Yvette

Yvette

Every once in awhile a piece of theatre comes along so powerful that it wobbles you, requiring time long after the curtain call to be processed in its entirety. Yvette, a one-woman play written and performed outstandingly by Urielle Klein-Mekongo, is one of these pieces... 

Perhaps Perhaps Quizás

Perhaps Perhaps Quizás

I have a great admiration for clowning; whilst superficially there is most certainly a stereotype of the heavily made-up children’s entertainer doing nothing more than blowing up dog-shaped balloons and being silly for a couple of hours, there is actually a great deal of technical ability required to clown (especially when utilised in a one-woman show in front of an adult Fringe audience)... 

Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories IV

Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories IV

There has never been a more perfect match for the phrase ‘larger than life’ than Will Seaward. Adorned in purple velvet as he welcomes us into the room with a great big booming voice, Will is a true showman (although I get the feeling that this persona is the real person and not just an act)... 

Soweto Gospel Choir

Soweto Gospel Choir

The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in 2002 and embraces the diverse music of South Africa, a country with eleven official languages and subsequent communities. Guiding us on a tour of its sonorous heritage, the choir holds a phenomenal ability to create a rich and exquisitely harmonious tapestry out of simple ingredients: usually just the human voice and some form of traditional drumming as accompaniment... 

Workshy

Workshy

Workshy is a performance art piece by Katy Baird, a lady more experienced in customer service roles than theatrical ones. Despite this rather steep career change, you could be forgiven in taking Baird to be a seasoned professional – her command of the stage and her unashamed approach to storytelling could rival several large names, and her first-hand experience of the issues she addresses gives the whole piece an authentic air... 

Luke McQueen: The Boy With Tape on His Face

Luke McQueen: The Boy With Tape on His Face

Meet Luke McQueen: The Boy With Tape on His Face, not Tape Face. The difference? Tape Face cannot speak, The Boy With Tape on His Face cannot move his forehead. A subtle difference, granted, but an important one nonetheless... 

Diane Chorley: Rhythm of Live

Diane Chorley: Rhythm of Live

Meet Diane Chorley, legendary 80s superstar, part-time piccalilli representative and full-time diva. Slinking onto the stage dripping in pearls and shoulder pads higher than the seawalls of her home turf, Canvey Island, Diane soon eases into what she does best; owning the room and talking about herself... 

Choir of Man

Choir of Man

There is something remarkably welcoming about being handed a free pint with a smile as you walk into a show. The Assembly Rooms have been converted into The Jungle – your friendly local for the night - and your hosts are ready with a drink in one hand and open arms... 

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath is a semi-absurdist exploration into male grief, observing how it plays out in our minds and affects those close to us. Paired with Scandinavian folk music and portrayed through increasingly surrealist movement, we learn about the protagonist through his largely abstract flashbacks... 

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

I remember the time when, several years ago, Out of the Blue came to my school and did an assembly. One of its members had been a student there, and wanted to come and visit again. In an arduous disarray of teenage angst, I remember distinctly thinking that I was far too cool for acapella, and swore I wouldn’t ever be caught at one of their shows, even if you paid me... 

Tshepang: The Third Testament

Tshepang: The Third Testament

Casting a blinding light on the atrocities of human nature, Tshepang: The Third Testament is a harrowing portrayal of the true story of Baby Tshepang – a nine-month-old South African baby who was brutally raped in 2001... 

Oyster Boy

Oyster Boy

Oyster Boy is a comic telling of the fictional relationship between two young lovers on Coney Island and their subsequent journey into marriage. As newlyweds on a trip to Paris they are treated to fresh oysters, and soon the aphrodisiac starts to kick in… Fast forward nine months to the birth of their first child - Sam - and we learn that perhaps the seafood has had more of a lasting effect than just a salty aftertaste... 

Tinder Rehab

Tinder Rehab

A friend of mine and I were recently chatting about how – even today – sexism is still very much in existence. Unfortunately, this archaic viewpoint reared its ugly head today: combine that with what I can only describe as the worst show I have ever seen at the Fringe, and you have a rough summary of Tinder Rehab... 

