frank Sent Me

Frank Sent Me

Two gangsters, Howe and Wallace, are trapped in a room, awaiting the inevitable knock at the door that will signal the end for Howe. After years of working for the eponymous Frank, loyal Howe has made a mistake, fallen out of favour with the mobster Frank and must face his destiny... 

Peter Antoniou - Happy Medium

Peter Antoniou - Happy Medium

Peter Antoniou is a small guy in a small venue with a big mind blowing show. I would say book to go and see him but he already knows you are going, knows that you will be running late and what colour underwear you will be wearing... 

Don't Tell Anyone About Sarah Callaghan

Don't Tell Anyone About Sarah Callaghan

Sarah Callaghan wants to tell us a secret in her first one hour Fringe show.This ‘secret’ free show was full; everyone had come to see if this tipped new young comedian had what it takes in this overpopulated genre... 

Ernest and the Pale Moon

Ernest and the Pale Moon

As the audience enter Ernest is sitting and watching the girl of his dreams, which he does every night. Then, suddenly, the play delivers an alarming shock; we know this mock gothic horror is out to stop us sleeping tonight... 

Herbie's Jazz Breakfast

Herbie's Jazz Breakfast

It was early(ish) on a Sunday, but still the Speigeltent was bursting at the seams without an empty seat.Herbie Flowers is a multi-talented musician playing double bass, bass guitar and even the tuba... 

Kevin Eldon and Some Colleagues

Kevin Eldon and Some Colleagues

May 17th is World Neurofibromatosis awareness day and what better way to raise awareness and funds than two hours of top quality comedy. Christian Talbot, who describes himself as ‘Ireland’s OCD cuddly teddy bear’, is our amiable host for the afternoon... 

Complete History of the BBC (Abridged)

Complete History of the BBC (Abridged)

We were welcomed into the Cathode Ray Museum of Broadcasting, East Cheam by Terence (played by Bob Sinfield) in full evening dress. He was immediately the archetypal vintage BBC host; charming, welcoming and with perfect Received Pronunciation... 

Clever Peter: The Dreams Factory

Clever Peter: The Dreams Factory

‘We don’t just do adverts, we do dreams’. Clever Peter’s new live show is based around advertising agency The Dreams Factory. If you are a fan of 2012 or W1A, this is no Perfect Curve, but with strong characters and slick sketches this is a show that deserves an audience... 

The Horne Section

The Horne Section

The Horne Section is part music, part comedy - or as Alex Horne describes it ‘like swimming whilst holding a picture’.With a song about Rich (sitting in the front row, eating salad) being amazing, an entire audience game of twister and a blindfolded macarena duel-off, this is a show that is guaranteed to get the audience laughing... 

Darren Walsh: Chicken Meow

Darren Walsh: Chicken Meow

I really wanted to like Darren Walsh’s new show - I saw him last year and raved about him. However, this new show is nowhere near as slick or funny as last years offering, I am a Giant... 

'Bud' by Nick Darke

'Bud' by Nick Darke

Bud by Nick Darke is a one-man show that was originally written for the RSC and performed in 1985. The writing is slick, Neil Sheffield’s performance is engaging and the play fits well in the beautiful Burrow at The Warren... 

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho

Feathers, glitter, gold lame and The Weather Girls. This is of course not what we all associate with Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady, but this Maggie is a glorious wise-cracking, all-singing, all-dancing cabaret Queen... 

Pie Eyed

Pie Eyed

A theme seems to be developing within this years Fringe. Yet again I am up on stage. This time I am sitting with my back to the audience wearing a red party hat having had happy birthday sung to me (it's not my birthday) and now I am being given a striptease, complete with squirty cream, only this Actor strips down to multiple nappies, each one containing a child's toy... 

The Kiosk: A See, Do, Connect Experience

The Kiosk: A See, Do, Connect Experience

By equity rules if there are more cast on stage than audience you don't need to perform. This cast definitely don't need to perform as there are only 3 of us and I wish they hadn't... 

Idlers of the Enlightenment, a Symposium

Idlers of the Enlightenment, a Symposium

Three of the most enlightened brains of the modern age, Tom Hodgkinson, John Mitchinson and Mark Vernon, are sitting on the small stage in the beautiful Hendricks Carnival of Knowledge and we are all sipping our delightful complimentary gin and tonic... 

Transit

Transit

Transit is a beautiful piece of physical theatre performed by a strong ensemble cast from new Swiss-based theatre company, A Point. Loosely-based on a true story this timeless tale follows Samantha Applebee, a young woman who seems to be suffering from agoraphobia and lives in her own claustrophobic, sheltered world; creating characters and retreating into her fantasy land of imagination rather than dealing with the big bad world... 

IN TRANSIT a solo show

IN TRANSIT a solo show

It’s clear that Florence Leon is a performer with passion, but you need a little more than that to pull off a solo show. The fairly full house was clearly a mix of Leon’s supporters and people not connected with the show who’ve taken a chance on what they had read in the Fringe Programme... 

Someone else's shoes

Someone else's shoes

Trailblaze Theatre Company are a young company with bags of enthusiasm who, according to their website blurb, specialise in interactive and immersive theatre. This show is definitely immersive... 

Stuperstition

Stuperstition

I am on stage at the Marlborough theatre verifying a magician’s mouth is empty. I am watching Stuart Lightbody swallow needles and proving they are real. My logical brain is telling me that he isn’t really swallowing the needles but I can’t for the life of me work out how he is doing it... 

Bash

Bash

The Brighton Rep Theatre is a new company trying to achieve an admirable goal; repertory theatre for the local audience employing local professionals. Yet I couldn’t help wondering how choosing Bash fitted this vision? La Bute’s plays are strongly linked in the psyche to midtown America... 

Desperately Seeking the Exit

Desperately Seeking the Exit

In 2007 Peter Michael Marino got stoned with a friend and came up with the idea of turning the 1980’s movie ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ starring Madonna and Rosanna Arquette into a musical using Blondie songs... 

Darren Walsh: I am a Giant.

Darren Walsh: I am a Giant.

This is Darren Walsh’s first solo show and it definitely won’t be his last. With sharp one liners reminiscent of comedy giant Tim Vine and songs about parsnips and onions that wouldn’t sound out of place on ‘It’s Kevin’; Walsh is all set to become the new ruler of the comedy kingdom... 

Mikelangelo And The Black Sea Gentlemen

Mikelangelo And The Black Sea Gentlemen

A Brighton debut of Spiegeltent regulars Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen. A Balkan gypsy cabaret band from Australia blending beautiful gypsy folk ballads, which at times move towards the operatic of comic melodrama delivered with an arched eyebrow, entertain and delight the first night audience... 

Phil Kay: ...Freewheelin' Mirth Peddler...

Phil Kay: ...Freewheelin' Mirth Peddler...

It would be hard not to like Phil Kay. His natural enthusiasm for life and his tinkling giggle are infectious. The small Temple venue is packed with an audience who have clearly seen the festival stalwart before and know what to expect and he doesn’t disappoint...