Alice – Underground Lives My Buried Mind (Deflowering Lewis Carroll's Script)

Alice – Underground Lives My Buried Mind (Deflowering Lewis Carroll's Script)

Physical theatre can always lend itself to a degree of interpretation, and inevitably the risk of confusion. I often think of it as being one of the trickiest forms of performance for this very reason – where do you draw the line between the aesthetic and the literal representation? Arguably this divide, the directorial edit that separates the abstract from exact reflection is what determines the success of such a form, but again this falls victim to a raw subjectivity only possible when the visual art is intended to be non-representational... 

Myra DuBois: DuBois Entendre

Myra DuBois: DuBois Entendre

Perhaps the definition of late-night Fringe; the ever-talented and always vulgar Myra DuBois will have you reeling off your chair – both from laughter and from shock. Holding the audience’s attention in the palm of her gin-soaked (and man-sized) hand, Myra holds no prisoners when it comes to her humour... 

City Love

City Love

City Love provides an honest and hard-hitting look at relationships, starting with a chance encounter between two young London professionals on a night bus. Utilising a delicate combination of monologues, narrative and physicality, the two-person cast lead us through the emotional journey of their subsequent relationship... 

Departure Lounge

Departure Lounge

Set in the airport returning home after a lads’ holiday to Malaga, Departure Lounge takes a look at the fragility of hegemonic masculinity and its effects on teenage life. With an excellent score, beautifully played by guitarist Jazz Bullen, the musical was certainly catchy but somewhat unfulfilling... 

Underground Extreme Paranormal Ghost Tour

Underground Extreme Paranormal Ghost Tour

Renowned for being an especially haunted city, Edinburgh has many mysterious secrets lurking beneath the cobbled façade of what we wrongly assume to be ground level. Led through its dark past by an actor in the role of the long-dead James Douglas, Fourth Earl of Morton, we made our way up the Royal Mile – which is a spectacle itself under the explosive remnants of the Military Tattoo’s infamous fireworks... 

And For My Next Trick

And For My Next Trick

It’s a fair statement to make that there are both straight-up sceptics and those who actively try to believe when it comes to magic, but the fact still remains that an audience for any show – no matter their magical persuasion – wants to be entertained... 

Gayshit

Gayshit

If I were to condense this review into a single word, it would unfortunately have to be the title. Gayshit is a queer cabaret and comedy night, created by Wayne Carter in response to a lack of job opportunities for other like-minded performers... 

Hans: Mein Camp

Hans: Mein Camp

Certain thoughts are inevitable when you hear the title Hans: Mein Camp, and the chances are they will probably be accurate. Bursting onto the stage adorned in Lycra and communism, Hans will unashamedly take you through an hour-long banquet of unapologetic cabaret-cum-world-dominance, pausing only for you to praise him and his immense talent... 

Auditions

Auditions

The premise of this musical is that four professional actors share their insights into the scary world of auditions. The problem is that based on this show I would struggle to give a single one of them the part... 

Bat Boy: The Musical

Bat Boy: The Musical

Billed as a uniquely grotesque combination of satire, horror and comedy, Bat Boy: The Musical has a small but dedicated cult following. Performed by Ophiuchus Rising, the semi-professional cast effortlessly made sense of the bizarre and risqué storyline... 

Pity Laughs: A Tale of Two Gays

Pity Laughs: A Tale of Two Gays

This show is so much more than a tale of two gays: it is a tale of success. As I came out of the small auditorium at Just the Tonic, it dawned on me that I had just experienced my first true gem of the 2017 Fringe... 

Wall 2.0! A Thinly Veiled Manifesto for How to Mend Our Broken World  Disguised as a New American Musical

Wall 2.0! A Thinly Veiled Manifesto for How to Mend Our Broken World Disguised as a New American Musical

Wall 2.0! follows the citizens and aristocrats of Nowallia, a dystopian land which had in the past been divided by an impassable wall. The backstory to this is explored further in the company’s other Fringe show – Wall 1...